As the search for the Long Island serial killer continues, led by Irish-born Suffolk Police Commissioner Richard Dormer, speculation is rampant again as to what profile the killer fits.
Police for the first time have offered their sense of who he is.
Richard Dormer has said that he will tracked down because of electronic clues he has already left behind, but a carefully prepared profile of the killer will help in the search.
He is said to be most likely a professional, possibly college educated, in his late 20s to early 40s, who has an intimate knowledge of the area in a remote part of Long Island where the ten bodies to date were found.
He is likely married and may commit most of the murders in summer when the rest of his family are away. He has a deeply sadistic streak, as proven when he called and taunted the sister of one of his victims.
Serial killers tend to acquire knowledge of how the police force operates.
Some investigators have suggested that the mystery Long Island killer could be a member of the police force as his phone calls to relatives were so curt that his location could not be identified.
“A disorganized killer will be much more impulsive and haphazard,” said James Alan Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University, told the New York Times.
Fox has studied serial killers for three decades: “The disorganized killer is easy to catch. A lot of them don’t get enough victims to be defined as a serial killer. It takes a certain degree of care and carefulness to assemble dozens.”
Organized killers tend to lead stable lives, are methodical, intelligent and normally educated.
Joel Rifkin who murdered 17 women between 1989 and 1993 had attended the State University of New York at Farmingdale.
Rifken’s prosecutor, Fred Klein, the former Nassau County assistant district attorney, told the New York Times that his motive was not revenge but pleasure.
The killer had been obsessed with Alfred Hitchcock’s 1972 film “Frenzy,” which tells the story of a serial killer in London. He told officials he would masturbate to scenes in which women were strangled.
“It was a psychosexual sadism,” said Klein, now an assistant professor at Hofstra Law School.
“Most murders, there’s an additional motive to it. You want to eliminate witnesses, or there’s a fight, or you want to eliminate the person for some reason, such as a husband kills a wife or vice versa. Rifkin was killing people for the pure purpose of killing them. He would actually get sexual pleasure out of the murder.”
Experts say the current serial killer on the loose could share similar impulses to Rifkin, as conveyed by his phone call to the teenage sister of one of his victims.
Jim Clemente, a retired F.B.I. criminal profiler suggests that he is probably a sadist.
“That would be reflected in his relationship and jobs. He is the one who laughs when a cat gets run over or a kid falls off his bike. He likes the suffering of others, and he really likes it when he can cause it or witness it,” he told the New York Times.
Rifken who is currently serving a 203-year sentence for his crimes has offered his own opinions on who the potential killer could be.
He told Newsday that the murderer could be a local resident who works in a job where no one would be suspicious if he was seen with burlap bags.
“My guess,” Rifkin told the newspaper, “is it would be someone like a landscaper, contractor or a fisherman.”