Serial Killer Research Paper

1057 Words5 Pages
The Idolization of Serial Killers in American Culture Americans are subjected to the tantalizing world of media, which consists of a wide production of news, books, and television. Some journalists and producers prefer to address the other side of every story, yet there will always be those who feel inclined to stretch the truth and exaggerate details in order to entice the American population. Undeniably, America is a consumer society with people who often “buy” into the words of producers and authors as it gives them incentive to believe the occasional myths orchestrated from the truth. Due to America's media driven culture, Americans tend to idolize the idea of serial killers, and this allure to these killers is a reflection of the culture…show more content…
The idea of "yellow journalism" stemmed from the exaggeration of details from the truth in order to gain a persevering audience. Throughout history criminals have become the target of many opinion-influencers in the media from reporters to newspaper editors, in turn "yellow journalism" became the conventional method in targeting criminals and in doing so allowed the mass population to idolize them (Schmid 13). Specifically in the realm of serial killers, American culture was heavily influenced by mainstream media as early as the 19th century due to the exploitation of the serial killer, Jack the Ripper (Seltzer 4). Although he was primarily covered in London as his killings took place there, the involvement of "yellow journalism" allowed his escapades to reach as far as the United States. This exploitation led to his infamy, but people still managed to find themselves attracted to the conundrum behind his…show more content…
The media increases the attention they receive from their audience constantly as Schmid suggested, “raw dispatches about the crime of the moment, the frightening—and often false—trend of the week, the prurient murder of the month, the sensational trial of the year” (14). Serial killers have become just that trend. The media understands that American culture has evolved in such a way where their wants have "shifted to require constant entertainment" (Haggerty 170). Due to the media's involvement with reporting high-rated crime, Americans have sharpened their already keen interest in the "strange and abnormal" side of society. Mainstream media understood this interest in the “other” and responded with the level of entertainment the culture called for. By the 1980s, serial killers took a dominant role in society for two respective reasons: they personified the tabloidization of media and "exemplified" important features such as how the "contemporary American mass media represent crime"(Schmid 14). They effectively managed to assimilate serial killers into American culture as an icon in the eyes of the

More about Serial Killer Research Paper

Open Document