A thrill killing is premeditated murder that is motivated by the sheer excitement of the act. While there have been attempts to categorize multiple murders, such as identifying "thrill killing" as a type of "hedonistic mass killing", actual details of events frequently overlap category definitions making attempts at such distinctions problematic.
Those identified as thrill killers are typically young males, but other profile characteristics may vary, according to Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Conflict and Violence at Northeastern University. The major common denominator with those who commit thrill killings is that they usually feel inadequate and are driven by a need to feel powerful. "To a certain extent, they [thrill killers] may make their victims suffer so that they can feel good," said Levin. "Sadism is fairly common in thrill killings. The killer might torture, degrade, or rape his victim before he takes his or her life." They frequently have an "ideal victim type" who has certain physical characteristics. 
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