Friday, June 8, 2012

Researching Killers

Ok, so my posts are going to start to become a lot more regular; the summer is when i really start rolling on each fall's haunted house. This year's theme of serial killers had me really immersed in the world of these sociopaths. I have been reading everything i could get my hands on from biographies to serial killer encyclopedias, from DVD anthologies, made for TV movies, films and documentaries to newspaper clips, conspiracy theory websites, fan clubs and letters. You name it, i have absorbed it, and in 3 short months i have disturbingly become somewhat of an expert on Serial Killers (with no disrespect to real criminologist, detectives and behavioral psychologists. Obviously i am hyperbolizing). The one through-line i have discovered that might come off as a shocker to you is that they are all pretty bad people. Did you know that? Go figure. But i have discovered the humanity of these people, and i find it more difficult to just dismiss them as "monsters" and leave it at that. Of course their actions are monstrous, and in no way do i condone any act of murder, but when you actually hear them speak or read their letters or interviews, you begin to get conflicted about what it means to be one of them. In most cases you realize you might not recognize them for what they are at first sight. They are people. Some of them act batshit crazy and make it very clear that you should not get in that van with them, but most act just like everyone else. Aside from the killing part What's even more interesting, is that most of them don't rationalize or even try and justify their crimes, but do cogently know how to deconstruct them. They can stand outside of themselves and see how their crimes have shaped the culture and the lives of others. it might not always be remorse, but they can intellectualize what they mean symbolically and how they were created. It is quite fascinating. I expected to read about crazy, blood thirsty murderers who crave killing, like rabid animals. But it is often so much more than that. Which is, of course, what makes them scarier than any monster in fiction. These monsters are real, and you don't always know they are monsters until it is too late. These people are to be feared. They are indeed bogeymen, and in no way are they to be romanticized or glorified (although i have discovered throngs of people who do). What they also are are perfect subjects for a haunted house. Haunted Houses are suppose to be scary, and these guys scare me just reading about them.