All Things Serial Killers – A Pathfinder

Introductory Materials:

serial killer

Brogaard, Berit. “What Defines A Serial Killer?”. Psychology Today, 2017, Accessed 16 Apr 2018.

So what does define a serial killer? Check out the article to learn what characteristics are involved in defining a serial killer.

Search Terms:

When using google, try these terms:

Serial Killers  (Highly Relevant)

Serial Killings  (Highly Relevant)

Spree Murders  (Relevant)

Mass Murders   (Related)

Serial Murderers  (Main subject heading)


Subject Headings:

When choosing subject headings, consider using the following ones:

Serial murderers

Women serial murderers

Serial murderers in popular culture 


Call Numbers:

Dewey Decimal System: 364.15232

The True Crime section is mainly 364.1. However, there are many different kinds of crime. Specifically looking for books about serial killers, you would want to narrow it to 364.15232.


Reference Works:


Schechter, Harold. The A To Z Encyclopedia Of Serial Killers. Pocket Books, 2012.
An excellent encyclopedia covering serial killers of who they are, what they did and their motives. This encyclopedia has a wide range of serial killers throughout history.



Douglas, John E, and Mark Olshaker. Mindhunter. Mandarin, 1996.

John Douglas is a retired FBI agent. Douglas talks about his work with catching the darkest criminals. Douglas was also a main founder of the behavioural analysis unit and one of the first criminal “profilers.”



Rule, Ann. The Stranger Beside Me. Pocket Books, 1980.

Ann Rule is a well known true crime writer who covers the stories of many serial killers. Her most well-known work, The Stranger Beside Me is a haunting story of one of the world’s most famous serial killers, Ted Bundy.



Schechter, Harold. The Serial Killer Files. Ballantine Books, 2004.

This is a very good book because of its informative introductory level on explaining serial killers. Schechter often digs more into the psychology of serial killers in this book.



Vronsky, Peter. Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters. Berkley trade pbk. ed. ed., Berkley Books, 2004.

Another great introductory book that covers many serial killers. Vronsky’s book covers investigative and cultural aspects of serial murder. This book also includes photographs.



Academic Search Premier

Lots of academic and popular articles on the subject of serial killers. Be sure to use the subject heading “serial murderers.”


MasterFILE Premier

This database has many magazine articles and newspaper stories about serial killers and other crimes.


Internet Resources:

“Infamous Serial Killers.”, A&E Networks Television, 2 Apr. 2014,

A website with good biographical sketches about well known serial killers.


 “/R/Serialkillers • R/Serialkillers”. Reddit, Accessed 15 Apr 2018.

A website to talk about serial killers. Any questions or looking for a specific book? The members of the serial killers subreddit can help you.


“Serial Killer Database”. Serial Killer Database, Accessed 15 Apr 2018.

A website full of information on serial killers as well as photos, research reports and quotes.


“Serial Murder”. Federal Bureau Of Investigation, Accessed 15 Apr 2018.

From the FBI’s (Federal Bureau of Investigation) official government website. This website includes statistics, debunks myths and more. It also covers information about data management and analytical tools.


Killers, Serial. “SERIAL KILLER BLOG – Home Of Serial Killer Magazine, The Serial Killer Trading Cards, The Serial Killer Calendar And Much More.”. Serialkillercalendar.Com, Accessed 17 Apr 2018.

Has some interesting artwork and books on serial killers you can purchase.



“About The Daughter Who Discovered Her Dad Was A Serial Killer: ‘He Just Managed To Fool Everybody'”. PEOPLE.Com, 2018, Accessed 15 Apr 2018

April Balascio, daughter of serial killer Edward Wayne Edwards, recounts her childhood and described how charming and manipulative her father could be.


Nordheimer, Jon. “Bundy Is Put To Death In Florida After Admitting Trail Of Killings”. Nytimes.Com, 1989, Accessed 15 Apr 2018.

An old article from 1989 that reports Ted Bundy’s execution.


 Smith, Sid. “John Wayne Gacy, The Country’s Worst Serial Killer”. Chicagotribune.Com, 1978, Accessed 15 Apr 2018.

An article about one of the notorious serial killers, John Wayne Gacy. He was found guilty in 1980 of 33 counts of murder.


Television Shows:

“Criminal Minds”. Ctv.Ca, Accessed 17 Apr 2018.

A television show following the FBI’s behavioural analysis unit as they catch serial killers, murderers, paedophiles and more. While this show is fictional, many of the episodes are based on real-life cases and events.



“Dark Minds – Official Channel” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. Accessed 15 Apr 2018

A documentary series about M. William Phelps, a true crime writer who profiles many unresolved murders. It is a very entertaining and informative show.


“The Official Unmasking Jack The Ripper Documentary”. Youtube, 2016, Accessed 15 Apr 2018.

An interesting documentary about Jack the Ripper, arguably the most famous serial killer of all time.



Amazon.Ca, Accessed 18 Apr 2018.

America’s Serial Killers: Portraits in Evil

A very good introductory documentary about America’s well known serial killers.

While it can be purchased online, you can also view the first episode on YouTube:

 “[2009] America’s Serial Killers S01E01 Portraits In Evil – The Monster Within And Among Us”. Youtube, 2015, Accessed 19 Apr 2018.








This is a selection of introductory resources on the subject of serial killers and their victims. Reader, you have here been warned: the following information is not for the faint-hearted.

Sources will include books, databases, YouTube channels, online articles and more about serial killers as a whole and serial killers as individuals.

Those who are fascinated by the darkest of human nature or find true crime of an interest can benefit from this selection of resources.