Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kim Lersch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tom Mieczkowski, Ph.D.


homicide, doctors, nurses, hospital killings


This research explored the topic of professional caregivers who commit serial murder in institutional settings. In-depth case studies were created for individuals convicted of serial murder in institutional settings in the United States. The purpose of this research was to identify the characteristics of this group of institutional serialists and compare the current data to existing data on serial killers. A technique of secondary data analysis was utilized to gather information on the sample of 17 individuals. Only public information was reviewed. Results of the data comparison between the current sample and existing information on serial killers indicated that institutional serialists share many similarities with previously identified serialists, but differences between the groups were identified as well. The characteristics of this current sample that were similar to those identified in previous research include sex of offender, race of offender, the offender's age at first murder, marital status of offender, number of victims, and victim characteristics. The characteristics that differed from those identified in previous research include sex of offender, the offender's childhood family situation, the offender's birth order, method of murder, number of victims, and victim characteristics.