The approach that the FBI currently uses to find serial killers is the Organized/Disorganized approach. This requires the FBI to examine the scene of the crime in order to catch the criminal they are looking for. After this examination, the FBI places the killer into either an organized category or a disorganized category. If neither category fully suits the killer based on the evidence thus far, the killer is considered to be in a mixed category

The Organized Killer

Dexter would definitely be considered an example of an organized killer. He makes sure to be extremely precise in every murder he commits. Watch the video I have posted below of the introduction to this show, where he is preforming his morning routine. Notice how he does every little step without error? True, he does cut himself shaving, but even in that he makes sure to clean his cut in the utmost organized manner. This routine directly demonstrates the manner in which he executes his victims. In the show, Dexter works as a blood splatter analyst for the Miama Metro Police Department. He also has a very pretty girlfriend and is generally well-liked by his coworkers. Organized Killers are thought of as generally good with other people, of high intelligence, and much more likely than the disorganized killer to have skilled employment*. All of these characteristics clearly describe Dexter.


The Disorganized Killer

For those of you who have seen the popular film "Monster", featuring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci, you can think of Charlize's character, Aileen Wuornos, as an example of a disorganized killer. Aileen was clearly psychotic and her killings were spontaneous; she never fully planned any of the crimes that she committed. She also left the crime scene in a dissarrayed manner and claimed that the men had attempted to rape her, rather than just fully covering her tracks. It was clear that Aileen was not of very high intelligence. She never went to school and raised money by being a prostitute rather than having any real job. Throughout the movie it is also shown that Aileen did not have many friends, besides her lover Christina Ricci. It was clear she was psychotic which highly contributed to her social incompetence. In general, a disorganized killer is categorized by his/her low intelligence, spontaneity, and socially incompetence*; all characteristics that Aileen proves to have throughout the movie. Watch the video below to hear about Aileen's disorganized ways in her own words and to further understand how psychotic she truly was.


The Mixed Killer

If the FBI is unable to confidently place a killer into either the organized or disorganized category, the killer would be considered mixed. Examples of  situations where this category could be considered essential to this method include when it seems as though an unanticipated event may have occurred, or the crime scene shows there must have been some planning, but it is still left disorganized.


Pros vs. Cons

Putting the focus on the crime scene as this method does take the focus off the unimportant aspects of the murder case such as motive, or the gender of the killer. Serial killers generally kill because they simply enjoy it, which makes the motive useless to look at. Serial killers are also very rarely female. In fact, only one out of every six serial killers is female*, which makes gender a pretty useless factor as well.

Examination of the crime scene allows the FBI to get a better idea of who they are really dealing with, especially in terms of intelligence. If the crime scene is left neat, they know they are most likely dealing with someone of high intelligence. This is helpful because depending on the killer's intelligence level, the FBI will go about finding the murderer in different ways.

There has not been any documented evaluation of this method for twenty years**, therefore its reliability is quite questionable.

The 'Mixed' Category causes a great deal of controversy because there is no specific characteristics within this category. If a large sum of serial killers were to be placed in this category, that would mean there would be a great deal of murderers that are basically completely unidentified.



*Canter, David. "The Organized/Disorganized Typology of Serial Murder; Myth of Model" Psychology, Public, Policy, and Law
**Seltzer, Mark. Serial Killers: Death and Life in America's Wound Culture