Peter Vronsky, best know for his book Serial Killers, attempts to explore the sexual psychology of serial killers throughout know history as well as how society viewed them. The interview with Dan Zupansky (Season 8, Episode 114) holds some interesting musings and facts about serial killers through history. The killers often target those people who society deems lowest, for instance Victorian England killers often went after servant girls often making a fetish of their clothing. French Maid outfit, anyone?
He also spoke for a time about the effect of war, and war crimes, on returning soldiers. The author claims that as many as one million people were killed by Nazi individuals officially sanctioned serial killers. Vronsky tries to explain some of the brutality of the so-called “Golden Age of Serial Killers” (the 1960s, 70s, and 80s) on the experiences of their fathers in World War II. Soldiers often resort to the tactics of their opponents. He didn’t give any concrete examples of this from know serial killers.
Werewolves play a role in this book as well. Vronsky has poured through werewolf trial court documents from 17th century Europe. The court documents contain descriptions of what seem to be serial killers. Legally, there were three types: people who thought that they were werewolves, crazy people, and people who were actually were werewolves. One werewolf trial spoke of a shop keeper who murdered and dismembered children. The author does not mention what became of that monster.
Monsters, that is the old term for people like Dahmer and Ed Gein. People who torture and suck blood and ruin lives. In a world that tries to empathize with the men who commit many murders, often for personal gratification, Vronsky attempts to re-mythicise serial killers in order to understand them in a greater historical context. Modern examples are real people and real archetypes at the same time.