The term “Serial Killer” is a relatively new one. That doesn’t mean to say that Serial Killers did not exist before the creation of the phrase; it just means they were called “Monsters,” or “Terrors” before this.
Go back to the dark days of Victorian London and we had Jack the Ripper stalking the narrow alleys of the East End of London, searching for lone prostitutes to kill. Before this, we had the “Penny Dreadful” pamphlets, which fed on the public’s desire to read about heinous acts of bloody murder and the killers who lurked in the darkness, ready to strike as the body count inevitably rose.
The term “Serial Killer” was coined by FBI investigator Robert Ressler, who pioneered the use of criminal profiling. He was curious as to why some crimes were so hard to understand; because of their violence or seemingly irrational behaviour, and he thought that by figuring out the “why,” then maybe the next time, the police could better figure out who they were looking for.
At the Bureaux, he and John Douglas were the first people to ever conduct research on serial killers. As part of their research, they sat face to face with some of the world’s most notorious serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and John Wayne Gacy.
Serial killers often have no desire to be caught. They love killing far too much. However, many enjoy a game of cat and mouse with investigators. They also of course, enjoy to play games with their victims too. Take Dennis Lynn Rader, better known as the “Bind, Torture, Kill” serial killer.
In this book, we take a close look at some of these ‘Monsters.’ For them, the thrill of the hunt is as important as the capture of their prey. What they do with their prey from there, usually consists of the utmost and prolonged torture and depravity, often with a strong element of sexual deviance, all perpetrated for the self-gratification of the twisted killer.
For these killers, they will never stop. They couldn’t if they wanted to; and for most of them, they really don’t want to stop. There may be periods where they lie low, sink into the background, out of sight; but in their minds, they are merely reliving their killings, and planning their next ones.
They are very good at hiding in plain sight. They usually look very normal. They usually have a job, a family, an ordinary life. They look like anyone else. A regular citizen. A good neighbour. Someone you would pass in the street and not even notice.
But when their mask of normality slips, it’s time for them to hunt again. It’s time for them to capture and kill….