Natural Born Celebrities

Author: David Schmid
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226738697
Size: 15.31 MB
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A historical account of how serial killers have become famous in American culture looks at the consequences of their fame and examines how that fame has been used in both the popular media and law enforcement, profiling a variety of notorious murderers and their influence on popular culture, from 1893 killer H. H. Holmes to terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Serial Killers

Author: Mark Seltzer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135206864
Size: 68.45 MB
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In this provocative cultural study, the serial killer emerges as a central figure in what Mark Seltzer calls 'America's wound culture'. From the traumas displayed by talk show guests and political candidates, to the violent entertainment of Crash or The Alienist, to the latest terrible report of mass murder, we are surrounded by the accident from which we cannot avert our eyes. Bringing depth and shadow to our collective portrait of what a serial killer must be, Mark Seltzer draws upon popular sources, scholarly analyses, and the language of psychoanalysis to explore the genesis of this uniquely modern phenomenon. Revealed is a fascination with machines and technological reproduction, with the singular and the mass, with definitions of self, other, and intimacy. What emerges is a disturbing picture of how contemporary culture is haunted by technology and the instability of identity.

Psycho Paths

Author: Philip L. Simpson
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 9780809323296
Size: 64.57 MB
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Philip L. Simpson provides an original and broad overview of the evolving serial killer genre in the two media most responsible for its popularity: literature and cinema of the 1980s and 1990s. The fictional serial killer, with a motiveless, highly individualized modus operandi, is the latest manifestation of the multiple murderers and homicidal maniacs that haunt American literature and, particularly, visual media such as cinema and television. Simpson theorizes that the serial killer genre results from a combination of earlier genre depictions of multiple murderers, inherited Gothic storytelling conventions, and threatening folkloric figures reworked over the years into a contemporary mythology of violence. Updated and repackaged for mass consumption, the Gothic villains, the monsters, the vampires, and the werewolves of the past have evolved into the fictional serial killer, who clearly reflects American cultural anxieties at the start of the twenty-first century. Citing numerous sources, Simpson argues that serial killers’ recent popularity as genre monsters owes much to their pliability to any number of authorial ideological agendas from both the left and the right ends of the political spectrum. Serial killers in fiction are a kind of debased and traumatized visionary, whose murders privately and publicly re-empower them with a pseudo-divine aura in the contemporary political moment. The current fascination with serial killer narratives can thus be explained as the latest manifestation of the ongoing human fascination with tales of gruesome murders and mythic villains finding a receptive audience in a nation galvanized by the increasingly apocalyptic tension between the extremist philosophies of both the New Right and the anti-New Right. Faced with a blizzard of works of varying quality dealing with the serial killer, Simpson has ruled out the catalog approach in this study in favor of in-depth an analysis of the best American work in the genre. He has chosen novels and films that have at least some degree of public name-recognition or notoriety, including Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, Manhunter directed by Michael Mann, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer directed by John McNaughton, Seven directed by David Fincher, Natural Born Killers directed by Oliver Stone, Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates, and American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis.

Natural Born Killers

Author: Quentin Tarantino
Publisher: Grove Press
ISBN: 9780802134486
Size: 23.27 MB
Format: PDF
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Natural Born Killers is a disturbing and brilliant indictment of violence in the media and American celebrity culture. Mickey and Mallory Knox, outlaw lovers on the run, go on a killing spree of startling viciousness -- and find themselves transformed into cult celebrities by the tabloid media. The film, directed by Oliver Stone, departed significantly from Tarantino's original screenplay, so much so that Tarantino removed his name from the screenplay credits. Now available in America for the first time, the original screenplay offers fans and film buffs of all stripes the opportunity to compare Tarantino's original vision with Stone's version of the story of Mickey and Mallory.

Psycho Usa

Author: Harold Schechter
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345524470
Size: 23.83 MB
Format: PDF
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Shares the stories of lesser-known serial killers including "Mad Sculptor" Robert Irwin, "Tell-Tale Heart Killer" Peter Robinson and "Man of Two Lives" Edward H. Ruloff, in an anthology that evaluates their mental statuses, motivations and role in inspiring period literature and tabloids. Original. 25,000 first printing.

