Biographical research strategies vary greatly, depending on the notoriety and date of the crime. You will find much more information about the killer than the victims. Books may be written about these crimes, so consider searching the library catalog and not just online/web-based resources.
Profile of the killer should include (but is not limited to):
Profile of a victim should include (but not be limited to):
Constructing a good search can save you a lot of time and effort. By creating better searches, you can eliminate many irrelevant hits. The following search tips and strategies can help you find more relevant information.
Phrase Searching - Putting "quotes" around your search words tells the database that you are looking for that exact phrase.
Try Different Wording (synonyms) - Think of different words that describe your topic.
Try a Broader Search - Sometimes you might choose keywords that overly specific. Try to think of a broader term that includes your topic. The more general the search, more results are likely.
Look for Limiters - Search tools often present options for limiting by date or range of dates, full-text or specific format, publication type, etc. Look for advanced search options to find search features that may not be obvious at first.
Important words or phrases within the text of articles, citations, or abstracts.
Subject Headings =
Specific vocabulary assigned by database indexers to describe the article content so all records on a given subject can be found in one search.
Other Subject Terms
See the list of databases that contains information about Serial Killers
Go to these sites and do a search to find information. You can search with keywords (mental illness, crime, criminal behavior, mass murder, serial killers, etc.) or you can try searching for a specific individual (James Holmes, Zodiac Killer, Andrea Yates, Andrew Goldstein, Ted Bundy, etc.).