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CCJ 3350 - Understanding Serial Killers Through Criminology

Guide for students in CCJ 3350 Understanding Serial Killers, Fall 2023

Start your search by gathering background information on your selected serial killer. While you don't want to use Wikipedia as a source for your paper, it can be an excellent place to gather useful information such as all the pseudonyms and nicknames a killer was known by and basic facts such as when and where they were active. This information will be useful in searching for scholarly sources to make sure you don't miss anything relevant. Comprehensive Wikipedia articles will also include a references list with books, news articles, and other sources that you may be able to cite in your paper.

Some serial killers have a lot written on them, and some have significantly less. Resources on this page are not comprehensive, and your CCJ Librarian, Rebecca Hyde can assist you If you have trouble finding the resources you need. Please reach out early in the process for assistance.


Search for books using the Saint Louis University Libraries' Catalog.

Start your search in the catalog with your killers name and any variations. Only books that are specifically about your killer or with content notes in the catalog are likely to show up in these keyword searches. Many additional books may have chapters on the person you're looking for. Use subject headings to find all books on a topic. This may also be useful for finding discussions of criminological theories.  Here are some links to relevant subject headings:

Many books on serial killers and murders may discuss theory, but the following online encyclopedias are excellent places to look up specific theories.

Scholarly Articles

While not all scholarly articles are peer reviewed, this gives a quick overview of what peer reviewed is and why it is important.

News Articles

Other Resources