Killer Among Us

Killer Among Us

2.5 2
by Joseph C. Fisher, S. Hafner
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0275955583

ISBN-13: 9780275955588

Pub. Date: 04/30/1997

Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated

What effects does the presence of a serial killer have on the collective health of a community? What strategies do people adopt to manage the fear and anxiety that accompany news of a serial killer's predations? And why do citizens and the media respond as they do to serial killers, who usually account for only a small portion of the homicides in the communities in

Overview

What effects does the presence of a serial killer have on the collective health of a community? What strategies do people adopt to manage the fear and anxiety that accompany news of a serial killer's predations? And why do citizens and the media respond as they do to serial killers, who usually account for only a small portion of the homicides in the communities in which they are active? Killer Among Us examines serial murder from this fresh perspective: an exploration of the ways people react when a killer is at large in their community. Drawing on 19th-century tabloid accounts of the predations of Jack the Ripper and on 20th-century media coverage of such villains as The Son of Sam and Jeffrey Dahmer, the author constructs vivid and provocative retellings of many of the most infamous cases of serial murder.

In 1973, teenage girls began disappearing from Folly Beach, a small town on a barrier island in South Carolina. Initially thought by police to be a spate of runaways, the real story emerged when a police officer on patrol heard a cry for help and found three girls bound and gagged in an abandoned beach cottage. Further investigation turned up bodies buried in the dunes nearby. The police reacted quickly and closed off the only bridge to the mainland, thereby trapping the townspeople with the certain knowledge that one among them was a serial killer. Everyone became a suspect, as neighbor turned against neighbor in an atmosphere of rapidly growing hysteria.

What effects does the presence of a serial killer have on the collective health of a community? What strategies do people adopt to manage the fear and anxiety that accompany news of a serial killer's predations? And why do citizens and the media respond as they do to serial killers, who usually account for only a small portion of the homicides in the communities in which they are active? Killer Among Us addresses these questions by examining serial murder from this fresh perspective: an exploration of the ways people react when a killer is at large in their community. Drawing on 19th-century tabloid accounts of the predations of Jack the Ripper and on 20th-century media coverage of such villains as The Son of Sam and Jeffrey Dahmer, the author constructs vivid and provocative retellings of many of the most infamous cases of serial murder.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275955588
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/30/1997
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
593,862
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Richard Raymond Valenti

Serial Murder: Public Reactions

The Common Denominator: Albert Henry DeSalvo (The Boston Strangler)

The Coed Killer and Clairvoyant: John Norman Collins

The Media and the Murderer: David Richard Berkowitz (The Son of Sam)

A House Divided: Wayne Bertram Williams

There All the Time: Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer

The Classic Case: Jack the Ripper

Bibliography

Index

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Killer among Us 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Killer Among Us by Joseph Fisher is a semi-scientific study of serial killers. Fisher compares many high level serial killers in this book and describes how the public reacts to them. It was interesting how the book was written to compare multiple serial killers and the unique things about each one instead of focusing on just one specific serial killer. Althoug the book sounded interesting on the inside front cover, there was really nothing that I found to be interesting. I thought the book was a little scary and it is not one that I would want to read again. Most of what the book sounds like it is going to be about happens within the first chapter. The book goes on to compare various serial killers in the following chapters. I disliked how there wasn't any real analysis within the book. I felt like I was reading multiple really long research papers. I thought that there was a lot of investigation in each serial killer that Fisher wrote about, but none of them had good enough explanation on how it would feel to be any of the people surrounded by these serial killers. I would suggest not reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A semi-scientific study of modern serial killers. Joseph Fisher compares many high level serial killers in this book and describes how the public reacts to the fact that a serial killer may or may not be in their neighborhoods. These case studies provide insight into serial murders and insights into an aspect of serial killing that is not usually focused on which is the effect on the community and its' institutions.Throughout the book, Fisher gently encourages the reader to consider the killers' actions through newspaper reports, reflecting the thoughts, feelings and insights of specific communities. While Fisher admits that this type of record is imperfect, it does reflect the stages of social activity that he previously identified. While Fisher reports phenomenons, he does little to investigate it or to explain how the excitement of risk could so outweigh the promise of danger in towns under siege. The idea of a scientific analysis of a community response to fear is an intriguing one, but this book provides little in the way of real analysis.