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Serial Killers: America's New Epidemic.

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Serial Killers: America's New Epidemic.

Serial killers have been around since the dawn of history, their numbers multiplying exponentially within the past five decades. In recent years, words such as "baffling" and "mysterious" have become routine to describe the growing phenomenon. It is imperative to develop a workable solution and general understanding of these predators in human form as a new wave of serial murders reach crisis rates in this millennium. More than fifteen-hundred serial killers are on record at this time. Though serial murder is not "new", the numbers have gone up in recent years. From 1900 to 1959 the U.S. reported about two serial murder cases a year. By 1969, six cases per year were logged. During the 1970s that number tripled. "An average of three per month have been reported since 1985."(Newton 120). It is still not determined why serial killers kill, however, understanding the causes and recognizing the traits of a serial murderer will help the public better prevent and protect themselves from falling victim to a serial killer. North America has produced eighty percent of serial killers. Europe runs a distant second with a mere sixteen percent, and Third World nations spawn four percent of the world's known serial killers, but recent numbers from South Africa and Latin America are beginning to alter those statistics. "Though the U.S. has only about 5 percent of the world population, it has produced 76 percent of known serial killers since 1900" (Apsche 76). Serial murder is a national problem in America and authorities are beginning to develop techniques to track, identify, and capture these predators. Psychological profiling, DNA testing and violent criminal data bases are all tools used to identify serial killers. Psychological profiling is a young, investigative tool. It was developed in the 1950's and has been improved upon ever...

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