Nearly one out of five serial murderers are women. In fact, they are often more deadly and more prolific than typical male serial killers. Female serial killers are described as the “quiet killers” because they rarely leave bodies dumped by the roadside, which alarm a community. Their killing careers last twice as long as men’s: eight years for women to the male serial killer’s average of just over four years. Their killing is often committed at home of in a professional setting such as a hospital, retirement home, boardinghouse, or hotel, where sometimes it is not even notices or recognised as a murder. A study of incarcerated female non-serial murderers found out that on average 77 percent were unemployed when they committed their offends, 65 percent were black, and 76 percent had children, and their median age was twenty-seven. Female killers are young and poor, and often function in a socioeconomic class where interpersonal violence is more frequent and “acceptable.”
The statistics for specifically female serial killers are substantially different: 95 percent were white, their median age was thirty and only 10 percent were known to be unemployed, while 10 percent were skilled workers, 15 percent were semiskilled, and 11 percent were other, such as self-employed or business proprietors (and 42 percent unknown). Poor unemployed women living in a society where often responding with interpersonal violence is the only way to survive may commit a spontaneous homicide in the heat of a moment. But the more middle-class female serial killers contemplated and planned their murders carefully.
The motives of female serial killers are substantially different from those of the female single killer or even the male serial killer. On average, 74 percent of female serial killers were at least in part motivated by personal financial gain, a sad reflection on their middle-class aspirations.