Countries That Have Produced The Most Serial Killers

Serial killers can be hard to identify, and many may escape being caught.
Serial killers can be hard to identify, and many may escape being caught.

The United States has 3 times more serial killers per capita than any other country in the world and has produced 67.58% of known serial killers. There are so many different types of serial killers that there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all profile. Serial killers are often distraught people who kill others one by one for gratification or some specific motives in a pattern. An FBI agent, Robert K. Ressler coined the term "serial killer." Generally, no particular factor motivates a serial killer to kill. Killers will sometimes get a sense of happiness or satisfaction after killings. A history of childhood abuse, cultural conditioning, and uncaring relationships with parents are some of the strong factors that play a great role in turning a person into a serial killer. While some kill people who are of a specific gender or age, some choose their victims precisely based on a particular personality trait or profession. Others may kill at random, opportunistically. 

Why does the US have more serial killers than any other place in the world?

The USA has a staggering figure of 3,204 serial killers. That is approximately 19 times more serial killers than the next country on list England. In the US, serial killers are mostly White (73%), with a large minority of Black(22%), and some Hispanic(3%), with an average age of 33.44 years. The most common method used by serial killers in the US is shooting, strangulation, poisoning, and stabbing. Some of the notable serial killers in the US are David Berkowitz, Edmund Kemper, Larry Bittaker and Roy Norris. Of these, David Berkowitz shot six people and wounded seven others while Edmund Kemper killed more than eight people including his grandparents and mother.

Some people theorize that the United States has better record-keeping than some other countries and law enforcement agencies are better at linking murders together. This does hold true for countries like Russia or China in fact, they often do not report them at all unless word somehow gets out to the western press. In Europe, you may also get underreporting because serial killers could be active in multiple countries, and communication between law enforcement between countries is far weaker than internally in a country. However, when compared to Canada or Australia on a per capita basis this actually holds less weight, and the United States has 3 times more serial killers per capita. While this explanation has some merit it's also a traditional political response by American politicians in regards to negative statistics that they are just better at gathering the data. 

Media saturates coverage when a serial killer is found or a mass killing occurs. Violence sells. While the average consumer sees it, we are shocked, horrified, weep for the families of the victims and the victims themselves but a few see it and think "cool". The more media obsess about past killers the more likely it is to breed future ones.  

England with 166 serial killers and South Africa with 117 serial killers are at the second and third position globally. In England, the worst serial killer in history is a woman serial killer, Angel Maker. She killed nearly 400 babies in the 19th century under the impression of running foster care for children born to unwed mothers. Moses Sithole has the reputation of being one of the most brutal serial killers of South Africa. He committed 38 murders and 40 rapes. 

The Future

Serial killers are conscience-deprived people who draw pleasure by killing others using a particular modus operandi. It is difficult to identify such people as from their exterior appearance they seem quite harmless and kind. No surprises, there are still many unsolved cases of serial murders, and this means many serial killers are at present roaming freely being unsuspected across the world. However, it is also true that digitization of criminal records and better investigation technologies are helping the investigation officers to detect the pattern of killing used in different murders and establish whether a crime is the job of a serial killer or not. As a disturbed childhood is quite common in the profile of such killers, it is important to make sure every child is receiving love and care from his or her caregivers at home.

Countries That Produced The Largest Number Of Serial Killers

RankCountrySerial KillerRate (per 100,000)
1United States3,2040.99
2England 1660.30
3South Africa1170.21
9India 800.01

More in World Facts