A new report from The New Yorker reveals that it’s possible that more than 2,000 serial killers are at large in the United States. Archivist and researcher Thomas Hargrove has been tracking and analyzing data as it pertains to serial killers independently for years now.
Hargrove has been working on the Murder Accountability Project (MAP), a non-profit that collects data on murders and sends it to an algorithm Hargrove created, which he calls his serial killer detector. A serial killing, according to the FBI's official definition, is the "unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s), in separate events."
The F.B.I. believes that less than one percent of murders each year are conducted by serial killers. But, Hargrove thinks that this number is higher.
“How do I know?” he told the New Yorker. “A few years ago, I got some people at the F.B.I. to run the question of how many murders in their records are unsolved but have been linked through DNA.”
He discovered that there are 1,400 unsolved serial murders in the United States.
“Those are just the cases they were able to lock down with DNA,” Hargrove said. “And killers don’t always leave DNA—it’s a gift when you get it. So two percent is a floor, not a ceiling.”
Each state is supposed to report murders to the Department of Justice, but according to the New York report, some states have reported murders inaccurately or didn’t report to the Department of Justice at all. Hargrove also believes that about 5,000 people in America murder someone each year and do not get caught.
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