Serial killing drove the initial fascination with 'profiling' and was the focus of the earliest 'offender profiling' works. In more recent years this 'offender profiling' task has become set within and defined by, the more scientifically rigorous frameworks of Investigative Psychology, which has identified the theoretical and conceptual challenges that are inherent to the profiling process. Central to these for serial killings are questions about the particular styles of serial killing behaviour and how these relate to distinct sets of offender characteristics. The papers collected in this book are organised around the core Actions-Characteristics framework, moving from the general to the specific. Thus the first section explores the range and diversity of serial killing behaviours (the Actions) - starting with an exploration of the various manifestations of serial killing, before moving to a more detailed consideration of the different psychological styles for committing this crime.
The second section focuses on the offenders, examing the individuals who become serial killers, and then examines the different patterns of offending behaviour, as well as the psychological processes that underlie these relationships.