Reduce your topic to a couple keywords that return the best results list. Think of synonyms for your key concepts, and try various combinations.
For example, if you want articles about "the effects of child molestation on later murderers", try "child abuse" and "violent offender".
Another example: for "the relationship between drugs and murder", try "substance abuse" and "crime".
Another example: for "insanity defense" try also"insanity plea".
For scholarly articles on such topics, try the databases listed below. Westlaw also has a Law Reviews (Law Journals) search.
Ask a librarian for more help!
Start with a search of our two serial killer encyclopedias in the library and/or Wikipedia. Determine what names the individual went under, where he/she was active, and roughly what time period. Most databases do not have information earlier than about 1995.
For earlier literature, try the yearly New York Times Index in the reference room or the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature and Reader's Guide Retrospective. Also, JSTOR is a database that specializes in older articles. Ask a librarian for help.
In databases, try variations on the name, including pseudonym. Place quotation marks around the name if results lists are too large.
After you have thoroughly searched the literature for your individual, search also for articles about topics related to the criminal, the crime, or issues surrounding it using the keyword strategies above.
Best databases for articles about specific serial killers include:
You can find information about individual serial killers in newspaper and article databases:
We have found that Science Direct includes information on serial killers, as does Medline.
Searching a database will provide citations to scholarly journal articles and other scientific research.
To access the full-article, look for links to:
If there are no full-text links, use Find It! to see if article is available in another library subscription.