A serial rapist is a person who forces a series of victims into unwanted sexual activity. Similar to a serial killer, the rapist will have a cooling off period in-between crimes.


  1. Anger Excitation - They are sexually aroused and motivated by the suffering of their victims.
  2. Anger Retaliatory - They perform excessive sexual violence on their victims, which is motivated by the feeling that they have been wronged in some way.
  3. Power Assertive - They use aggression to restore their own self-confidence, authority, and feelings of control.
  4. Power Reassurance - They rape while being mildly aggressive to restore their self-confidence, which suggests a sense of inadequacy in them.

Methods of Approach

The con

The criminal will approach the victim posing as an authority figure; a police officer for example. The con approach involves subterfuge and is predicated on the rapist's ability to interact with women. With this technique, the rapist openly approaches the victim and requests or offers some type of assistance or direction. However, once the victim is within his control, the offender may suddenly become more aggressive.

The blitz

In a blitz approach, the rapist uses a direct, injurious physical assault which subdues and physically injures the victim. The attacker may also use chemicals or gases but most frequently makes use of his ability to physically overpower a woman. Interestingly, despite its simplicity, this approach was used in 23% of the first rapes, 20% of the middle rapes, and 17% of the last rapes. Even though it is used less often than the con approach, the blitz approach results in more extensive physical injury and inhibits certain fantasy components of the rape that may be arousing to the rapist.

The surprise

The surprise approach, which involves the assailant waiting for the victim or approaching her after she is sleeping, presupposes that the rapist has targeted or preselected his victim through unobserved contact and knowledge of when the victim would be alone. Threats and/or the presence of a weapon are often associated with this type of approach; however, there is no actual injurious force applied. They usually stalk their victims for a time first.

The Silent Rapist

Some serial rapists are respected members of society who repeatedly take advantage of women and are able to target these individuals by putting them in a position of vulnerability, such as that stated above, in sleep, and/or by compromising the person's judgement through the use of drugs and/or alcohol. They are never reported because the victim thinks somehow that there was a misunderstanding, giving the benefit of the doubt to the rapist. Because they do not consider it a rape themselves with the potential for embarrassment if they admit to "allowing" it to occur, a victim believes that their experience is an isolated event. There is never a collaboration among the victims, because they are unaware this is repeated experience for the perpetrator, who moves on to the next victim. This is the most controlled rapist because part of his satisfaction is his ability to get away with the crime without ever drawing an attention to the contrary. This type of rapist is "the silent rapist" because he is under the radar of everyone involved, except himself, and surprises his victim with his reputation. The victim considers him safe to be with because his background check is immaculate.


  • It is estimated that 34% of all serial rapists suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction
  • The majority of the rapes were premeditated
  • The con approach was used most often in initiating contact
  • A threatening presence and verbal threats were used to maintain control
  • Minimal or no force was used in the majority of instances
  • The most common offender reaction to resistance was verbal threats
  • Low levels of pleasure were reported by the rapist
  • The rapists tended not to be concerned with precautionary measures to protect their identities
  • Approximately one-third of the rapists had consumed alcohol prior to the crime and slightly less reported using some other drug

On Criminal Minds

The BAU investigates serial rapists on a regular basis, though most of them incorporate murder into their M.O. Agents Morgan and Prentiss take serial rape very personally.

Serial Rapists

Serial Rapists/Killers

Serial rapists who are also killers (but not specifically serial killers) include:

Serial rapists who evolved into serial killers include:

Serial or rampage killers who incorporate rape into their M.O. include:

Budding Serial Rapists