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  • Mary Ann Cotton (1832 - 1873)
    Ann Robson Cotton, was a serial killer convicted of murdering her mother, 11 of her 13 children, her stepson and 3 of her 4 husbands by arsenic poisoning. She is believed to have murdered up to 21 peop...
  • Belle Gunness (1859 - 1908)
    Belle Sorenson Gunness (born as Brynhild Paulsdatter Størseth, November 11, 1859, Selbu, Norway; Bapthized: 18. mars 1860 died April 28, 1908?, La Porte,[1] Indiana) was a Norwegian-American serial kil...
  • Robert "Mr. Maroon" Brashers (1958 - 1999)
    Robert Eugene Brashers (March 13, 1958 – January 13, 1999) was an American serial killer and rapist. In 2018, he was identified by CeCe Moore, chief genetic genealogist at Parabon, via genetic genealog...
  • Ottis Elwood Toole (1947 - 1996)
    From :===Synopsis==Serial killer Ottis Toole was born on March 5, 1947, in Jacksonville, Florida and committed his first murder at age 14. Toole began a sexual relationship and crime part...
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A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people,[1] usually in service of abnormal psychological gratification, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant break (a "cooling off period") between them. Different authorities apply different criteria when designating serial killers; while most set a threshold of three murders, others extend it to four or lessen it to two.[3] The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), for example, defines serial killing as "a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone".

Although psychological gratification is the usual motive for serial killing, and most serial killings involve sexual contact with the victim, the FBI states that the motives of serial killers can include anger, thrill-seeking, financial gain, and attention seeking The murders may be attempted or completed in a similar fashion, and the victims may have something in common: age group, appearance, gender, or race, for example.

Serial killing is not the same as mass murdering (killing numerous people in a given incident); nor is it spree killing (in which murders are committed in two or more locations, in a short time). However, cases of extended bouts of sequential killings over periods of weeks or months with no apparent "cooling off period" or "return to normalcy" have caused some experts to suggest a hybrid category of "spree-serial killer".