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kensei
04-18-2008, 10:43 AM
There's been so much speculation about what Jack the Ripper's profession was in his public life, or how much of a public life he even had. His crimes tended to occur on weekends- does this mean he was busy with work during the week and couldn't be out late, or were there just more victims available on the streets at those times? Etc. Etc.

I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the professions of some other serial killers. Feel free to add to the list.

Ted Bundy- Law student, suicide hotline volunteer, legal aid, political campaigner
John Wayne Gasey- Building contractor
Jeffrey Dahmer- Chocolate factory worker
Gary Ridgeway (Green River Killer)- Industrial truck painter
Dennis Rader (BTK)- City employee (maintenance, dog catching, etc.) and church president
Richard Ramirez (Night Stalker)- Professional burglar
David Berkowitz (Son of Sam)- Postal worker
Peter Sutcliffe (Yorkshire Ripper)- Truck driver
Aileen Wuornoss- Prostitute
Cary Stayner (Yosemite Park Killer)- Hotel handyman

Quite a cross section of professions.

kensei
04-18-2008, 10:58 AM
What strikes me about the above list as I look it over is that few of these killers had a profession that bore any relationship to the skills they employed in dispatching their victims. Food for thought when it comes to Jack the Ripper, thought at the time to be a doctor or a butcher?

Fisherman
04-18-2008, 11:25 AM
Hi Kensei!

I know that I have read somewhere - although it is some two decades ago, and I do not know whether it carries relevance - that many serial killers have at some stage been employed in businesses related to the handling of meat. That, of course, would cover butchers.

The best, Kensei!
Fisherman

sdreid
04-18-2008, 04:21 PM
Hi Kensei,

I believe Gacy was a Democrat and a precinct captain also or something of the sort. Bundy was a Republican office worker so there's also a cross-section politically. As I recall, both men got their pictures taken with First Ladies (Carter and Ford).

There were actually quite a few doctors such as Palmer and Shipman but few butchers that I can think of.

Pinkerton
04-18-2008, 05:23 PM
There's been so much speculation about what Jack the Ripper's profession was in his public life, or how much of a public life he even had. His crimes tended to occur on weekends- does this mean he was busy with work during the week and couldn't be out late, or were there just more victims available on the streets at those times? Etc. Etc.

I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the professions of some other serial killers. Feel free to add to the list.

Ted Bundy- Law student, suicide hotline volunteer, legal aid, political campaigner
John Wayne Gasey- Building contractor
Jeffrey Dahmer- Chocolate factory worker
Gary Ridgeway (Green River Killer)- Industrial truck painter
Dennis Rader (BTK)- City employee (maintenance, dog catching, etc.) and church president
Richard Ramirez (Night Stalker)- Professional burglar
David Berkowitz (Son of Sam)- Postal worker
Peter Sutcliffe (Yorkshire Ripper)- Truck driver
Aileen Wuornoss- Prostitute
Cary Stayner (Yosemite Park Killer)- Hotel handyman

Quite a cross section of professions.

One pattern that can be seen is that these are all "blue-collar" occupations as we say in the States. In fact I can't think of any "white-collar" serial killers off the top of my head. Of course most criminals come from poor to lower-middle class backgrounds so I guess this isn't surprising (though certainly not all).

Dennis Rader also worked for a security company before working for the city (installing security alarms). Berkowitz, Rader, Dahmer, Ridgeway, and Bundy all served in the military. Richard Ramirez's cousin was in the Special Forces during the Vietnam War and used to brag to him about raping and killing Vietnamese women while Richard was still a child.

Following this pattern I would say Jack could have been a soldier, butcher, knacker, etc. Very unlikely to be a doctor, medical student, lawyer, or accountant.

DarkPassenger
04-18-2008, 05:27 PM
Fred West - builder and one time ice cream man
Dennis Nilsen - police officer, butcher and civil servant
Peter Sutcliffe - truckie

Anyone else think "Dahmer and the Chocolate Factory" has a ring to it?

sdreid
04-18-2008, 05:42 PM
Per capita I'd say that there are far more doctor serial killers than any other occupation. Doctors certainly aren't blue collar. There are probably 100 truck drivers, if not more, for every doctor.

Ben
04-18-2008, 06:05 PM
Hi Stan,

That doesn't invalidate Pinkerton's obsevation that the vast majority of serial killers are employed in blue-collar professions.

Best,
Ben

sdreid
04-18-2008, 06:34 PM
Hi Ben,

That was just my observation. I wasn't trying to invalidate anything.