Why We Love Serial Killers

Author: Scott Bonn
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 1632201895
Size: 18.99 MB
Format: PDF
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For decades now, serial killers have taken center stage in the news and entertainment media. The coverage of real-life murderers such as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer has transformed them into ghoulish celebrities. Similarly, the popularity of fictional characters such as Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter or Dexter demonstrates just how eager the public is to be frightened by these human predators. But why is this so? Could it be that some of us have a gruesome fascination with serial killers for the same reasons we might morbidly stare at a catastrophic automobile accident? Or it is something more? In Why We Love Serial Killers, criminology professor Dr. Scott Bonn explores our powerful appetite for the macabre, while also providing new and unique insights into the world of the serial killer, including those he has gained from his correspondence with two of the world’s most notorious examples, David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”) and Dennis Rader (“Bind, Torture, Kill”). In addition, Bonn examines the criminal profiling techniques used by law enforcement professionals to identify and apprehend serial predators, he discusses the various behaviors—such as the charisma of the sociopath— that manifest themselves in serial killers, and he explains how and why these killers often become popular cultural figures. Groundbreaking in its approach, Why We Love Serial Killers is a compelling look at how the media, law enforcement agencies, and public perception itself shapes and feeds the “monsters” in our midst.

Perfume

Author: Patrick Süskind
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0375725849
Size: 22.75 MB
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An odorless baby found orphaned in a Paris gutter in 1738 grows to become a monster obsessed with his perfect sense of smell and a desire to capture, by any means, the ultimate scent that will make him human. Reader's Guide available. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.

Dead Ends

Author: Michael Reynolds
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780312984182
Size: 59.54 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Tells the story of Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute convicted of murdering a series of men in Florida, and describes her account of the crimes.

The Rise Of True Crime 20th Century Murder And American Popular Culture

Author: Jean Murley
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1573567728
Size: 23.32 MB
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During the 1950s and 1960s True Detective magazine developed a new way of narrating and understanding murder. It was more sensitive to context, gave more psychologically sophisticated accounts, and was more willing to make conjectures about the unknown thoughts and motivations of killers than others had been before. This turned out to be the start of a revolution, and, after a century of escalating accounts, we have now become a nation of experts, with many ordinary people able to speak intelligently about blood-spatter patterns and organized vs. disorganized serial killers. The Rise of True Crime examines the various genres of true crime using the most popular and well-known examples. And despite its examination of some of the potentially negative effects of the genre, it is written for people who read and enjoy true crime, and wish to learn more about it. With skyrocketing crime rates and the appearance of a frightening trend toward social chaos in the 1970s, books, documentaries, and fiction films in the true crime genre tried to make sense of the Charles Manson crimes and the Gary Gilmore execution events. And in the 1980s and 1990s, true crime taught pop culture consumers about forensics, profiling, and highly technical aspects of criminology. We have thus now become a nation of experts, with many ordinary people able to speak intelligently about blood-spatter patterns and organized vs. disorganized serial killers. Through the suggestion that certain kinds of killers are monstrous or outside the realm of human morality, and through the perpetuation of the stranger-danger idea, the true crime aesthetic has both responded to and fostered our culture's fears. True crime is also the site of a dramatic confrontation with the concept of evil, and one of the few places in American public discourse where moral terms are used without any irony, and notions and definitions of evil are presented without ambiguity. When seen within its historical context, true crime emerges as a vibrant and meaningful strand of popular culture, one that is unfortunately devalued as lurid and meaningless pulp.

The Subject Of Murder

Author: Lisa Downing
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022600368X
Size: 76.10 MB
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The subject of murder has always held a particular fascination for us. But, since at least the nineteenth century, we have seen the murderer as different from the ordinary citizen—a special individual, like an artist or a genius, who exists apart from the moral majority, a sovereign self who obeys only the destructive urge, sometimes even commanding cult followings. In contemporary culture, we continue to believe that there is something different and exceptional about killers, but is the murderer such a distinctive type? Are they degenerate beasts or supermen as they have been depicted on the page and the screen? Or are murderers something else entirely? In The Subject of Murder, Lisa Downing explores the ways in which the figure of the murderer has been made to signify a specific kind of social subject in Western modernity. Drawing on the work of Foucault in her studies of the lives and crimes of killers in Europe and the United States, Downing interrogates the meanings of media and texts produced about and by murderers. Upending the usual treatment of murderers as isolated figures or exceptional individuals, Downing argues that they are ordinary people, reflections of our society at the intersections of gender, agency, desire, and violence.