How To Tell If Someone Is A Serial Killer

5 Signs Someone You Know Might Be a Serial Killer

You think someone in your life might be a serial killer? Cool your jets, Clarice Starling, because that’s quite the accusation! Does your friend have a full back tattoo of William Blake’s Red Dragon? Do they talk a lot about making the world bear witness to their becoming? Have they shaved off their fingerprints? You haven’t checked?! Well, get on it, Criminal Minds , because there are actual warning signs someone you know might be a serial killer that you can consult.

White, American, & Male

Think of the person you know who might be a serial killer. You’re imagining an American White guy! How did we know? Because 76% of serial killers in the world are American, 90% are male, and 52% are White. This breakdown also makes us think of the numbers behind mass shootings. Since 1982, 54% of high fatality events were caused by White men while Black men, the second most common perpetrator, committed 16%.

We’ve been reading enough of the internet to make an educated guess: this probably has something to do with toxic masculinity, misogyny, and White supremacy. In general, if something bad is happening in the US, this trio can be offered up as a at least a partial explanation and work pretty well. Try it yourself! You can’t? Hmm. That might have something to do with toxic masculinity, misogyny, and White supremacy. Works every time!

The Macdonald Triad

Enough serial killers stories have a history of arson, preteen bedwetting, and torturing small animals that the traits are considered signs that someone might be a serial killer. Can you imagine Hannibal Lecter secretly washing his sheets as a teen because he’s been wetting them? "I bleached my sheets in the wash and then used some nice dryer sheets. Slurp slurp slurp. "

This trio, known as the Macdonald triad, is not without controversy. Some argue these traits are more likely an indicator of neglect or abuse than of future serial killing. At the same time, abuse and neglect are in and of themselves said to be indicators of serial killing. So, how’s about this: if you have a friend who’s a White American male with a history of torturing small animals, arson, or pre-teen bedwetting, you keep an eye on them.


You don’t have to watch the best Criminal Minds episodes to spot a serial killer. They may tell you themselves! Many of them are so pleased with their crimes that they can’t help but tell others. Some even get caught because they told the wrong person! And then, when in jail, some killers are known to take credit for crimes that weren’t even their own just to heighten their reputation. And, of course, you can only think about and do something for so long before you say some stuff that makes people think you might be a serial killer “Mister police. You could have saved her. I gave you all the clues. I also told my sister, the bartender, the bus driver, a radio show host, and posted about it on Reddit." Actually, a murderer did once get caught because they were posting pictures of their victim on 4Chan.


At 43%, guns are the weapon most commonly used by serial murderers. Their own bare hands are in second place at 21.7%. “Guns don’t commit ritualistic occult murder, people do.” Can it, Yellow King. These statistics come from the FBI! But you don’t have to be a True Detective or a Mind Hunters to think a gun may be used to kill. That’s what they’re made for! So, yeah, if someone owns a gun, they might be a serial killer.

Emotional Manipulation

Many serial killers are superficially charming. That’s because they have enough of an understanding of human emotions to get people to do what they want, like help them load a couch into their van, but not enough to feel emotionally invested in others. So, if there’s a White, male American who owns a gun and is emotionally manipulative, they might be a serial killer, or at least someone to just cut out of your life. Come on, Bones, this guy doesn’t sound like someone you should be friends with!
You can check out the list of Most Famous Serial Killers of USA on