Ben
04-18-2008, 06:39 PM
I know, Stan, no worries. :)

Pinkerton
04-18-2008, 07:01 PM
Per capita I'd say that there are far more doctor serial killers than any other occupation. Doctors certainly aren't blue collar. There are probably 100 truck drivers, if not more, for every doctor.

You're right Stan, I had forgotten about doctors. Although Shipman & Swango are the only ones that come to mind. Are there many others? I may be ill-informed on this subject or just blanking out the ones I may have heard about in the past.

Now NURSES...that's a different story. I've heard of quite a few nurses who have been serial killers.

sdreid
04-18-2008, 08:03 PM
Hi Pinkerton,

Yes, there were quite a few doctors - Palmer, Cream and Hyde for example. There was also Dr. Engelman who was a dentist.

And, lots of nurses.

kensei
04-18-2008, 10:31 PM
As far as no one from my original list being white-collar, I would say Bundy certainly comes close and does not seem to have ever "gotten his hands dirty" while making a living.

Graham
04-18-2008, 10:58 PM
The most prolific serial-killer of modern times, Harold Shipman, was a doctor. How easy it must be to hide behind a curtain of professional respectability as you steadily, one by one, bump off your victims. Dr John Bodkin Adams (tried and acquitted, but over whom still hangs a cloud of doubt) was another. I'm convinced of his guilt, as there were too many coincidences about his case, but he got away with it.

Bundy, Shipman and Haig all had a lengthy killing career, which sort of suggests to me that the police are never too comfortable in pinning guilt upon the white-collar professional classes. I wonder how many members of the professional class are on Death Row, USA?

Anyone happen to know what Peter Kurtin did for a living?

Cheers,

Graham

Paul O'Henry
04-19-2008, 11:39 PM
Hi Graham,

I think your Peter Kurtin is Peter Kürten the so-called "Vampire of Düsseldorf" - according to "crime library" he worked in a factory - at least in the early 1920s - he probably worked as a lorry-driver as well. Before WWI he "worked" as a burglar - doing that he killed a 9 or 10 years old girl in May 1913 in Köln (Cologne), not his first killing, assaults on animals aside (drowning of two puppys as a five year old f. e.) he claimed to have drowned 2 boys when he was just 9 years old ...

kind regards
Paul O'Henry

miss marple
04-23-2008, 08:22 PM
Doctor Serial killers seem to kill with drugs or poisoning, [Palmer, Shipman, Cream] rather than knife butchery. If its easy to get your hands on drugs, why use a knife? I ve never gone with ripper as doctor theory either. Most of us know approximately where our vital organs are, with no medical training.
Miss Marple

DarkPassenger
04-24-2008, 05:18 PM
Ripper wasn't a doctor, nah. Closest you'll get is Cream, who enjoyed his victims suffering with poison.

Ben Geen, Beverley Allit, Ann Grigg Booth, Colin Norris, you name it, all those serial killers used drugs to kill.

DarkPassenger
04-25-2008, 07:21 PM
Hi Stan,

That doesn't invalidate Pinkerton's obsevation that the vast majority of serial killers are employed in blue-collar professions.

Best,
Ben

Different types of serial killers are blue collar. Prostitute killers are mostly, nearly always blue-collar while serial murderers who target old people are nearly always doctors.

Paul O'Henry
04-25-2008, 11:51 PM
Hi Mr. DarkPassenger,

Not only some doctors are/had been serial killers of elderly people - nurses as well like the "Lainz Angels of Death" - nurses of the hospital in Lainz (Vienna/Austria), who in the 1980s killed 40+ elderly patients! The leading figure was Waltraud Wagner who as a 23year old nurse killed - "for mercy" - a 77year old patient as her first victim.

kind regards

Paul O'Henry

DarkPassenger
04-26-2008, 06:16 PM
Good point -Geen, Allit and Norris were nurses.

Sherlock
05-08-2008, 10:51 PM
It is interesting that both John Christie and Denis Nilsen served as police officers - Christie in the Metropolitan War Reserve Police between 1939 and 1944 and Nilsen as a probationary constable in the Metropolitan Police for a year during the 1970s.

Possibly there are other instances of killers who have served as policemen, or perhaps suspects relating to unsolved crimes who were policemen.

regards
SHERLOCK

evabaruk
05-26-2008, 08:50 PM
Marcel Petiot was a doctor as well.

Graham
05-26-2008, 09:53 PM
I guess that the most prolific medically-qualified serial-killer of them all must be Dr Josef Mengele, but his motives (if indeed he had any) would seem to be political rather than personal.

