A serial killer is defined as someone who murders three or more victims over a relatively short interval. Though it has been said that serial killers often fail to keep jobs for long periods of time, such as Ted Bundy, who held a number of low-end jobs, some psychologists also claim that serial killers can appear to be completely normal and have high-functioning lives. John Wayne Gacy, for example, was a highly respected individual within his community, and Dennis Rader was the elected president of his church.
Though many assume that most serial killers are rooted in violent families and abusive upbringings, there are many examples of serial killers who grew up in normal families with surprisingly average childhoods. Thus, it's hard to pinpoint conclusive personality characteristics of serial killers since the motives for killing can vary anywhere from wanting to be a hero by saving victims they previously poisoned, to sick and sadistic pleasure.
Here's a list of serial killers who had surprisingly normal jobs, although some are a bit creepy. Ice cream truck driver, anyone?
Day jobs: Army combat medic, mixer at the Ambrosia Chocolate FactoryBetween 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer killed 17 men before he was sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms in 1992. Dahmer had an alcohol abuse problem that led to his Army discharge. After he was kicked out of the Army, Dahmer moved in with his grandmother in the hopes that he could clean up his act, though she later asked him to move out after discovering disturbing things in her home. Dahmer was arrested in 1991 and eventually admitted to all 17 murders. Dahmer pled "guilty but insane" to 16 counts of murder and was given 16 sentences of life imprisonment. In 1994, he was murdered in prison.
Age: Died at 34 (1960-1994)
Birthplace: West Allis, Wisconsin, United States of America
Profession: Criminalsee more on Jeffrey Dahmer
Day jobs: shoe store manager, Kentucky Fried Chicken manager, children's birthday party clown
Also known as the Killer Clown, John Wayne Gacy was an American serial killer who was convicted of murdering over 30 teenage boys and young men in the 1970s. He was sentenced to death and spent 14 years on death row before he was executed on May 10, 1994.
Age: Died at 52 (1942-1994)
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
Profession: Clownsee more on John Wayne Gacy
Day jobs: grocery store bagger and stocker, shoe clerk, bus boy, campaign volunteerOne of the most prolific serial killers in America, Ted Bundy murdered more than 30 women in the 1970s before he was finally apprehended on February 15, 1978. Bundy was executed at the Florida State Prison on January 24th, 1989.
Age: Died at 43 (1946-1989)
Birthplace: Burlington, Vermont, United States of America
Profession: Criminalsee more on Ted Bundy
Day jobs: United States Postal Service letter sorter, Army veteranKnown as the ".44 Caliber Killer" and "Son of Sam," David Berkowitz was a New York City serial killer who was arrested in 1977 for a series of shooting attacks with a .44 caliber revolver. In more than a year, Berkowitz murdered six victims and wounded seven others while terrorizing New York City with acts of arson.
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of Americasee more on David Berkowitz