A study found that the difference in violent crime rates between winter and summer is 6%, while the difference in intimate partner violence between the coldest and warmest times of the year is 12%.
Why is it that more murders and domestic violence cases rise with temperatures?
People go out more, drink more, and are generally more relaxed
People tend to be out more, party, and drink. For some, it makes them more vulnerable, while for others, this triggers their violent tendencies.
While property crimes decline during heat, violence is on the rise. Many leave their windows open, while others are more open to engaging with strangers.
At least, that's one theory that supports claims about why more murders happen during warm months.
In northern Australia, there is a rise in violent crimes in October, when the humidity rises. It is another factor that provenly affects the human brain negatively.
The heat makes people irritable and aggressive
Researchers at Drexel University analyzed daily crime data in Philadelphia over a decade and found higher rates of violent crime and disorderly conduct on days when the weather was warmer.
The JEP paper describes the effects of heat as "reducing one's mental capacity. Extreme heat can reduce self-control, which translates into criminal behavior."
People gathering and getting into arguments often leads to physical contact, which cannot always end with "kiss and makeup." Heat raises testosterone levels, which is another reason why people tend to be more violent.
The most famous serial killers preferred a warmer climate
Richard Ramirez, or the Night Stalker, operated in sunny California between June 1984 and August 1985. He murdered at least 13 people and sexually assaulted 11 people.
The notorious "Golden State Killer" is a serial rapist and murderer born in New York, but his crimes spanned across California. He primarily killed in May and June merely because it was easier to break into people's homes.
Stephen Wayne Anderson, a contract and serial killer, was sentenced to death for at least nine murders. The creepiest one appears to be the death of 81-year-old Elizabeth Lyman, a retired piano teacher. Anderson murdered the woman on May 26, 1980, in California.
This does not mean that serial killers only choose sunny states, but as their progress, many tend to go south, as Ted Bundy did.
No one understands what goes in a mind of a serial killer. Do you think trying to understand their violent crimes by using the climate is a stretch?
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