First published in 1994, this book investigates the social construction of serial homicide and assesses the concern that popular fears and stereotypes have exaggerated: the actual scale of multiple homcide. Jenkins has produced an innovative synthesis of approaches to social problem construction that includes an historical and social-scientific estimate of the objective scale of serial murder; a rhetorical analysis of the contruction of the phenomenom in public debate; a cultural studies-oriented analysis of the portrayal of serial murder in contemorary media.
Chapters include: "The Construction of Problems and Panic," which covers areas such as comprehending murder, dangerous outsiders, and the rhetoric of perscution; "The Reality of Serial Murder," which discusses statistics, stereotype examination, and media patterns;"Popular Culture: Images of the Serial Killer"; "The Racial Dimension: Serial Murder as Bias Crime"; and "Darker than We Imagine"; "Cults and Conspiracies."
Contents: 1. The construction of problems and panics 2. The reality of serial murder 3. The role of the Justice Department 4. Popular culture: images of the serial killer 5. Serial murder as modern mythology 6, The social critique "the kind of society we have now" 7. Everyman: serial murder as 'femicide' 8. The racial dimension: serial mider as bias crime 9. "A homosexual who could strikie again" 10. "Darker than we imagine": cults and conspiracies 11. Conclusion: making and establishing claims