What You'll Learn:
The first serial killer who really seized the modern world with an admixture of horror and morbid fascination lived in England in the late 1880s. After butchering a number of prostitutes, a man who signed his gleeful letters to the police "Jack the Ripper" became a household name and a public terror. Over a century later, we are more obsessed than ever. True crime novels and shows featuring serial killers find their way onto our shelves and movie queues, from Silence of the Lambs to Dexter to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Even the murders and trials of real-life killers like John Wayne Gacy Jr. ("The Killer Clown") in the 70s and Jeffrey Dahmer in the early 90s created a new breed of celebrities that has transfixed society. Criminologist and analyst Scott A. Bonn sets the record straight on common misconceptions about serial killers and helps us understand the intrigue of the macabre.