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Cross-Cultural Comparison of Two Serial Sexual Murder Series in Italy and the United States

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There have been few documented comparisons of serial murder cases committed in the United States with cases occurring internationally. The authors contrasted two unique serial murder series: one in Italy and one in the United States by examining the details of both series, including the M.O., motivation, crime scene interactions, sexual acts performed, and the general backgrounds of both offenders. The comparison revealed a number of similarities. Both offenders specifically targeted elderly women, who were attacked in their residences. The two series involved sexually motivated crimes, although the sexual interactions were different. Both offenders stole objects from their victims after the murders and each kept newspaper accounts of their crimes. In addition, both offenders claimed to have abusive upbringings, including sexual abuse.

Keywords: cross-cultural; elderly victims; forensic science; serial murder; sexual homicide; sexually motivated murder

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA 22135. 2: Department of Health Sciences (, University of Molise, via De Sanctis, 86100, Campobasso, Italy. 3: Section of Legal Medicine (DI.M.I.M.P.), University of Bari, Policlinico, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 70124 Bari, Italy. 4: Section of Forensic Psychiatry (DI.M.I.M.P.), University of Bari, Policlinico, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 70124 Bari, Italy.

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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