Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dr. Steven Egger: Expert on Serial Murder

Career Overview

Dr. Steven Egger
Dr. Steven Egger

He was the first person in the world to write a dissertation on serial murder, and he has managed to interview several infamous killers. Plenty of criminology students who read about serial killers know his name, and in the future he may well make one of the most substantial contributions to this specialized arena of knowledge. Dr. Steven Egger is Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Houston at Clear Lake in Texas, as well as Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Springfield. His resume is impressive, as are his observations about the criminals he has studied.

Besides being a noted scholar, Egger has also been a police officer, a homicide investigator, a police consultant, and a director of a law enforcement academy. He received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University, having had exposure to the investigation of serial murder before the phrase "serial killer" was even common usage. For more than two decades, he has devoted himself to research in this area, lending valuable advice during one period as the project director of the Homicide Assessment and Lead Tracking System (HALT) for the state of New York, which was the first statewide computerized system designed to track and identify serial killers.

Having gained international renown in the field, Egger has lectured on the investigation of serial murder in Spain, England, Canada, and the Netherlands, as well as all over the United States, including a recent conference devoted to serial murder offered by the FBI. Gathering together what he has learned since the late 1960s, Egger has authored three books, The Need to Kill: Inside the World of the Serial Killer, The Killers among Us: Examination of Serial Murder and its Investigations (2nd ed.) and Serial Murder: An Elusive Phenomenon, with other books in progress. Egger and his wife, Kim, who concentrates on the interface between law and psychology, are currently at work together on a comprehensive database of killers from all over the world and they will soon publish an encyclopedia of serial murder in the United States with more than 800 entries from their database of more than 1,300 serial killers.


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