A Thrill Killer is a person who commits murder, not because of mental instability, the need for sexual satisfaction, or because they have any animosity for or sometimes even know the victim, but rather they want to feel the sheer excitement of killing people. The term thrill killer is usually associated with spree killers.
On Criminal Minds
Some notable thrill killers featured on the show are:
- Vincent Perotta ("Natural Born Killer") - A prolific serial killer and part-time hitman who killed hundreds of victims. Those most of the murders were mob hits, the remainder of the victims were killed only out of pure pleasure, without any evidence of animosity.
- The Mulford Family ("Open Season") - A family of killers who abducted motorists and then released them into the wild. They then hunted them down like animals using bows and arrows and enjoyed the rush of the hunt. Brothers Paul and Johnny did not know their victims, and did not seem to have any animosity for them, hunting and killing anyone they could abduct.
- 23rd Street Killers ("True Night") - A Los Angeles-based gang who killed Vickie Wright, the fiancée of vigilante Jonny McHale without any apparent animosity for her, and also presumably killing other civilians. However, very little is revealed about the gang, since the episode focused mainly on the murders committed by Jonny, so whether or not the gang actually did have any animosity for Jonny and Vicky, or any of their victims, for whatever reason, is unclear.
- Ryan Phillips ("3rd Life") - A high school dropout who, together with his accomplices Douglas Silverman and Taylor Coleman, raped and tortured a girl for fun before strangling her to death. He then tried to do the same thing to the girl's best friend, but was killed by her father.
- Norman Hill ("Normal") - A disgruntled, white-collar office worker who began committing a series of "road rage" murders with a modified shotgun. He committed the murders in order to get the same high he got from his first attempted murder, although he apparently didn't have any animosity for his victims.
- Turner's Group ("Hopeless") - A gang of three construction workers who were responsible for the killing and torturing of several people, of which they randomly chose. Their goal in the murders was about committing pure violence simply for the fun of it.
- Raymond Donovan and Sydney Manning ("The Thirteenth Step") - A pair of lovers who were both molested by their fathers and as a result amassed a lot of anger. They took out this anger by dedicating the former part of their spree killing to murdering several people at gas stations (and, in one case, attendants of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting), without animosity for any of them. However, unlike usual thrill killers, they targeted some of their victims, all of which angered them in some way, including their fathers.
- Izzy Rogers ("Hit" and "Run") - A bank robber, serial killer, and former assassin who, during a botched bank robbery and subsequent hostage situation, intentionally called police to the scene of the crime. This reason was cited to have been means to gain an adrenaline rush during the crisis, similar to a junkie. She would also shoot her victims in the stomach in order to ensure they had a slow death that she could take pleasure from.
- David Turner and Toby Whitewood ("The Apprenticeship") - A pair of killers following a teacher-student dynamic that murdered several prostitutes, taking the thrill in abducting, torturing, and murdering their victims.
- Alan Anderson ("Mr. & Mrs. Anderson") - A prolific serial killer and occasional serial rapist who killed several of his victims with the aid of his wife Judith so then both could be able to gain sexual pleasure from the murders, which would allow them to successfully have sex.
- Michael Peterson ("Tribute") - A copycat serial killer who sought thrills by emulating the M.O.s of several infamous serial killers around the world, which would result in intense manhunts for him and guarantee the rush in nearly being caught. He would even loiter at the scenes of the killings so he could be spotted by the first responding officers.
- David Yarno and Becker Chapin ("Jump Cut") - Two delusional friends and aspiring filmmakers who would abduct homeless people and murder them for scenes for a snuff film they plan on distributing to film festivals. While their motive was to gain fame and recognition from the film, a secondary objective was to receive the thrill from the kills.
- Victor Sayenko, Igor Suprunyunk, and Alexander Hanzha, the Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs
- Robert Berdella, The Kansas City Butcher
- Dale Hausner and Samuel Dieteman, The Serial Shooter
- Cary Stayner, The Yosemite Killer
- Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris, The Toolbox Killer
- Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermantine, The Speed Freak Killers