Wednesday, October 18, 2017

#MichMurderMayhem: Female Serial Killers Are More Common Than You Think #suspenseromance

When we think about serial killers we think about men. Well, “man,” actually—some vicious, twisted sociopath, working alone. He probably has a dreadful nickname, given to him by the media with loving precision: the Ripper, the Vampire Rapist, the Son of Sam, the Shadow Killer, the Berlin Butcher. His nickname is his brand, a nightmare name for a nightmare man whose victims are, more often than not, innocent women.
It’s true: men spill most of the blood in history books. And serial killers, specifically, are overwhelmingly male. During the past hundred years, fewer than ten percent of serial murderers were women—or so we think. (The records are far from immaculate. In 2007, an exhaustively researched book listed 140 known female serial killers. A blog for the men’s rights movement lists almost 1,000. We do know that the number, whatever it is, has increased in the US since the 1970s.) Society tends to sink into “collective amnesia” about female violence, so much so that when Aileen Wuornos was charged with seven violent murders in 1992, the press pronounced her “America’s first female serial killer” and continued to do so for decades following
Aileen wasn’t America’s first female serial killer—not by a long shot. But female serial killers are master masqueraders: they walk among us looking for all the world like our wives, mothers, and grandmothers. Even after they’ve been apprehended and punished, most of them eventually sink back into the mists of history in a way that male killers do not. Historians are still wondering who Jack the Ripper was, but almost never concern themselves with his creepy countrywoman, Mary Ann Cotton, who claimed three or four times as many victims, most of them children.

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