Legends, Monsters, or Serial Murderers? The Real Story behind an Ancient Crime

Legends, Monsters, or Serial Murderers? The Real Story behind an Ancient Crime

Legends, Monsters, or Serial Murderers? The Real Story behind an Ancient Crime

Legends, Monsters, or Serial Murderers? The Real Story behind an Ancient Crime

Synopsis

Covering figures ranging from Catherine Monvoisin to Vlad the Impaler, and describing murders committed in ancient aristocracies to those attributed to vampires, witches, and werewolves, this book documents the historic reality of serial murder.

Excerpt

This is a very different type of book about serial murder. It is about the early days of serial murder, before the modern era. Ancient civilizations suffered from serial killers just as contemporary societies do. But that fact has largely escaped the attention of the serial murder literature.

In times past, people did not believe that other humans could mistreat their fellow man as some serial slayers do, so it is my belief that they created a variety of supernatural phenomena to explain away premodern serial murder. Cultures all around the world have accepted the reality of a series of mythic entities since ancient times. But is it likely that mankind really was visited by werewolves, vampires, and their supernatural kin? I think not.

This introduction sets the stage for my study of historic serial murder. My purpose here is to briefly introduce you to the main concepts documented in this book. Four main sections are presented, beginning with the recognition that serial murder is widely perceived to be a relatively recent phenomenon. But this is not the case, I suggest in my second introductory point. The third subject discussed is the misidentification of serial murder victims as prey of the supernatural, and we conclude with a brief identification of the main types of premodern serial killers.

SERIAL MURDER IS PERCEIVED AS A RECENT
PHENOMENON

An examination of the serial murder literature strongly suggests that this is a relatively recent recidivist offense, a modern crime. There were substantial increases in the incidence of serial killing in the 1950s and again two decades later that some observers have mistaken as the genesis of this crime. Others have pointed to the age of industrialization as the origin of this . . .

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