THE QUIET KILLERS
These are the quiet killers. They are every bit as lethal as male serial murderers, but we are seldom aware one is in our midst because of the low visibility of their killing.
-- Eric W. Hickey
Serial Murderers and Their Victims
The terms serial murder and serial killer have become deeply woven into the fabric of the American popular media and press since they were first introduced more than twenty years ago. Understandably, these concepts have now been transformed into compelling elements in a mosaic of collective fear, which constitutes a significant part of the American psyche. In particular, over the past two decades, the serial killer has become a fundamental and easily recognized protagonist in the most popular products of the American entertainment industry. Television and the film industry, have imbued our citizens with an irresistible visual and visceral link to the popularized--and often inaccurate--image of this inscrutable criminal. The pervasive and relentless reporting of the gruesome exploits of the sexual serial killer has fostered a remarkable national intimacy with this crime and its perpetrator. In essence, the media-created image of the sexual serial killer of the late twentieth century has become a symbolic national nemesis whose violent activities have been lionized in print, on television, and in the movies to a level that is unprecedented among other categories of crime. Because of this phenomenon.