Why We Love Serial Killers: The Curious Appeal of the World's Most Savage Murderers

Skyhorse
5
Free sample

A chilling investigation into the deviant mind, “so powerful and provocative, you cannot put it down” (Rita Cosby, New York Times–bestselling author).
 
We know the names: Ted Bundy, Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, among them—serial killers transformed by the media into ghoulish celebrities. And their iconic fictional counterparts—from Norman Bates to Hannibal Lecter to Dexter—reveal just how eager we are to watch a psychopath in action. But why? Are we curious about the root of their terrifying compulsions? Or it is something more? Why We Love Serial Killers “attempts to solve some of these mysteries . . . What made serial killers this way? Why did they kill, and why did they do it so gruesomely? How are they different from us? (Please let them be different from us)” (The Atlantic).
 
In exploring our appetite for the macabre, criminology professor Dr. Scott Bonn also provides a unique view into the world of serial killers, having corresponded with two of the most notorious examples: David Berkowitz, a.k.a. Son of Sam, and the BTK Killer, Dennis Rader. In addition, Bonn examines the criminal profiling techniques used to identify serial predators, the charisma of the sociopath, the rise in “murderabilia” collecting, and how and why these killers often become pop-culture icons, escalating both our fears and our fascination. The result is “powerful and a must-read . . . Insightful, compelling, and an excellent source of myth-busting information for laymen and professionals alike” (Burl Barer, Edgar Award–winning author of The Saint).
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About the author

Dr. Scott Bonn is a professor of criminology at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. His expert commentary has appeared in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, Headline News Network, and more. Dr. Bonn hosts a weekly college radio show and has recently appeared as an expert analyst in the A&E documentary The Long Island Serial Killer. The author resides in Manhattan, New York.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse
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Published on
Oct 28, 2014
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781632201898
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Forensic Psychology
Social Science / Criminology
True Crime / Murder / Serial Killers
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Like the mythic cities of Gotham or Gomorrah, London, Ontario was for many years an unrivalled breeding ground of depravity and villainy, the difference being that its monsters were all too real.

In its coming to inherit the unwanted distinction of being the serial killer capital of not just Canada—but apparently also the world during this dark age in the city’s sordid history— the crimes seen in London over this quarter-century period remain unparalleled and for the most part unsolved. From the earliest documented case of homicidal copycatting in Canada, to the fact that at any given time up to six serial killers were operating at once in the deceivingly serene “Forest City,” London was once a place that on the surface presented a veneer of normality when beneath that surface dark things would whisper and stir. Through it all, a lone detective would go on to spend the rest of his life fighting against impossible odds to protect the city against a tidal wave of violence that few ever saw coming, and which to this day even fewer choose to remember. With his death in 2011, he took these demons to his grave with him but with a twist—a time capsule hidden in his basement, and which he intended to one day be opened. Contained inside: a secret cache of his diaries, reports, photographs, and hunches that might allow a new generation of sleuths to pick up where he left off, carry on his fight, and ultimately bring the killers to justice—killers that in many cases are still out there.

Murder City is an explosive book over fifty years in the making, and is the history of London, Ontario as never told before. Stranger than fiction, tragic, ironic, horrifying, yet also inspiring, this is the true story of one city under siege, and a book that marks a game changer for the true crime genre.
A comprehensive examination into the frightening true crime history of serial homicide—including information on America’s most prolific serial killers such as:

Ted Bundy • “Co-ed Killer” Ed Kemper • The BTK Killer • “Highway Stalker” Henry Lee Lucas • Monte Ralph Rissell • “Shoe Fetish Slayer” Jerry Brudos • “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez • “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski • Ed Gein “The Butcher of Plainfield” • “Killer Clown” John Wayne Gacy • Andrew Cunanan • And more...

In this unique book, Peter Vronsky documents the psychological, investigative, and cultural aspects of serial murder, beginning with its first recorded instance in Ancient Rome through fifteenth-century France on to such notorious contemporary cases as cannibal/necrophile Ed Kemper, the BTK killer, Henry Lee Lucas, Monte Ralph Rissell, Jerry Brudos, Richard Ramirez, “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, Ed Gein, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, and the emergence of what he classifies as the “serial rampage killer” such as Andrew Cunanan, who murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace.

Vronsky not only offers sound theories on what makes a serial killer but also makes concrete suggestions on how to survive an encounter with one—from recognizing verbal warning signs to physical confrontational resistance. Exhaustively researched with transcripts of interviews with killers, and featuring up-to-date information on the apprehension and conviction of the Green River killer and the Beltway Snipers, Vronsky’s one-of-a-kind book covers every conceivable aspect of an endlessly riveting true crime phenomenon.

INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS
THE DEFINITIVE DOSSIER ON HISTORY’S MOST HEINOUS!

Hollywood’s make-believe maniacs like Jason, Freddy, and Hannibal Lecter can’t hold a candle to real life monsters like John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and scores of others who have terrorized, tortured, and terminated their way across civilization throughout the ages. Now, from the much-acclaimed author of Deviant, Deranged, and Depraved, comes the ultimate resource on the serial killer phenomenon.

Rigorously researched and packed with the most terrifying, up-to-date information, this innovative and highly compelling compendium covers every aspect of multiple murderers–from psychology to cinema, fetishism to fan clubs, “trophies” to trading cards. Discover:

WHO THEY ARE: Those featured include Ed Gein, the homicidal mama’s boy who inspired fiction’s most famous Psycho, Norman Bates; Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, sex-crazed killer cousins better known as the Hillside Stranglers; and the Beanes, a fifteenth-century cave-dwelling clan with an insatiable appetite for human flesh

HOW THEY KILL: They shoot, stab, and strangle. Butcher, bludgeon, and burn. Drown, dismember, and devour . . . and other methods of massacre too many and monstrous to mention here.

WHY THEY DO IT: For pleasure and for profit. For celebrity and for “companionship.” For the devil and for dinner. For the thrill of it, for the hell of it, and because “such men are monsters, who live . . . beyond the frontiers of madness.”

PLUS: in-depth case studies, classic killers’ nicknames, definitions of every kind of deviance and derangement, and much, much more.

For more than one hundred profiles of lethal loners and killer couples, Bluebeards and black widows, cannibals and copycats– this is an indispensable, spine-tingling, eye-popping investigation into the dark hearts and mad minds of that twisted breed of human whose crimes are the most frightening . . . and fascinating.
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