Murder of Prostitutes

Researchers have studied homicides of street prostitutes to see if crimes involving one victim (single homicide) differed from those involving two or more victims murdered by the same perpetrator (serial homicides).

A 2001 study found that serial murderers:

  • Were almost always motivated by sex.
  • Were more sexually aggressive.
  • Had deviant sexual interests and active sexual fantasies.
  • More frequently planned their activities, such as moving victims to a preselected area or taking clothing from the victim's body.
  • Engaged in rituals and body mutilation.

This study has helped law enforcement officials identify suspects and conduct more efficient investigations.

The profile of the victims was similar in both types of homicides. Most victims were:

  • In their late 20s to early 30s.
  • African American (60 percent).
  • Working in high-crime areas.
  • Abused both "on the job" and in their personal lives.
  • Involved in prostitution to support a drug habit.
Date Created: September 29, 2009