Evil being the root of mystery, pain is the root of knowledge.
-- Simone Weil New York Notebook
Although most cases of serial murder are eventually solved, it is likely that many such crimes never come to the attention of law enforcement personnel because of a failure to recognize the very presence of a serial killer or because the murderer inexplicably ceases his or her lethal activities. In a few, highly notorious cases of serial murder, like that of the Green River Killer (who operated in Washington and California) or the Zodiac Killer (who operated in California), the crimes were never solved and the killings apparently ceased for reasons that remain unknown. In these baffling situations, it is possible that the perpetrator was apprehended and imprisoned for other felonies, died, or stopped murdering because of age, illness, infirmity, or complex psychological factors.
Other serial murders are considered unsolved because, even though the perpetrator was thought to have been irrefutably identified by law enforcement personnel and properly charged with the felonies, he or she was never convicted of the crimes. Because serial murder committed by a woman is often discreet, quiet, and carefully planned, the perpetrator is frequently a difficult adversary for law enforcement personnel. Even after she has been successfully apprehended and brought to trial, the female serial murderer presents unusual difficulties for those in the legal profession, judges, and juries. It is generally a difficult task to prove the guilt of a female serial murderer with anything less