Cheers,

Graham

bolo
05-27-2008, 12:38 AM
I guess that the most prolific medically-qualified serial-killer of them all must be Dr Josef Mengele, but his motives (if indeed he had any) would seem to be political rather than personal.

Cheers,

Graham

Political? Not really, that was just a façade. He was a medical man who lost touch with reality and had already dropped or lost his humanity, dignity and the principles of the Hippocratic oath before 30 January 1933. Hitler and the Nazis opened doors for him and he always was a good little doggy who never bit the hands of those who fed him, but when he closed the doors of his concentration camp surgery, Doc Jekyll turned into a sadistic mass-murdering Hide.

As for the East End murderer, I don't think that he was a doctor, in my opinion he had a normal or even menial job. The type of his victims, timing and methods don't give me the impression of a serial-killing medic who had had more efficient and safer (and most probably more "creative") options at his disposal for selecting and killing of his victims than the Ripper.

DarkPassenger
05-27-2008, 04:21 PM
Mengela wasn't a serial killer.

zenith
05-29-2008, 07:35 PM
Speculation from a relative newbie here, but does anyone know much about military doctors/medics circa fin de siecle England? In the states there's historically quite a difference between army medics and doctors per se (not the least of the distinctions being that one goes through military training and the other goes through actual medical school). I'm not sure if there was a similar divide in the late Victorian era, but I wonder--if Jack had been a military medic of some kind it might account for the blue-collar/white-collar divide we've been talking about here in this post. A field medic (or whatever such an occupation might be called in the context) wouldn't entirely be "blue collar" but he certainly wouldn't be bourgeoisie (he might be something, actually, quite like "shabby genteel").

I'm not asserting this to be true or even a real possibility, obviously. It's all speculative. I've never thought about the class-lines of convicted serial killers before and you guys point out some interesting trends.

caz
06-20-2008, 09:36 PM
Hi All,

Maybe we're missing something here. If people who kill strangers for the hell of it generally pick on victims they feel confident they can 'handle', their handling experience may in some cases come from what they do for a living - Dr Shipman being an obvious example. But in other cases it could come from some other aspect of their lives, eg something they are used to doing in their spare time, that would not necessarily be known about, or at least not single them out from the crowd. Bundy, for instance, used the charm offensive he knew he could adapt from his personal experience of being able to chat up the girls. Wright took advantage of his familiarity with the habits of the local prostitutes in Ipswich. So I do feel that Jack would have had some prior knowledge or experience of the type of victim he selected, either as a result of his occupation, or because of how he occupied himself when he had a few hours to kill (pun intended) and money in his pocket.

Oh and I'm beginning to think Hitler would not have been happy at all at the prospect of no Jews left in the world for his henchmen to seek out and destroy. He had the blessing of so many people around him to start the process, and if nobody had stopped him I suspect he would have simply done a 'Sutcliffe' and found excuses galore to start exercising his power over the next section of society (and the next and the next), regarded by large numbers of his fellow man as inferior, or the 'enemy', for whatever reason.

Love,

Caz
X

Mitch Rowe
06-20-2008, 10:00 PM
It is interesting that both John Christie and Denis Nilsen served as police officers - Christie in the Metropolitan War Reserve Police between 1939 and 1944 and Nilsen as a probationary constable in the Metropolitan Police for a year during the 1970s.

Possibly there are other instances of killers who have served as policemen, or perhaps suspects relating to unsolved crimes who were policemen.

regards
SHERLOCK

There seems to be an unusual amount of non criminal Police contact amognst serial killers. Too many to list in fact.

caz
06-21-2008, 12:35 AM
Hi Mitch,

Seems like a common factor may be an unfulfilled desire for authority over people - or to be regarded as having authority over people.

It's scary to think how many men in the world might fall into that category. :eek:

Love,

Caz
X

Sherlock
06-22-2008, 09:46 PM
I believe that the suggestion was made at one point that whoever was responsible for the "Bible John" murders in Glasgow in the early 1970s might even have been a policeman, but I do not think that any evidence has ever come to light to prove this.

It is also my understanding that the infamous Belgian killer Marc Dutroux and his associates might possibly have had contact with the police and other officials who may have helped to cover up his crimes, but once again there is no definite proof of this.

regards

SHERLOCK

Lord Buckley
09-02-2008, 12:42 AM
sutcliffe was also a grave digger

DarkPassenger
09-02-2008, 07:41 PM
Remember how Dennis Rader, the BTK killer, became (I think) a park ranger with a very bad reputation for making women's lives hell, and he no longer needed to kill, at least for a bit. It's like methadone for a serial killer.

