The nineteen-seventies was an incredible decade. It was a decade of change, one
of freedom, a time for great music. It was also an incredible decade for shock,
fear and serial killers. John Wayne Gacy, an amateur clown, was a pedophiliac
homosexual. He tortured and killed thirty three little boys and stored their
remains under his house. David Berkowitz, a.k.a. the Son of Sam, stalked New
York City from nineteen-sixty-seven to nineteen-seventy-seven. He claimed to
have been following a voice from his dog that told him when and where to kill. Ted
Bundy, who is believed to have killed at least thirty-four people, was charged for
only three under his own defense- and in fact, he was commended by the judge
for his own defense. He was put to death


With the combination of a very powerful media and a society fascinated with
gruesome, sadistic crimes, modern serial killers have been put in the spotlight. We
are enraptured with serial killers so much, that we pay seven dollars to go see a
movie where everyone except the bad guys gets strangled, mutilated, or shot- and
enjoy it in some sick way. The media goes out of its way to glamorize murder and
terrify the public. We support killers like Charles Manson on Death Row with our
tax dollars. In fact, we support them with more than that. About two months ago
there was an art show in California entitled: The Death Row Art Show III. Pieces
sold for thousands of dollars regardless of their aesthetic appeal, because of the
identity of the artists. Serial killers are becoming as popular as rock stars.

Serial killers are a development of the industrial world; they really didn\'t "come
about" until the late eighteen-hundreds when society was becoming modernized
and the threat of the new age sort of displaced some individuals so much they felt
they had to kill to get their point across to society. Jack the Ripper is probably the
most notorious killer in history because he established the serial killer profile.
Ripper set up a pattern for the new line of mass murderers who would follow in
the tradition of a truly organized killer. He had a sexual obsession with prostitutes
that led him to target complete strangers for a days work. When he was done, he
laid his victim out in a ritualistic manner with various disemboweled items placed
strategically on or around the victim\'s corpse.

Of course, murder has been around for centuries, committed by under-educated
thieves. No one was interested in meeting, and hearing about a poor peasant that
slit someones throat in a dark alley. But ever since the introduction of serial killers
into our society, with their precision and strategy of the murder, the media
became fascinated with these people, and so did society. So instead of killing or
punishing these horrible people, we now have television networks arguing over
movie rights to the killers story. News shows fighting to get the "exclusive
interview". T-shirts with the killers faces on them(e.g.. the famous "Manson
T-shirt"). The only explanation I can offer is that we are still obsessed with our own
mortality, and we always will be. As long as we die, we\'ll be fascinated by those
who seem to be invincible from death like, serial killers, Hitler...its almost as is we
like to see the act of death itself, over and over, to observe the exact moment- or
what it is that puts us over that incredible brink between life and death.

I can honestly say I am fascinated with the serial killer. But since when did we
condone the practice of serial killers? Why aren\'t they put to death promptly after
being convicted, instead of being kept alive for the media to interview? You have
to wonder who is making money in this. When we allow people like this to
dominate our media, it\'s like we\'re saying its all right to murder. Did society and
the media forget that the victims of those serial killers are us and our families? Its
not the serial killers that affected the twentieth century so much, but the spotlight
that allowed them to grow.

Maybe if not for all the attention, there wouldn\'t of been so