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Clues From Killers

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Overview

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...

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275983604
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet 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).

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Table of Contents

1 The Son of Sam 7
2 The DC sniper 29
3 The mad butcher 45
4 The Unabomber 65
5 The Zodiac 89
6 The BTK strangler 115
7 John Robinson, Sr. 131
8 Jack the Ripper 147
9 William Heirens 173
10 The black dahlia avenger 191
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 13, 2012

    Too many myths and misconceptions

    I rented this book from my college library to do a report on serial homicide for one of my classes. I choose this book in particular because it discusses the 1945 "Lipstick Murders" and the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short (the Black Dahlia) both cases of which I have done extensive research and have written several papers and continue to be fascinated by. Needless to say, this book is filled with gross misconceptions and out right lies in pertains to these cases, so much so that I couldn't even begin to read the book.

    Mr. Gibson uses John Gilmore's 1994 book "Severed" and Janice Knowlton's book "Daddy was the Black Dahlia Killer" for his resources regarding Elizabeth Short. Gilmore's book had been denounced as fiction and fantasy by many "Dahlia Experts". I also invite anyone to look up the FACTS as to Elizabeth's death and compare them with the nonsense Janice Knowlton writes about. John Gilmore claims that Jack Anderson Wilson was responsible for Elizabeth's death but if you do some research you will find that J.A.
    W. was a petty theif and alcoholic and could not have possed the skill required to expertly dismember Elizabeth. There is also no proof that J.A.W was a serial murderer either before or after Elizabeth's death.

    Janice maintains that her father, George Knowlton, killed Elizabeth. All her "facts" are the result of undergoing "repressed memory therapy" and include such forensically contrary gems as "My father murdered Elizabeth with a Skil Saw" and that Elizabeth's body had been wrapped in a blanket and submerged in the ocean for a period of time BEFORE being dismembered. The possiblity that Elizabeth was submerged in water for a period of days or weeks before her dismemberment is unfounded. A Skil saw also could not have been used as she was SURGICALLY dismembered and a Skil saw would have caused tearing and ragged edges at the dismemberment site and would not have been able to sever her spinal vertabre as expertly and cleanly as it had been. Janice Knowlton also had a history of being mentally unstable and some years later committed suicide.

    There are also such grave misconceptions about William Heireins and the Lipstick Murders. William was also a petty thief with no previous history of commiting assault, sexual assault or murder. He also did not posses the knowledge to expertly and surgically dismember and behead Suzanne Degnan. He was a kid that was raised in an unstable household and turned to theft as a way of getting his needs met. He did not defecate and urinate at his crime scenes as Mr. Gibson contends. Surgical tools were also not found when his house was searched although a revolver and stolen expensive women's clothing were. He also did not engage in necrophilia with the Suzanne Degnan! It was proven at the time of autopsy that no sexual assault, either pre, peri, or post mortem had occured and I find it deplorable that Mr. Gibson would tout such nonsense as fact. Handwriting samples also prove that William was not the writer of the Lipstick writings and other correspondance. Recently experts have interviewed William and have concluded that he doesn't not meet the psychological profile of someone who commits murder. Experts have only found what we already knew, that he was a thief at the wrong place, at the wrong time. William will die in jail for heinous crimes he didn't commit.
    I invite anyone intersted in these cases to read

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