Shelley
01-09-2011, 10:29 PM
There's been so much speculation about what Jack the Ripper's profession was in his public life, or how much of a public life he even had. His crimes tended to occur on weekends- does this mean he was busy with work during the week and couldn't be out late, or were there just more victims available on the streets at those times? Etc. Etc.

I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the professions of some other serial killers. Feel free to add to the list.

Ted Bundy- Law student, suicide hotline volunteer, legal aid, political campaigner
John Wayne Gasey- Building contractor
Jeffrey Dahmer- Chocolate factory worker
Gary Ridgeway (Green River Killer)- Industrial truck painter
Dennis Rader (BTK)- City employee (maintenance, dog catching, etc.) and church president
Richard Ramirez (Night Stalker)- Professional burglar
David Berkowitz (Son of Sam)- Postal worker
Peter Sutcliffe (Yorkshire Ripper)- Truck driver
Aileen Wuornoss- Prostitute
Cary Stayner (Yosemite Park Killer)- Hotel handyman

Quite a cross section of professions.


It seems that most of them were all jobs that suited people of low intelligence, apart from Ted Bundy. It's interesting that Dr George Simon PhD ( Psychologist ) diagnosed Aileen Wuornos as a psychopath, she really didn't have any remorse for her victims and she admitted to killing in cold blood and not self defense when she was awaiting execution. You can download a video to her admittance here : http://www.mediafire.com/?g4dlthysnw3x0xj

sdreid
01-09-2011, 11:32 PM
For men, there were probably more doctors than anything as well as drifters who had no consistent profession.

Women-housewives

Scorpio
01-10-2011, 06:13 PM
John Christie was employed at various stages of his life as an army signalman,postman and clerk;but his most satisfying vocation was as a police officer. Reggie loved having the authority of a uniform to hide behind, a textbook inadequate.

Zodiac
01-10-2011, 10:20 PM
John Christie was employed at various stages of his life as an army signalman,postman and clerk;but his most satisfying vocation was as a police officer. Reggie loved having the authority of a uniform to hide behind, a textbook inadequate.

Hi Scorpio,

He was indeed a total inadequate, or even a "murdering sack of sh*t".... As we Doctors say! :wink2:

Spookily enough, Dennis Nilsen, who would go on to make 23 Cranley Gardens almost as imfamous as 10 Rillington Place, had also been in the army, then served, for a short time, as a police officer!!! :anxious: Not much good with plumbing though!! :oops: Not to be Confused with Donald Neilson, aka, "The Black Panther" (real name Donald Nappey, can't think why he changed it!!! :scratchchin: ) who, when not out committing burglary, armed robbery, multiple counts of murder or kidnapping/holding to ransom an heiress, was a jobbing builder. Which brings us nicely along to Fred West, Gloster's finest builder/serial killer!!! We know a song about him, don't we children??? :stop:

WARNING

This is a link to a song on YouTube that you may find either humorous or SICK and OFFENCIVE. I am sorry to labor the point, but I cannot stress enough that if you feel that you may be, in any way, offended by a song making light of a serial killer, sex offending, incest etc, etc. Then please DO NOT click on this link. If you still choose to and become offended/upset, don't say that you weren't given fair warning!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyzdeEFn_zc

Best wishes,
Zodiac.

ChainzCooper
01-10-2011, 10:50 PM
The most prolific serial-killer of modern times, Harold Shipman, was a doctor. How easy it must be to hide behind a curtain of professional respectability as you steadily, one by one, bump off your victims. Dr John Bodkin Adams (tried and acquitted, but over whom still hangs a cloud of doubt) was another. I'm convinced of his guilt, as there were too many coincidences about his case, but he got away with it.

Bundy, Shipman and Haig all had a lengthy killing career, which sort of suggests to me that the police are never too comfortable in pinning guilt upon the white-collar professional classes. I wonder how many members of the professional class are on Death Row, USA?

Anyone happen to know what Peter Kurtin did for a living?

Cheers,

Graham

I thought the most prolific as far as body count goes was Pedro Lopez. Guess I was wrong. BTW, didn't he get released? Thank you South America
Jordan

Ausgirl
07-27-2011, 10:53 AM
I had a few thoughts on this, as I read along the various occupations mentioned, and another poster was thinking along the same lines:
Maybe we're missing something here. If people who kill strangers for the hell of it generally pick on victims they feel confident they can 'handle', their handling experience may in some cases come from what they do for a living - Dr Shipman being an obvious example. But in other cases it could come from some other aspect of their lives, eg something they are used to doing in their spare time, that would not necessarily be known about, or at least not single them out from the crowd. Bundy, for instance, used the charm offensive he knew he could adapt from his personal experience of being able to chat up the girls. Wright took advantage of his familiarity with the habits of the local prostitutes in Ipswich. So I do feel that Jack would have had some prior knowledge or experience of the type of victim he selected, either as a result of his occupation, or because of how he occupied himself when he had a few hours to kill (pun intended) and money in his pocket.

