Victim Selection

Serial killers usually pursue a particular type of victim. Analyzing the characteristics of a killer’s victims can greatly assist the effort to create a typology of the killer.

  • What does “demographics of victimization” mean? How can location relate to the demographics of victimization?
  • Discuss how serial killers with different typologies use different methods for victim selection.
  • How are the methods used for victim selection by serial killers similar to or different from the methods used by a mass murderer?
  • Consider any of these killers: Aileen Wournos, Ted Bundy, or Wayne Williams. Discuss how their choice of victims related to their typology. If you were an investigator working on this case, how would you use the victims’ characteristics to assist in the investigation?

Analyzing the characteristics of a killer’s victims can greatly assist the effort to create a typology of the killer. The demographics of victimization is a way to determine where a serial killer is most likely to find his or her victims. It refers to the number of people killed by a serial killer in a given geographic location, as well as the age range and gender of those victims.

Location can have an effect on which type of victimization serial killers choose. The demographics of victimization will vary depending on where they live and work, and how accessible their victims are to them. A geographical area that has more attractive job opportunities and lower rates of violent crime may attract more serial killers than another area with similar demographics but higher rates of violent crime (Booth, 2021).

Serial killers often choose victims who are vulnerable because they are more likely to be killed quickly, allowing them to move on with their lives without being discovered by authorities. This means that serial killers tend not to target members of law enforcement or other groups who would likely be able to identify them, such as journalists or teachers who work with children at risk for abuse. Because these targets have less reason than others not known by authorities for staying hidden for long periods.

Serial killers usually pursue a particular type of victim. Analyzing the characteristics of a killer’s victims can greatly assist in determining their typology.

The term “demographics of victimization” refers to the age, gender, race, and occupation of serial killers’ victims. It can also refer to other aspects of the victims’ lives, such as their relationships with others or where they spent their time prior to being killed by a serial killer.

Location also plays a role in how serial killers choose their victims. Some serial killers use geographic features—such as rivers or lakes—as part of their selection process. Others may use geographic features for transportation purposes.

Serial killers’ methods for selecting their victims are similar to those used by mass murderers because both groups tend to target strangers who are out in public at times when they feel vulnerable. However, the methods used by serial killers tends to be more focused on finding specific types of people rather than randomly selecting people from large groups like mass murderers do when they attack schools or movie theaters during peak hours—for example, during high school graduation or movie night at an auditorium filled with teenagers and young children who will have no idea what is happening until it is too late!

The demographics of victimization is the number and type of victims that a serial killer has killed.

The location where these victims are located can be a factor in the demographics of victimization. For example, if a serial killer targets people who live in rural areas, it is likely that they will have a higher rate of victimization than if they target people who live in urban areas (Harrisonet al., 2019).

Serial killers use different methods for victim selection based on their typologies. For example, Bundy targeted young women who were hitchhiking or camping alone at night because he believed that these women would not be able to defend themselves when attacked. Williams targeted homeless people because he believed that they would not be missed if he was caught and killed them quickly so that there would be less chance for witnesses. Wournos killed prostitutes because she thought that they were immoral and deserved to die for breaking the law against prostitution by providing sexual services outside marriage (i.e., prostitution).

In terms of how investigators use victims’ characteristics to assist in investigations, it depends on what type of criminal activity is being investigated. If a serial killer has been arrested for another crime and law enforcement wants information about their previous crimes, then they may want.

Wayne Williams, Aileen Wournos, and Ted Bundy are all serial killers who targeted women. Their choice of victims is in part a reflection of their typology—the way they think about themselves and the world around them.

Wayne Williams was a black man who targeted white women. Ted Bundy was a white man who targeted black women. Aileen Wournos was a white woman who targeted Native American men.

Each of these killers had a different way of thinking about their victims and the world around them. They were looking for someone to complete them, something that would give them stability or meaning in life. If you understand this mindset and how it can lead to violence against others, then you can use it as an investigative tool to help solve your case!

Serial killers are known to choose their victims based on their typology. Aileen Wournos, Ted Bundy, and Wayne Williams all killed women who were prostitutes or drug addicts. This suggests that these three serial killers may have been motivated by a desire for control and domination over others—these women were in a position of weakness and vulnerability, which made them easier targets for these men’s predation.

