Serial killers are some of the most feared people in society. And what makes them so terrifying? More often than not, they look just like you and I. While some have peculiar appearances and occupations, this is rarely the case, and that’s what makes them so difficult to detect.
The thought of one murder is enough to send a chill down anyone’s spine, but serial killers are in a category of their own because they know how to get away with multiple. Some are never even caught – like the notorious Jack the Ripper, whose true identity remains a mystery to this day.
To discover the notorious serial killers who had normal jobs, check out the video below:
The most recent serial killer to hit the headlines is the alleged Golden State killer, who murdered 12 women and carried out a staggering number of rapes and burglaries between 1974 and 1986. He evaded the authorities for thirty years before seemingly being captured last month.
As if the case wasn’t shocking enough already, what really perturbed people was that the man who is alleged to have committed the crimes, Joseph James DeAngelo, worked as a policeman – a job which most associate solely with morally irreprehensible members of society.
Unbeknownst to the majority of people, however, working as a police officer is actually a job which attracts a lot of serial killers.
Pictured below is Jeffrey Dahmer who was actually a military veteran when he carried out his crimes.
Criminologist Professor Michael Arntfield went on a mission to discover what jobs attract serial killers and his findings are incredibly surprising. He wrote in his book Murder in Plain English that there have been clear patterns in the occupations of serial killers over the past 50 years.
According to Arntfield, serial killers are attracted to specific jobs for one of two reasons – because of mental disorders which they satisfy or purely for practical reasons. Pictured below is Fred West, who murdered at least 12 people, many of whom he killed with his wife Rose, and he worked as an ice cream truck driver.
Horrifyingly, he is said to have killed his first victim, a three-year-old boy, by running him over with his ice cream truck. West’s job would have also enabled him to meet a lot of people, particularly those who are young, and the majority of his victims were teenage girls.
Another killer who chose a practical occupation that would help him to carry out his crimes was Richard Ramirez, who worked in hotels which gave him easy access to a number of victims.
It’s no secret that a lot of people are scared of clowns, but the real-life It really was serial killer John Wayne Gacey. Prior to landing a job as a clown, he worked as an assistant in a mortuary, so when it comes to bizarre jobs, this guy really had the tell-tale crazy signs down to a tee.
Aside from murdering and torturing 33 boys, he claimed to have climbed into a coffin with the corpse of a young boy and caressed his remains while working in the mortuary.
All of these men are a reflection of Arntfield’s finding that serial killers chose jobs based on a “combination of mobility, power (whether structural or actual), and the fact many jobs also simultaneously satisfy the underlying paraphilias, or sexual preoccupations, that also fuel killers’ crimes”.
But the real question is this? What are the top 12 jobs serial killers are likely to work in? After all, there are few people who make a living driving ice cream trucks or working as clowns.
1. Aircraft machinist/assembler
2. Shoemaker/repair person
3. Automobile upholsterer.
4. Forestry worker/arborist
5. Truck driver
6. Warehouse manager
As you can tell from these jobs, many serial killers tend to opt for jobs that involve machinery and there’s a reason for this. It’s reportedly linked to ‘mechanophilia’ – a sexual obsession with machines – which has strong links with necrophilia and murder.
Pictured below is Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen who was in the military:
“The FBI already has a task force built around the understanding that highway travel for work is correlated with a great deal of interstate and multi-jurisdictional serial murder,” Arntfield said.
“In future, it will also assist with, ideally, better screening – especially for police and similar jobs that still allow too many to squeeze through.”
Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, pictured below, worked as a laborer, English teacher, and general manager.
7. General laborer
8. Hotel porter
9. Petrol pump attendant
12. Religious official
The Yosemite Killer, Cary Stayner, who is pictured below, was a motel handyman. Admittedly, this doesn’t reflect well on motels.
While a person’s job is absolutely no reflection on the likelihood of them becoming a serial killer, there’s no doubt that Arntfield’s findings about the jobs killers are drawn to are interesting.