The Science behind Serial Killers?

Between 1978 and 1990, Andrei Chikatilo murdered more than fifty women and children in Rostov, Russia. He seemed to act without pattern, sometimes waiting as few as three days to strike again while other times waiting as long as three years. Now, scientists believe they have unwrapped the method behind his madness.

Serial Killers & Power Law?

Power law is a strange mathematical distribution. It appears to govern seemingly sporadic events like stock market crashes and earthquakes. Now, some scientists think power law may explain why serial killers kill. If true, serial killers might be motivated by the same natural affliction that causes seizures in epileptics. It’s an interesting idea, although it remains uncertain as to whether this pattern fits just Rostov or other serial killers like Jack the Ripper as well. Here’s more on power law and serial killers from MSNBC

Researchers have discovered that the seemingly erratic behavior of the “Rostov Ripper,” a prolific serial killer active in the 1980s, conformed to the same mathematical pattern obeyed by earthquakes, avalanches, stock market crashes and many other sporadic events. The finding suggests an explanation for why serial killers kill.

Mikhail Simkin and Vwani Roychowdhury, electrical engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles, modeled the behavior of Andrei Chikatilo, a gruesome murderer who took the lives of 53 people in Rostov, Russia between 1978 and 1990. Though Chikatilo sometimes went nearly three years without committing murder, on other occasions, he went just three days. The researchers found that the seemingly random spacing of his murders followed a mathematical distribution known as a power law…

(See more on the connection between power law and serial killers at MSNBC)

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