What does the term killer's signature mean when applied to a serial killer?

United States
February 28, 2009 11:10am CST
How does John Douglas, the first full-time profiler at the behavioral science division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico, Virginia define a serial killer's signature?
4 people like this
4 responses
@palonghorn (5486)
• United States
28 Feb 09
A 'killer's signature' is something they leave behind, or something they do at every killing they have committed. It can be something like a note, or an item that they live with the bodies of their victims. It can also be an article or something that they take from each victim, that is the same in every case.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Feb 09
You got it right but it's not exactly what I'm looking for. I was hoping someone would use a search engine and find the exact material I did.
@dmrone (751)
• United States
28 Feb 09
It is alot of different things. How the victim was murdered, what they were murdered with, the type of victim, if anything was taken from the victim like a trophy, or if anything was left with the victim like a flower, whether the victim was buried or put on display and where the burial or display took place.
• United States
28 Feb 09
Again, again you are right but not exactly what I am looking for.
@JoyfulOne (6242)
• United States
28 Feb 09
Hmmmmmmm, good question. I think what they mean by a 'signature' is that they always leave a clue behind. Some serial killers do the same kind of thing over and over, and that is his signature. Like, if one used some kind of chloroform on the victim, chances are better than good that is his indentifying method. Or maybe the way they prey on their victims is done in the same manner, or the way they kill them, or dispose of the victims body. Sometimes the profile of how the victim was killed can solve a different killing in a different state, quite often because of the killer's signature of the way he did the crime. Not positive on this all, but that's how I interpret it's meaning.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 09
Again you are right but not exactly what I am looking for.
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
13 May 10
Hi, twistedangellinda. I would say that he defines it as, symbol, or number that he is using to kill others. He wants to leave abstract clues, like pictures, signs and notes..