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I believe it will be invaluable to our collective ability to understand, respond to, and hopefully prevent, serial murder.• Pamela Hairfield and Wilma Wulchak, Management and Program Analysts, FBI, NCAVC, for their skill, dedication, and perseverance in successfully handling the countless administrative tasks associated with the Symposium.
• Cristie Dobson, Management and Program Assistant, FBI, NCAVC, for her talent and time spent copyediting this document and for her work on the cover art.• Assistant Director Michael J. Stephen Tidwell for their support of this project and for their willingness to dedicate the resources necessary for its successful completion.
This monograph presents the findings and collective wisdom of a multidisciplinary group of experts, who brought their individual experience and insights to the same table.
Our hope is that it will give you new ideas and new resources as you continue your important work.
These individuals included law enforcement officials who have successfully investigated and apprehended serial killers; mental health, academic, and other experts who have studied serial killers and shared their expertise through education and publication; officers of the court, who have judged, prosecuted, and defended serial killers; and members of the media, who inform and educate the public when serial killers strike.
The attendees also reflected the international nature of the serial murder problem, as there were attendees from ten different countries on five continents.
While there has been significant, independent work conducted by a variety of experts to identify and analyze the many issues related to serial murder, there have been few efforts to reach a consensus between law enforcement and other experts, regarding these matters.
In an effort to bridge the gap between the many views of issues related to serial murder, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hosted a multi-disciplinary Symposium in San Antonio, Texas, on August 29, 2005 through September 2, 2005.
For years, law enforcement investigators, academics, mental health experts, and the media have studied serial murder, from Jack the Ripper in the late 1800s to the sniper killings in 2002, and from the “Zodiac Killer” in California to the “BTK Killer” in Kansas.
The agenda encompassed a variety of topics related to serial murder including common myths, definitions, typologies, pathology and causality, forensics, the role of the media, prosecution issues, investigative task force organization, and major case management issues.
Each day included panel discussions, case presentations, and discussion groups addressing a range of topics related to serial murder.
Foreword The topic of serial murder occupies a unique niche within the criminal justice community.
In addition to the significant investigative challenges they bring to law enforcement, serial murder cases attract an over-abundance of attention from the media, mental health experts, academia, and the general public.