Serial Killers: Why Are They so Fascinating?

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Since the time of Jack the Ripper serial killers and their prey have captivated the world. Their victims range from five to hundred, but all share the same notorious lime light. Throughout America's history there have been stories of serial killers that have been told to scare and fascinate us. The question remains "Why do we find serial killers so fascinating?"

What is a serial killer? Webster defines a serial killer as someone who kills three or more people at the same time, or in a short interval. That term is fairly new, and was first used to describe Ed Gein. Gein was a serial killer who lived in the plains of Wisconsin, in the early 1950s. He only claimed 3 victims, all of whom were women, but the way that he killed them caught America's attention. He used to remove all the skin of his victims in order to make himself into a woman. This type of behavior is clearly not normal. Why was Ed Gein not given a psychiatric evaluation before he was put to death? The oldest recorded case of serial killings is the story of Jack the Ripper. Jack the Ripper only had five victims, all of whom were prostitutes. Yet, he is the most well known, notorious, serial killer in the world. In part that is because he has never been caught, and people are stunned that this could actually happen. During the early twentieth century there were more serial murders in America. Albert Fish lived in New York City, where he carried out all of his crimes. His crimes are some of the darkest in history. Fish used to lure children off the streets into dilapidated houses. He killed them, than ate his victims. At his trial his defense attorney pushed to have Fish evaluated by a psychiatrist, but the Judge denied it. It is again clear that Albert Fish was criminally insane, but again mental help was denied. During the seventies, John Wayne Gacy dominated newspaper headlines. His victims were all teen boys, ranging in age from fourteen to twenty-two. Gacy lived what looked like a completely...
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