Researchers at UCLA have combined neuroscience and math in order to identify patterns in the acts of a notorious Russian serial killer, executed in 1994. The model makes several assumptions: 1) a certain threshold of neuronal firing has to be passed, at which point the desire to kill becomes impossible to ignore; 2) some time is subsequently required in order to plan and carry out a killing; 3) killing acts as a sort of sedative, calming the neurons temporarily. (via)
“The distribution of the intervals between murders (step length) follows a power law with the exponent of 1.4. We propose a model according to which the serial killer commits murders when neuronal excitation in his brain exceeds certain threshold. ” - via journal article here.