California, known as the Golden State, has historically been home to many of America’s serial killers. With a large population and vast urban areas, California has been the scene of a disproportionate number of America’s most notorious serial killers. Names like the “Golden State Killer,” “The Night Stalker” and “The Zodiac Killer” are etched into the dark annals of state history.
The reasons behind the high concentration of serial killers in California are varied. These include its large and diverse population, its vast urban environments that facilitate anonymity, and, historically, the highway network that allows for the greater mobility of criminals. In addition, the attraction of the state as a place of opportunity attracts individuals with nefarious motives, who blend into the bustling metropolis or disappear into less populated areas.
While California tops the list in absolute numbers, other states such as Washington and Oregon also experience high rates of serial murder when adjusted for population. The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit says these cases are not limited to any specific state and the phenomenon is widespread across the country.