Hunting Serial Killers: a Scripps Howard News Service Investigation

By: Press Release

Police reopen cases after ‘Detector’ reveals clusters of killings

WASHINGTON — Police in two states have launched new murder investigations after a Scripps Howard News Service study revealed dozens of alarming clusters of unsolved killings of women nationwide that are likely the work of serial killers.

And for the first time, authorities in another state acknowledge they are hunting a serial killer, although the public has not been informed that the unsolved murders of up to seven women are connected.

In the groundbreaking analysis of more than 525,000 murders in America, national correspondent Thomas Hargrove designed and created a database that crime experts say is the most complete accounting of homicide victims ever assembled in the United States. Using the Freedom of Information Act, Hargrove obtained details about 15,000 murders never reported to the FBI.

Hargrove also created a Serial Killer Detector, a computer algorithm that flags potential serial killings. Using the Detector, readers and viewers can sort through a database of 185,000 unsolved murders to determine for themselves if serial killers are at work in their communities.

Hargrove also puts to rest the myths perpetuated about social deviants who kill repeatedly:
— Serial killers are not all dysfunctional loners or white males.
— Serial killer are not all motivated by sex.
— Serial killers target a specific area; most don’t prowl interstate highways looking for prey.

Beginning Sunday, find “Hunting for Serial Killers” and the Serial Killer Detector at

About Thomas Hargrove
Thomas Hargrove is a national correspondent and database researcher for Scripps Howard New Service in Washington, D.C. He is co-founder of the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University. Among other awards, Hargrove won the prestigious Philip Meyer Journalism Award for his groundbreaking work on infant deaths. Contact Hargrove at or 202-408-2703.

About Scripps Howard News Service
Scripps Howard News Service, based in Washington, D.C., is a division of E.W. Scripps Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1917, the Washington bureau has covered the nation and the world for Scripps newspapers and television stations and hundreds of media clients around the world.

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