The author maintains a current listing of serial killers in the United States in conjunction with his research and consultation, which provided a dataset of 488 serial killers in the U.S. as of April, 2012. The next challenge was to isolate a specific population of serial murderers from the overall dataset of 488 who had violated their victims sexually. The author used the following operation definition: “Two or more separate sex-related murders where an individual, acting alone or with another, commits two or more sex-related homicides over a period of time, with time breaks between each murder event.” Serial killings with motivations such as Racial, Thrill, Black Widow, Robbery etc. were extracted from the list and “Spree Killers” were not included providing a dataset of 417 sexual serial killers, which represented approximately 86% of all the serial murderers. The author then identified the 155 Black sexual serial killers from the 417 total sexual serial killer dataset.
The researcher must remain mindful of the question of integrity of the data sources when interpreting the data of the study. The sample used was an unknown proportion of the actual population of serial killers in the United States. The goals of this study are necessarily limited in scope due to the acknowledged paucity of systematic research on serial murder. Notwithstanding, the current research makes an important contribution to our knowledge of existing cases and provides the basis for further qualitative and quantitative study.