Serial killers come from different backgrounds, attain different levels of education, and hold various types of jobs. However, many serial killers do have at least one thing in common: the desire to communicate regarding their crimes. Killers from Jack the Ripper to the Son of Sam often provide clues to their identities, their motives--even their future targets--through crime scene notes, letters to the media, calls to police, messages scrawled on victims, and, increasingly, email and other technology. Here, Gibson takes a look at ten notorious serial killers, their crimes, their victims, and their communications to uncover the hidden clues into the minds of these unusual and dangerous people.
What compels a serial killer to leave a crime scene message or to call the police to discuss their crimes? What are the purposes of the messages themselves? What do they say about the individuals? How can investigators use such communications to track down these elusive killers? How do killers use these communications to attract new victims? Through a careful examination of messages from such killers as the D.C. Snipers, the BTK Killer, the Zodiac Killer, Jack the Ripper, the Black Dahlia Avenger and others, Gibson reveals aspects of their communications that give us a window into the psyches of these criminals.
About the Author:
DIRK C. GIBSON is Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico. He has published numerous articles on a variety of topics in such journals as Public Relations Quarterly, Public Relations Review, and Southern Communication Journal. He has also published several book chapters and one book, The Role of Communication in the Practice of Law (1991).