Here Are The Terrifying Ways Serial Killers Avoid Getting Caught

by Jose Florez
Showtime Networks

For most of us, the idea of death is terrifying. Still, we read up on death and murder like crazy, eagerly devouring documentaries like "Making A Murderer" and "Beware The Slenderman."


And of course, we look up news on serial killers, fascinated by how they kill over and over. We're shocked that it's possible to commit such horrific crimes without anyone suspecting.

Chances are, you've done plenty of research on serial killers. One of the most fascinating things you learn about these murderers is how they avoid capture for so long.

So here are seven hallmark tactics serial killers employ to cover up their tracks (and I'm sharing just for the purpose of feeding our mutual obsession with understanding these twisted individuals -- not for any, uh, practical purposes):

1. They get supplies in cash.

Carolyn Lagattuta

Organized killers purchase everything related to their murder in cash, such as motel stays, prepaid phones and other supplies. That way, if a getaway needs to occur, it's harder for law enforcement to trace them down.

On the day of the murder, a place killers avoid is the gas station, as there are cameras everywhere. It's the place where investigators often identify murderers and their getaway vehicle.

2. They almost never kill romantic partners.

Well, if they're male anyway. The first person the police will question is a romantic partner. Instead, organized killers choose to murder strangers.

This way, they avoid immediate detection.

3. They use a vacuum cleaner.

To organized killers, a vacuum is a gift.

Why? Well, any strains of hair or clothing fibers left behind can quickly identify the murderer. After killing their victim, they vigorously clean every inch of the scene.

20th Century Fox

When the perpetrators are finished polishing every spot, they usually take the vacuum with them and dispose of it somewhere far away.

4. They clean up with oxygen bleach.

An investigator's worst enemy and an organized killer's best friend is oxygen bleach.

Unlike other cleaning products, oxygen bleach is a powerful substance. Once used to clean up blood stains, it will prevent traces of hemoglobin cells from being spotted.

So when it's time to whip out the luminol to probe for forensic evidence, investigators will have a difficult time finding anything.

5. They cut off the victim's body parts.

Organized killers often get dirty, but they do so while wearing latex gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints and skin cells. They butcher hands, legs and their victim's head to distribute those parts around remote areas in town.

Essentially, the more parts that are cut off and scattered, the longer it will take law enforcement to survey and piece together the large crime scene.

When disposing of the body in a lake, organized killers are careful to use suitcases instead of plastic bags, as suitcases don't float and sink faster.


6. They stick to the original story.

Organized killers often have anti-social disorders, so they're cunning liars and manipulators when the time arises. If they are called in for questioning, these culprits stand their ground and never allow a slip to occur while telling their story.

They know that any modification to their story will immediately put them at high risk of being suspected as the killer.

7. They never read about murder tips.

Oh yeah, and organized killers don't research online about ways to kill because obviously it's pretty much asking to get caught. Just think of all the crime stories you've heard where a killer's search history revealed the truth.

So, yeah. Effective serial killers are terrifying. Good luck avoiding spiraling into an internet crime research spiral now.