An insight into the socio-psycho contexts and modus operandi of South Africa’s worst serial killers over time

Keywords: serial killer, social, psycho, organised and disorganised, murder, modus operandi, violence, South Africa


Over the years, several myths have been peddled within societies and academic circles in relation to exploring the mysterious lives of serial killers. Socio-psycho factors have been used to explain some of their criminal behaviour. Some mythologies about serial killers are that most of them are loners, abused children, and sexually motivated killers. Some researchers have also attributed mental challenges, drugs, and alcohol as possible motives for serial killers. In some instances, some serial killers have confessed to heard unknown controlling voices, urging them to kill their victims. We are not in a rational or neutral position to know whether voices, hearing by serial killers, are actually factual experiences or not. However, to enter a plea of insanity for murder is widely known with the criminal law field. This is the reason why in some cases, offenders are accessed to ascertain their fitness to stand trial. This article deals with a very serious challenging crime and highlights the safety of citizens. The article has three aims, first, to explore and debunk the secretive world of serial killers. Second, to explore the serial killer’s motives and modus operandi. Third, to highlight the dangers serial killers pose to society. Some of the findings are that serial killer does not always live a life of a loner, and some understudy of serial killers found out some of them live a family life. Several serial killers were abused as children and from dysfunctional families and social backgrounds. Most serial killers are men and there is a patriarchal domineering and controlling personality, ascribed to serial killers


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Author Biography

Shaka Yesufu, University of Limpopo

Department of Research and Development


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How to Cite
Yesufu, S. (2022). An insight into the socio-psycho contexts and modus operandi of South Africa’s worst serial killers over time. EUREKA: Social and Humanities, (4), 103-112.
Social Sciences