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A psychological and developmental profile of sexual murderers: A systematic review 

Jonathan James & Jean Proulx 
Aggression and Violent BehaviorVolume 19, Issue 5, September–October 2014, Pages 592–607


The goal of this current systematic review is to identify the main characteristics of sexual murderers and the areas in which further research is warranted. It analyzes detailed data on 1836 sexual murderers (serial sexual murderers = 176; nonserial sexual murderers = 1660) taken from 45 empirical descriptive studies carried out between 1985 and 2013. In order to better characterise serial sexual murderers (SSMs) and nonserial sexual murderers (NSMs), three categories of variables were established: developmental variables; adult life and criminal career variables; and psychopathological variables. Characteristics of different types of sexual murderers were identified. Sexuality and sadism are the key features of SSMs. They are socially isolated, rejected, and humiliated, and take refuge in compulsive masturbation in paraphilias, which compensate for the poverty of their emotional, relational, and sexual lives. NSMs are polymorphic criminals who are easily angered when their immediate needs are not met. They adopt a victim stance, and sexual murder is a way of exacting vengeance and an outlet for their anger.



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