Thankfully, Joe Goldberg from You is a totally fictional character. But, it's hard not to think about the fact that he has many of the same qualities as history's most horrifying, totally real criminals. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Crime Classification Manual, there are actually only three kinds of serial killers; the medical killer, the organized killer, and the disorganized killer. So what kind is Joe?
The Medical Killer
This is usually someone who works in the medical industry, which is why they are typically able to cover up their crimes...at first. This person is most likely very intelligent.
Some people speculate that Elizabeth Short, known as the Black Dahlia, was killed by this kind of murderer, due to the nature of the crime. The way she was killed may have involved a procedure that suspect George Hodel would have learned in medical school.
The Organized Killer
This is another kind of killer that is typically highly educated, and as you can guess by the name, super organized. Historically, they have been known to be charismatic, and commonly lead seemingly normal lives. They plan every last detail to make sure that they won't get caught. Often, they'll watch a victim for quite a while before making a move, which is when they'll kidnap them. Once the murder is committed, they will usually dispose of the body and evidence in another location. This is also the kind of person who follows their own cases in the media, and could even try to contact or mess with investigators.
Ted Bundy is an example of an organized killer, as he was extremely charming, lived a life that appeared to be quite normal, and had above-average intelligence.
The Disorganized Killer
This is nearly the complete opposite of an organized killer, as there's little to no planning involved, and crime scenes tend to have plenty of evidence left behind. The FBI's profiling has discovered that these criminals are often of below-average intelligence and isolated from society. Instead of a planned attack, the murders are generally committed in a sudden assault, and the body is left at the scene of the crime. During a confession, they may even say that they were "motivated by voices in their heads" to kill.
Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker, is considered to be a disorganized killer, as he selected his victims at random and claimed to have been motivated by Lucifer.
So...What Kind Of Killer Is Joe Goldberg?
Joe is a bookstore manager, so we can definitely rule out any chance of him being a medical killer. He has many of the characteristics of an organized killer; he's charismatic, kidnaps victims, and seems like a totally normal guy on the surface. However...he can also be pretty disorganized. He's certainly killed without planning to, and has a tendency to leave evidence behind. (Remember when he left a jar of his own urine at Peach's house? Yikes.)
According to Psychology Today, serial killers actually can be a combination of more than one kind. So, Joe is most likely a cross between an organized and a disorganized killer.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.