What does it really mean to chase down a killer? Here’s the thing: violent crimes are rare in some places, not in others. Serial killers are not rare in that world, they are just rarely caught.

This is true for a number of reasons. This blog will explore some of those, and some other practical aspects of being a private investigator and what that really means. Here are a few of the reasons which we will explore as we go.

Agencies Don’t Communicate as Well As You Think

Despite what they show you on TV, police and other law enforcement agencies often do not communicate well, and if a murder goes cold quickly or there is little what is considered meaningful evidence, it may never get into a national database. What does this mean? This means if a killer travels a lot, as Nicky does in the upcoming Max Boucher Mystery, Teaching Moments, they may get away with killing for years without anyone connecting the dots.

The good news is that these killers do make mistakes. Their routine or their trophies are actually their downfalls, and we will talk about those things there.

Warrants Matter

Often in fiction and on TV, evidence is collected by someone who makes up a reason for “probable cause” or even fakes one. Not so fast. This is not usually the way things work in real life. Evidence that is collected against legal means is often thrown out and can ruin the chances of a conviction. Seldom does a cop really have the opportunity or the means to execute a revenge spree, going after those who have escaped justice.

There are few, if any, ways around this. This means a private citizen cannot swoop in and grab evidence or a confession without police help and a warrant, not one that will stand up in court. Warrants matter, and getting them can be much trickier than portrayed in movies and various forms of fiction.

Killers are Smart, Sometimes

Many murders every year go unsolved or unprosecuted. This is because sometimes, killers are smart. Other times, they are just lucky. Or police departments are busy, response times are slow, or one of many other factors.

The truth is that many serial killers are pretty sharp though. They know how not to get caught, how to move around, what methods and weapons to use, and even how the police work. Today, that study can be pretty simple with a lot of that information available for free on the internet.

Killers are People Too

Just because a person is a killer does not mean they are a machine. Most killers are the heroes of their own story and feel like they are really doing the right thing. Many have family, friends, jobs, and the same things other people have. If you met many of them, you might even like them.

This helps bring them down too. Sometimes people notice things. Sometimes they have simple needs like eating, drinking, or getting some kind of supplies that gives them away. Often you can even empathize with them, but they are far from normal in other ways.

Cops and Killers are Cut from, the Same Cloth (Sometimes)

This has been shown in many studies, and we will talk about them later. Similar personality types and other things make cops and robbers a lot alike. Many of them have the same mental issues. Usually, they have just chosen to apply some of their skills in different ways: one for the side of good, the other for evil.

We will explore these and other fascinating topics here. Want to contribute to the discussion? Come on over and let me know. I would love to hear your ideas. Contact me at [email protected].

Troy Lambert
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life, his son, and three very talented dogs.

Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.
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