Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

La Fleur Small (Advisor), Jaqueline Bergdahl (Committee Member), Tracey Steele (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Most research studies have focused on profiling serial killers but have not heavily utilized geographic profiling to complete this work. The purpose of this study is to determine whether geographic profiling software programs can assist in serial murder cases. The study will utilize CrimeStat geographical profiling software to look at the significance of disposal or dump sites, the residence of the killer, and the distance between the dumpsite and the serial killer’s residence. This research utilizes a mix -methods approach (case studies and GIS analysis) to analyze five solved case studies of male serial murderers to determine whether they live within the search area, utilizing the Circle Hypothesis. This work also examines the extent to which mental health and intelligence may mediate an offender’s decision regarding the location of their disposal or dump site. Research findings indicated that the serial killers live and dump their victims within the search area established by the Circle Hypothesis. In general, findings were inconclusive regarding the impact of mental health or IQ on the distance a serial killer would travel to dump a body. Nevertheless, using an inexpensive geographical profiling software can contribute to the future investigation of serial murder.

Page Count


Department or Program

Applied Behavioral Science

Year Degree Awarded