Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fascination with serial killers lingers long after crimes

Jeffrey Dahmer's boyhood home in Akron, OH is for sale.  Dahmer was convicted of killing 15 men in a 13-year horrific spree in Milwaukee that spanned from 1978 to 1991.  The killings involved torture and cannnibalism. He was sentenced to 957 years in prison, but was beaten to death by a fellow prisoner in 1994.

Dahmer's former home is located on Bath Road in a wooded area of the suburban Midwest town, the 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom single family home was recently listed on the market for $329,000, reported

Built in 1952, it is enthusiastically described by realtors as an "amazing 50's Ranch! Lush and beautiful flowers and trees decorate the landscape, which you can view from the oversized windows in the formal living room. Inside you will find plenty of space to create your own personal feel! Granite counters in the kitchen. Wood burning fireplaces!"

Why the morbid fascination with serial killers? 

 Author John Verdon suggests, "What logic there is in the behavior of the serial murderer is the logic of darkness and destruction. Serial murder is about the act of murder. In its purest form, the murder is not secondary to any sane goal. It is murder for the sake of murder, killing for the pleasure of killing. It’s about the power and excitement of summoning death itself."
Verdon's new book, "Let the Devil Sleep" is about a serial killer.  Verdon said about serial killer fiction, "This might appear at first glance odd material for casual airplane and beach reading. And yet, there’s a long human history of seeking diversion via immersion in the most dreadful fantasies. So-called fairy tales are an instructive example. We humans have a deep interest in monsters and horror. Picturing fantastical threats seems to be a basic function of our brains."
Not only did the Dahmer grow up in the cozy Akron home, he also committed his first murder there, according to a 2009 NPR article.

"Dahmer did commit his first murder here -- a hitchhiker whom he lured back to the house with promises of drugs and alcohol, and then clubbed with a barbell. Dahmer later dismembered the corpse in the house's crawlspace."

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