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Hunting humans : the rise of the modern multiple murderer

by Leyton, Elliott.

Format: Print Book 2003
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction HV6529.L52 2003
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  HV6529.L52 2003
In this new edition of his landmark 1986 study, pioneering anthropologist Elliott Leyton examines the psyche and motivations of his six original multiple-murderer subjects and now takes stock of how far we've come since then in our understanding of why people commit gruesome assaults on innocent strangers. This case-study approach -- based on years of immersion in the killers' diaries, confessions, psychiatric interviews, statements to the press, videotapes, and photographs -- led the way in defining serial and mass murders not as the acts of alien creatures with deranged minds but rather as personalized protests by alienated men against the society that they believe has excluded them. Leyton also provides an analysis of the Washington, D.C. sniper case. While uncovering the central themes of modern culture that motivated their deeds, Leyton provides vivid and chilling portraits of Edmund Kemper, Ted Bundy, Albert DeSalvo, and David Berkowitz, serial murderers whose prolonged killing campaigns provided them revenge against the world and celebrity careers; and other mass murderers whose brief but horrific murder sprees constituted their own enigmatic suicide notes. The author shows that the motives of multiple murderers are not simply sexual or psychotic; but rise from the very core of American mass culture.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Originally published in 1984, Leyton?s pioneering work on the psychology of mass murderers has been updated and revised for this second edition. Clearly written, thoroughly readable and deliberately free of sociological jargon, it is an important contribution to its field and to the public at large, for whom it clarifies a dark and nightmarish phenomenon of our time. Analyzing case histories from Bundy to Berkowitz, Leyton demystifies the mass murderer. He begins with a brilliant description of the foremost serial killer of fiction, Hannibal Lecter, and demonstrates how little he resembles his real-life counterparts. To begin with, there has not been an aristocratic serial killer in centuries; most, says Leyton, are from the working classes. Nor are they diabolical geniuses; rather, they tend to be surprisingly dull-witted. Leyton?s contention is that serial killers are not insane, but a product of their environment. They have been with us for centuries, he argues, and tend to come and go cyclically. (Recent research claims that 15% of them are female.) According Leyton, the serial killer sees his act as a form of revenge upon a specific social class that has denied him the social acceptance that he craves. The elements of sadism and sexual pervasion are his means of punishing his supposed persecutors. A professor of anthropology at Memorial University in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Leyton has written a number of books on psychology, and this volume in particular is a most enlightening work. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information."

Additional Information
Subjects Serial murders -- United States -- Psychological aspects -- Case studies.
Publisher New York : [Berkeley, Calif.] :Carroll & Graf ;2003
Distributed by Publishers Group West,
Edition 2nd ed., completely rev. and updated, 1st Carroll & Graf trade pbk. ed.
Other Titles Compulsive killers.
Contributors Leyton, Elliott. Compulsive killers.
Language English
Notes Rev. ed. of: Compulsive killers. 1986.
Description ix, 406 pages ; 21 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 385-392) and index.
ISBN 0786712287 (trade pbk.)
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