A serial killer is typically defined as a person who murders three or more people over a period of more than 30 days, with a "cooling off" period between each murder, and whose motivation for killing is largely based on psychological gratification. Other sources define the term as "a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone" or, including the vital characteristics, a minimum of at least two murders. Often, a sexual element is involved with the killings, but the FBI states that motives for serial murder include "anger, thrill, financial gain, and attention seeking." The murders may have been attempted or completed in a similar fashion and the victims may have had something in common; for example, occupation, race, appearance, sex, or age group.
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