"Killing Spree" redirects here. See Killing Spree‎ for the film of that name.

A spree killer, also known as a rampage killer, is someone who embarks on a murderous assault on his or her victims (two or more) in a short time in multiple locations. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics defines a spree killing as "killings at two or more locations with almost no time break between murders."[1] According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) the general definition of spree murder is two or more murders committed by an offender or offenders, without a cooling-off period; the lack of a cooling-off period marking the difference between a spree murder and a serial murder. The category has however been found to be of no real value to law enforcement, because of definitional problems relating to the concept of a "cooling-off period".[2] Serial killers are different in that the murders are clearly separate events, happening at different times, while the attacks of mass murderers are defined by one incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders.[2]

Notably large spree killings

Notably large spree killings include:

United States






South Korea



United Kingdom

See also


  1. ^ Charalambous, Nick, and Meryl Dillman. "No evidence of spree killer yet, police say". The Anderson Independent-Mail (Anderson, South Carolina), December 17, 2006. Accessed 8 July 2008.
  2. ^ a b Morton, Robert J., and Mark A. Hilts (eds.) Serial Murder — Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives for Investigators, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Accessed 4 July 2009.
  3. ^ Pogash, Carol (November 23, 2003). "Myth of the 'Twinkie defense': The verdict in the Dan White case wasn't based on his ingestion of junk food". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-08-10. ((cite web)): Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  4. ^ Snopes: The Twinkie Defense
  5. ^ 津山三十人殺し―日本犯罪史上空前の惨劇 (Akira Tsukuba, 2001) ISBN 4102901280.

Further reading

  • Pantziarka, Pan (2000). Lone Wolf: True Stories of Spree Killers. Virgin Publishing. ISBN 0-7535-0437-5.