William & Mary

Making a serial killer

Adjunct Lecturer of Sociology Deborah Basket recently joined William & Mary News to discuss the traits of both male and female serial killers.

In the first video, Basket discusses male serial killers such as Gary Ridgeway also known as the Green River Killer, and Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo, one of the Soviet Union’s most infamous murderers. She also talks about their ability to blend into society as members of the community in order to commit their crimes over long periods of time.

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In this next video, Basket talks about female serial killers and their overall difference in modus operandi or “M.O.” such as the Black Widow or Angel of Death effect. She also states that female serial killers are often “killing for profit,” or the ability to get something for themselves from the victim whether it is tangible or emotional.  

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Basket became interested in multiple murder and murderers while teaching sociology at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina.  She has expanded her research to include mass murder and spree murder as well as serial murder.