Special Report

The States With the Most Serial Murder

3. Florida
> Adjusted number of serial killings per 1 million:
> Total no. of serial killings: 778
> Worst decade for serial killings: 1980’s

Florida trails just two other states in terms of total serial killer victims, with 778 documented victims since 1900. As was the case across the nation, serial killers were most active during the 1980s. Florida recorded 247 murders by serial killers during that 10 year period. While serial killings are far more uncommon than homicides and violent crimes in general, Florida, like a few other top states for historical serial killings, is not especially safe. There were 541 violent crimes and 5.8 murders per 100,000 Floridians last year, each among the 10 highest rates compared with other states.

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2. Nevada
> Adjusted number of serial killings per 1 million:
> Total no. of serial killings: 98
> Worst decade for serial killings: 1980’s

Over the first half of the 20th century, only two people were killed by serial killers in Nevada. Starting with a single victim in the 1950s and peaking at 33 victims in the 1980s, the total number of victims spiked to 80 in the second half of the century. The increased regularity of serial killings coincided with Las Vegas’s boom as a gambling destination. In the 30 years between 1970 and 2000, eight of the victims of serial killers were prostitutes.

The serial murder rate is relatively high in Nevada, and the occurrence of violent crime in general is relatively common as well in the state. With roughly 636 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 residents, Nevada has the second highest violent crime rate in the country.

1. Alaska
> Adjusted number of serial killings per 1 million:
> Total no. of serial killings: 51
> Worst decade for serial killings: 1980’s

No state in the country has a higher rate of serial murders than Alaska. As was the case in most other states, serial killers in Alaska claimed more victims in the 1980s than in any other decade. Robert Hansen, perhaps the most prolific serial killer in the state’s history, was sentenced to 461 years of prison in 1984 after confessing to the particularly gruesome murders 17 women. More than half of the 51 serial murders that occurred in Alaska took place between 1980 and 1990. Not only does Alaska have a higher incidence of serial killings than any other state, it also has the highest violent crime rate in the country.

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