85% of the worlds serial killers live in the US?

I just heard in a commercial for the tv show Dexter that the FBI says 85% of the worlds serial killers live in the US. Is this number accurate and has anyone in the FBI ever said it?

Oops! Meant to put this in general questions.

Yes. It is a figure that the FBI has tossed around. It is also a figure that you can find in “Natural Born Celebrities: Serial Killers in American Culture” (University of Chicago Press, August 2005).

Here is a link to a news release/review of the book Book Examines Celebrity and Serial Killers - University at Buffalo from the university of Buffalo’s website.


(OH, and the original figure of 85% came out of a study from the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit . More info on that here

Serial killers in Africa and Asia just become generals and stage coups. It all depends on the definition.

We’re number one! We’re number one! USA! USA!

Or never get caught.

Those would really be mass-murderers, not serial killers.

Bingo. Most of the world doesn’t the modern policing and justice system that we enjoy in democratic, industrialized nations. Most countries don’t have anything close to accurate crime or death statistics, either.

But the US does not constitute 85% of the “democratic, industrialized nations”.

Accidental double post

I can certainly believe that the United States has 85% of the world’s “recognized” serial killers (meaning serial killers either caught or whose existence was realized by authorities–for example Ted Bundy was caught whereas the Zodiac Killer or Jack the Ripper were known but never caught.) The problem is I think a lot of serial killers can fly under the radar. Read about say, the Green River Killer, it actually was many, many murders into his crime spree before authorities realized they were dealing with a bona fide serial killer and not just dead prostitutes murdered by various Johns.

When your victims tend to be people that typically aren’t kept track of (like prostitutes, for example) then it can take longer to ever discover there is a serial killer at work. Even still, most experts believe there are at least several unsolved disappearances/murders out there that can be attributed to already caught serial killers (like Ted Bundy) but for whatever reason they’ve just never been able to link them up conclusively.

Imagine a serial killer who travels over a wide geographic area (like Bundy did) and who doesn’t do anything to specifically draw attention to himself (like say, the Green River Killer) and it’s easy to imagine serial killers in third world countries who are totally off the radar.

Adding to what other posters have said - does this FBI statistic take into account unsolved murders?
Let’s take as an example the case of the Women of Juarez (www.amnestyusa.org):
approximately 370 women killed in the cities of Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua (state of Chihuahua, Mexico) between 1993 and 2005. A drug dealer originally from Egypt but living in Mexico was suspected of ordering many of the killings from his prison cell, but there was never any satisfactory solution to many of the murders.

81% of all statistics are made up.

When I see a figure as high as 85%, it suggests to me that the FBI is putting more effort into identifying and/or keeping statistics on serial killers that the equivalent agencies in other countries… So it would be nice to see some sort of comparative analysis, e.g., on what the statistics are in places like Britain, Canada, France and Germany – and, indeed, on whether countries like that have publicly available statistics on people that the police have identified as “serial killers”.

Can’t they be both, like the late Earl Warren?

Earl Warren wasn’t a serial killer.

Harold Shipman was only really caught when he got a bit greedy. He was convicted of 15 specimen murders, was surely responsible for 218, and may well have been responsible for many many more, so he probably takes “No. 1 with a bullet” in the western world serial killer stakes

The United States is a huge country of 300 million (?-ish) people. It is a testament to the investigating agencies that they have identified so many complete psycho moonbats. It’s a horrible thought, but there are people right now in a dank basement being tortured. 85%? Maybe. But the FBI are the best in the world at figuring this shit out.

Read John Douglas’s book “Manhunter” about the FBI’s techniques for identifying and catching serial killers. The USA is so good at it the FBI’s team is called in when other countries realize they are dealing with a serial killer.

Now who’s being naive?

I think it’s called “Mindhunter”, in case anybody wants to track it down.

What limits people to become serial killers is law and order, not a lack of desire to change their distinction. A serial killer with cronies is just more effective.