Two mathematicians have found that a serial killer’s pattern of murders seems to conform to a strict mathematical formula.

They theorise that the reason killings stick to a mathematical function known as ‘the devil’s staircase’ is that serial killers work to a ‘rhythm’ – driven by neurons in their brains.

The pattern of brain cells ‘firing’ is similar to the patterns in epileptics’ brains which drive them to have fits – but instead, overwhelming the killer with the urge to strike…

The research, using data from a prolific Russian serial killer whose murders are well known, seems to offer the possibility that police could be ‘ready’ when other killers are driven to strike.