I blog a lot about true crime. I’ve been accused of promoting violence against women with the D&R series. I don’t admire serial killers and I don’t condone murder or violence against women. I blog about it, because we need to know about it. For many, many years, the FBI has said less than 1% of all murders were stranger killings. Recent research, shows it’s probably closer to 30%. And knowledge is power.
In 2017, forty percent of all US homicides went unsolved. I’ve discussed some of the reasons why in a different post (underfunding of police departments, “snitches get stitches” mentality, etc). Now, since 2000, homicide has been on the decline in the US. However, there are still roughly 15,000 murders every year in the US. And 40% go unsolved.
Compounding the matter, the same research institute that found nearly 30% of all murders are stranger murders, has discovered “crimes of passion” are still in decline, while planned out stranger murders are once again on the climb.
The so called “Golden Age” of serial killers has passed. Between 1960 and 1980, serial killers murders were so common, everyone was aware they existed. And while I hate that title for the era, it makes sense. A study by the a research company in 2016, found that less than 5% of the US Public was aware that there are active serial killers in the US. The scariest part of that, most people believed serial killers were a thing of the past.
Yet, stranger murders are on the rise again. And while part of this increase is due to an increase in mass murder (active shooter situations), not all of it is. In the 2000s, the FBI estimated that there were 200 to 250 active serial killers in the US. In 2010, this number was revised to 250 – 300. This is telling since between 2000 and 2010, law enforcement captured several notorious serial killers including BTK, the Green River Killer, Sam Little, and Lonnie Franklin Jr.
The Murder Accountability Project estimates there are more than 500 active serial killers in the US as of 2019 and they use slightly different criteria than the FBI to make that determination. Meaning they don’t include Zodiac in their active list, while the FBI does. That is a little too much like D&R for comfort, especially when you consider that a large percentage of the population doesn’t believe there are any active serial killers anymore.
I don’t admire serial killers and I think murder is abhorrent. I keep up on news of them, because we (the public) need to be kept informed. Especially, considering lots of people don’t even believe they still exist in the US. Also, we need to be aware, because sometimes, we know before law enforcement does. Sam Little is a good example, several private detectives and “armchair detectives” knew there was a roaming serial killer working in the south, before law enforcement connected the cases. Little is now the most prolific serial killer ever captured… replacing the Green River Killer for the title.