I also thought that a killer's occupation could influence the type of victim he chose, due to what the skills/opportunities their job offered to their motive, MO, mobility, risk of detection and body disposal.

Ted Bundy was a glib and charming man, well-spoken. And a law student, no surprise there. Hotline work - he was used to soothing people. A very handy skill for a serial killer, if he needs to fool a victim or keep them quiet with promises they won't be hurt.

Gacey was a builder - and hid his victims under the boards of his house. But he wasn't just that, he was also glib and charming, working in his spare time in civic service - around kids. Not suprising for a paedophile, and that glibness surely aided in him luring kids.

Truck drivers? Add Ward Weaver Jr. to the list. There's a lot of truck drivers - I suppose the high level of mobility and access to hitch-hikers and prostitutes makes that job really attractive to a serial killer.

I read once that more than a few serial killers had applied and been turned down for jobs that offered them some level of social control - police work, mainly, and animal control. Some have succeeded in becoming police officers (what a scary thought) but I noticed were often dismissed - problems with authority? I think this is a desirable occupation to somebody with that sort of mind probably from a desire to feel powerful, or to feel clever in getting away with crimes as an 'insider' in the police force, or maybe they think it's a way to remain off the radar as a suspect.

Another common occupation I have noted in murderers is handyman - access to apartments and houses, excuses to observe the victims close at hand?

Jack targeted poor prostitutes, women who would have seemed and probably were easy targets. Most of them were drinkers, and had been observed to be drinking on the night of their deaths. Overpowering them wasn't hard, to judge by the swiftness of the crimes. I have to wonder whether Jack was a failed medical student, or had always wanted to be a doctor. I actually believe his 'dissections' were a means to feel godlike and powerful over the women he killed. He inflicted most of his injuries on prone/dead victims so it seems to me he was less interested in watching them suffer as a true sadist would, than in proving a point about how powerful he was - maybe in a warped way mimicking (with intent focus on wombs/hearts/organs for other reasons) the doctors/surgeons he could have perceived as holding the kind of power over life and death that he, himself, craved?

Sis
02-27-2014, 05:07 PM
Two infamous serial killers occupations in Vancouver BC Canada:

Clifford Robert Olson, Jr (The Beast of British Columbia) Serial killer of 11 victims between the ages of 9 and 18. There was only 4 yrs in his adult life that he wasn’t in prison but job descriptions are self employed contractor and racetrack. He lured his victims with business cards and a promise of work.

Robert Pickton (The Pig Farmer) Serial killer convicted of killing 6 prostitutes (originally charged with 27), DNA of 33 women was found on his property, he also told undercover police officer that he killed 49. His occupation was he raised and butchered pigs on his family pig farm (he also used his occupation to dispose of the bodies).

GUT
02-27-2014, 05:25 PM
G'Day Sis


Robert Pickton (The Pig Farmer) Serial killer convicted of killing 6 prostitutes (originally charged with 27), DNA of 33 women was found on his property, he also told undercover police officer that he killed 49. His occupation was he raised and butchered pigs on his family pig farm (he also used his occupation to dispose of the bodies).


Not too familiar with this one, but was he the fellow who they said fed the bodies to his pigs?

Sis
02-27-2014, 05:52 PM
G'Day Sis





Not too familiar with this one, but was he the fellow who they said fed the bodies to his pigs?


Yes, there was little left of the victims. It was said he ground them up in a chipper and fed them to his pigs. He also took some body parts to a plant that turns animal bones, guts, blood, pig entrails and other reusable wastes into a number of consumer products, like lipstick base, soaps, shampoos, and perfumes that are shipped all over the world. I remember a newscast asking anyone who had received pig products from him, which was still in their freezer to contact the police.
I know a lady who had an immediate family member who was one of his victims.

GUT
02-27-2014, 05:55 PM
Enough to ALMOST make me give up Ham and Bacon.

I said almost!

sdreid
02-27-2014, 08:05 PM
Not too familiar with this one, but was he the fellow who they said fed the bodies to his pigs?

Serial killers Joseph Briggen and Belle Gunness also fed victims to their pigs.

GUT
02-27-2014, 08:09 PM
g'day Stan

Thanks it was Briggen I was thinking of.