Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
James Fox & Jack Levin
Criminologists distinguish between two types of multiple homicide based on their timing: mass murder, in which a number of victims are slain within a single event, and serial murder, in which a number of victims are slain, one at a time, over a period of weeks, months, or even years. Mass murder is exemplified by the case of Michael McDermott, the forty-two-year-old employee of Edgewater Technology in Wakefield, Massachusetts, who in December 2000 reportedly opened fire on his coworkers, killing seven. By contrast, serial killer Andrew Cunanan terrified the nation during the summer of 1997 by staying on the loose after he killed people in Minnesota, Illinois, and New Jersey. More than two months later, Cunanan committed suicide in Miami Beach, but not before he shot to death his final victim, fashion designer Gianni Versace. In striking contrast to the expanding scholarly interest in serial murders, mass murders have received ...