The nineteen-seventies was an incredible decade. It was a decade of change, one of freedom, a time for great music. It was also an incredible decade for shock, fear and serial killers. John Wayne Gacy, an amateur clown, was a pedophiliac homosexual. He tortured and killed thirty- three little boys and stored their remains under his house. David Berkowitz, a.k.a. the Son of Sam, stalked New York City from 1967 to 1977. He claimed to have been following a voice from his dog that told him when and where to kill. Ted Bundy, who is believed to have killed at least thirty-four people, was charged for only three under his own defense- and in fact, he was commended by the judge for his own defense. He was put to death.
With the combination of a very powerful media and a society fascinated with gruesome, sadistic crimes, modern serial killers have been put in the spotlight. We are enraptured with serial killers so much, that we pay seven dollars to go see a movie where everyone except the bad guys gets strangled, mutilated, or shot- and enjoy it in some sick way. The media goes out of its way to glamorize murder and terrify the public. We support killers like Charles Manson on Death Row with our tax dollars. In fact, we support them with more than that. About two months ago there was an art show in California entitled: The Death Row Art Show III. Pieces sold for thousands of dollars regardless of their aesthetic appeal, because of the identity of the artists. Serial killers are becoming as popular as rock stars.
Serial killers are a development of the industrial world; they really didn't "come about" until the late eighteen-hundreds when society was becoming modernized and the threat of the new age sort of displaced some individuals so much they felt they had to kill to get their point across to society. Jack the Ripper is probably the most notorious killer in history because he established the serial killer profile. Ripper set up a pattern for...
Cited: Yofee, Ellen B. "Here Pigs!" Gear October 1995: 10-12
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