I am coming to the conclusion that the accepted method of profiling, whether it is the American or the British way, has kept the blinkers on when it comes to the Serial Killer. The FBI conducted a series of interviews with thirty six serial murders and rapists, asking about how and why they did their crimes, the MO they used, basically, everything to do with the crime. The British way is different, but I believe whatever method is used, the ultimate aim is to catch the perpetrator. Geographical Profiling is also used, in which all facts relating to the location of the crimes, says something about the unsub.
It has emerged that in the case of "The Night Stalker" the Police never considered that the violent and depraved sexual attacks and murders, were NOT the work of a serial killer. Richard Ramirez, the killer, did not fit the profile of a serial offender, as he used different methods of attack, breaking & entering, and what he put his victims through. Have people not come to a very real conclusion that killers do not have to stick to a particular MO? My belief that the "signature" in Ramirez`s crimes, was the sheer sexual violence he inflicted. I also do not believe in the adage that these killers have "an urge" to kill. My belief is that they have a "desire" which is completely different, and a desire is easier to control and conceal than an "urge" which could expose unsound actions and/or body language, leading to awkward questions. An example was an attack carried out by Sutcliffe, in Halifax, when he was with Trevor Birdsall. He asked him to stop the car so he could go for a piss. Whilst he was out of sight, he attacked a woman. Was this a man driven by rage, or an overwhelming urge to attack, or a man using an opportunity that presented itself. A lone woman walking and nobody around. Of course it was "The Voices" in his head, ordering him to carry out the attack!
A killer will not commit all his offences to a strict pattern. Some will use whatever means that come to them, and as in the case of Jessie Earl, a bra works as a convenient bond. Killers will use anything that comes to hand, but to say that certain aspects must fit a particular killer, otherwise he is not guilty,I feel, is absurd. Another example is the unsolved disappearance in 1969 of April Fabb, in Norfolk. She disappeared in a country lane and her bicycle lay on a grass verge, just off the road. This fitted the MO of notorious child killer Robert Black, the prime suspect in the disappearance of Genette Tate in 1978. It is difficult to place Black in Norfolk at that time, but that does NOT mean he is innocent. A lot more research into Black needs undertaking.