A superbly targeted resource for those learning about serial killings. Serial Killers and the Phenomenon of Serial Murder examines and analyses some of the best known (as well as lesser) cases from English criminal history, ancient and modern. It looks at the lifestyles, backgrounds and activities of those who become serial killers and identifies clear categories of individuals into which most serial killers fall. Led by Professor David Wilson the authors are all experts and teachers concerning the ever-intriguing subject of serial killing: why, when and how it happens and whether it can be predicted. Taking some of the leading cases from English law and abroad they demonstrate the patterns that emerge in the lives and backgrounds of those who kill a number of times over a period. The book is designed for those studying the topic at advanced level, whether as an academic discipline on one of the many courses now run by universities and colleges or as a private quest for understanding. It contains notes on key terms and explanations of topics such as co-activation, Munchausen syndrome, cooling-off period, psychopathy checklist, social construction, case linkage, family annihilation, activity space, rational choice theory, medicalisation and rendezvous discipline. As the first textbook of its kind it will be an invaluable resource for teachers and students of serious crime.
The authors are colleagues at Birmingham City University where David Wilson (who also regularly presents TV programmes on the topic of Serial Killing) is one of the UK’s leading criminologists, a National Teaching Fellow and Founding Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology. His books for Waterside Press include Serial Killers: Hunting Britons and Their Victims 1960-2006 (2007) and Mary Ann Cotton: Britain’s First Female Serial Killer (2013). Foreword author Steve Hall is Professor of Criminology at Teesside University and the co-founder of the Teesside Centre for Realist Criminology. He is an internationally leading criminological researcher and theorist.