Aileen Wournos was known to target women who worked in massage parlors. She shot one woman multiple times in the head after she refused to have sex with her. She also fatally shot another woman when she tried to escape from her car at an orange grove. Bundy targeted young women with blonde hair, who fit the profile of his ideal victim: young and attractive but also vulnerable because they were being left alone in the country or away from home. Wayne Williams was known to target young black women who had been abandoned by their husbands or boyfriends because they were drug addicts and unable to support themselves financially.

Serial killers are a fascinating group of individuals. They’re often characterized by the type of person they are, and in some cases, their choice of victims. This can give investigators clues about the offender’s motivation and understanding of human nature, which can be useful in determining what kind of person could commit such acts (Hodgkinsonet al., 2017).

One serial killer that has captured our attention over the years is Aileen Wournos. Aileen was a nurse who took the lives of eight people during her 14 year killing spree. Her victims were mostly young women; she would lure them back to her trailer, where she would shoot them in their heads and dump them into an acid bath.

Aileen’s choice of victims suggests that she was motivated by anger and resentment towards women in general. She seems to have felt that women were entitled to special treatment simply because they were women—and that they were too foolish to realize when they deserved better treatment than what they received from men. She also seems to have felt like women were playing games with men’s emotions by engaging in relationships with them—and so the only way for him to get back at them was by killing them first!

In a way, all serial killers are alike. They select victims who are similar to them in some way, and they kill them in a similar way.

Ted Bundy’s victims were mostly young women, and he would often use his charm to help him get close to them. He would also sometimes lure them into his car by pretending he needed help with something—and then kill them once they got in the car. Aileen Wournos was also known for her ability to charm people into trusting her, so she was able to lure her victims into taking her ride from one location to another before killing them. Wayne Williams was known for selecting victims who were young black women—which is why he was nicknamed “The Black Dahmer.” He would usually target young black women who lived on his street, lure them into his house with promises of drugs or money, and then kill them when they came over for what he had promised: drugs or money.

If I were an investigator working on Wayne Williams’ case, I would use the victims’ characteristics to assist in the investigation.

The first characteristic I’d look at is their relationship with Williams. I’d ask them if they had any kind of personal relationship with him, and what it was like. If they said they didn’t know him well or had a good relationship with him, then I’d consider that a point in his favor. If they said he was very friendly and sociable, then that may be suspicious—he might have been known for being charming and flirty with people he met.

I’d also ask them about his behavior before the murders occurred. Did he seem like someone who might commit murder? Was he acting strange or out of character? Did he do anything that seemed out of place? What did all of this say about him as a person?

I’d also look closely at what happened to the victims themselves. Was there any evidence that suggested they were attacked beforehand or afterwards? For example, if they were stabbed after they died but before their bodies were moved by their killer, then it would be possible that

If I were an investigator working on the Wayne Williams case, my first step would be to establish a rapport with the victim or victims. I would ask them about any experiences they might have had with Mr. Williams, and I would listen carefully to what they shared with me.

I would then use the information I gathered from my interviews to help me establish a timeline of events that could help us determine when the crimes took place. For example, if one of the victims had a bad relationship with Mr. Williams and told me that he had harassed her in the past, it might give me an idea of when the harassment took place.

I would also use this information to assist in establishing motive for Mr. Williams’ actions. If a victim said something along the lines of “He was always bothering me,” it could indicate that he was specifically targeting her because she was different from other people around him—for instance, if she was transgender or Poor People’s University students (as many trans women are). It may also indicate that he did not have any other reason for harassing her except that she was different from others around him.

I would use the victim’s characteristics to assist in the investigation by asking questions and looking out for any similarities or differences between the victims. If I saw a similarity with one victim, I could ask if they knew each other, or if they were in a relationship. If one victim was found to be similar to another, it could help me determine whether or not there was a chance of them being killed at the same time.

I would use the characteristics of the victims to assist in the investigation. I would first conduct an interview with each person who was involved in the case and ask them what they remember about the case. Then, I would interview each victim and see if there are any similarities between their stories. The key is to find out what evidence each person has that supports their story.



Booth, H. E. (2021). A Criminological Analysis of Notorious Serial Killers in the United States.

Harrison, M. A., Hughes, S. M., & Gott, A. J. (2019). Sex differences in serial killers. Evolutionary behavioral sciences13(4), 295.

Hodgkinson, S., Prins, H., & Stuart-Bennett, J. (2017). Monsters, madmen… and myths: A critical review of the serial killing literature. Aggression and violent behavior34, 282-289

Last Updated on November 8, 2022

Don`t copy text!
Scroll to Top