They walk among us. And, naturally, they work among us too.

Serial killers are real people, they exist in our real world, and they work real jobs. It's said that the average person will walk past or interact with around 10.76 murderers in their lifetime. And for a lucky few, they’ll work with a couple as well.

Here’s the thing, though: certain jobs tend to attract serial killers more than others. And those that do, might unnerve you — for a number of twisted reasons.  

A recently published book, titled, “Murder in Plain English,” found that in some jobs, serial killers are an over-represented population even when breaking it down into sections — from skilled serial killers, to semi-skilled, unskilled and professional/government trained serial killers. Some of the professions are innocuous and innocent. Others definitely lend themselves to psychopathic employees.

Strangely, clowns are not on the list. Neither are butchers, barbers, nurses or even DMV workers. But there are a few that you might be able to guess.

According to the book, the three most common jobs held by skilled serial murderers were:
1.    Aircraft machinist or assembler
2.    Shoemaker or repair person
3.    Automobile upholsterer

They then go on to describe the three most common semi-skilled jobs held by serial murderers:
1.    Forestry worker/arborist
2.    Truck driver
3.    Warehouse manager

The top three unskilled jobs, held by serial murderers:
1.    General laborer
2.    Hotel porter
3.    Gas station attendant

And finally, they list the top three jobs that are either professionally trained, or government employed:
1.    Police or security official
2.    Military personnel
3.    Religious official

There are a lot of warped observations one can make from that information … some, more disturbing than others.

Considering that three out of four of those categories are comprised of positions that are either dying or being replaced by robots (with the exception of arborists), there’s really only one category to inspire true fear: the professionally trained and government employed serial killers — the police, the soldiers and the religious officials.

Those sinister creeps aren’t just fixing shoes or upholstering car seats. They are people in real positions of trust and power, respected individuals looked up to by their community. Their deeds are almost more nefarious because they are taking advantage of that. What’s one to do, though? Stop trusting police? Stop believing in the good of our soldiers and veterans? Quit going to church?

Well, at least that last option removes you from a victim pool. But it would do no one any good to just assume the worst in our men and women in blue and green.

Besides, data like this is almost always skewed. We don’t have information on what the best serial killers do for work. Because the best are those who were never caught — the ones who got away — who escaped justice to disappear back into the hustle-bustle of the everyday. Back into the workforce, perhaps to find their next target.

Hopefully it isn’t you. But there’s no use in trying to take comfort in the cock-and-bull image of the loner serial killer — they often operate in the fray, alongside us, even in the workplace.

[originally published May 29, 2018]