Do serial killers prefer to murder prostitutes?

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This work includes a count of solved serial murder cases in the United States from 1970 to 2009. The number of serial murder cases has declined; the likelihood that a victim is a female has increased somewhat and although the numbers of all types of serial murder victims has declined, when a case occurs, victims are increasingly likely to be prostitutes, particularly female prostitutes. U.S. serial murder cases with prostitute victims accounted for 32% of all U.S. serial murder cases involving female victims only, 1970-2009. However, the proportion of solved cases involving female prostitute victims only increased across the study period from 16% during 1970-1979 to a high of 69% during 2000-2009. Prostitute killers amass a greater average number of victims than do nonprostitute killers and when analyzed by decade, those who kill primarily prostitutes, kill for slightly longer periods of time. The implications of findings for prevention and investigation efforts are discussed.

Source: “Prostitutes as Victims of Serial Homicide: Trends and Case Characteristics, 1970-2009” from Homicide Studies

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