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Extreme Killing
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Extreme Killing
Understanding Serial and Mass Murder

Third Edition


360 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Filled with contemporary and classic case studies, this fascinating overview of both serial and mass murder illustrates the many violent expressions of power, revenge, terror, greed, and loyalty. Throughout the book, renowned experts James Alan Fox and Jack Levin examine the theories of criminal behavior and apply them to a multitude of mass and serial murderers from around the world, such as Adam Lanza (Newtown, CT), James Holmes (Aurora, CO cinema), Anders Breivik (Oslo, Norway), Charles Manson (“Helter Skelter”), and Dennis Rader (BTK). Fully updated with new cases, new data, and the latest information, the Third Edition helps students understand the commonalities and variations among multiple murders, addresses the characteristics of both killers and their victims, and, in the concluding chapter, discusses the special concerns of multiple murder victims and their survivors.
 
Part I: Multiple Murder
 
Chapter 1: America’s Fascination With Multiple Murder
The Gein Legacy

 
Multiple Murder in Popular Culture

 
The Selling of Multiple Murder

 
Craving Attention

 
Killer Communication

 
Killer Groupies

 
The Impact of Celebrating Murderers

 
Sensitize, Not Sanitize

 
 
Chapter 2: Defining Multiple Murder
Mass, Serial, and Spree

 
A Typology of Multiple Murder

 
Theories of Multiple Homicide

 
Social Learning Theory

 
Routine Activity Theory

 
Control Theory

 
Applying the Framework

 
 
Part II: Serial Murder
 
Chapter 3: An Anatomy of Serial Murder
Prevalence of Serial Murder

 
Extraordinarily Ordinary

 
A Profile of the Typical Serial Killer

 
 
Chapter 4: With Deliberation and Purpose
When Killing is Thrilling

 
On a Deadly Mission of Terror or Revenge

 
Killing for Expediency

 
For Love and Loyalty

 
 
Chapter 5: Murder Without Guilt
Self-Control and Social Control

 
The Sociopathic Personality

 
The Culture of Sociopathy

 
Empathy and Serial Killers

 
Borderline Personality Disorder

 
Normalcy in Serial Murder

 
Rehumanizing the Victims

 
 
Chapter 6: Partners in Murder
Insanity in the Relationship

 
Partners for Profit

 
Partnerships of Men and Women

 
 
Chapter 7: Killing for Company
Placing the Blame

 
Killing for Companionship

 
The Functions of Cannibalism

 
Desire for Total Control and Ownership

 
 
Chapter 8: Fantasyland
Keeping Souvenirs

 
Normal and Abnormal Fantasies

 
The Impact of Pornography

 
 
Chapter 9: The Making of a Serial Killer
Childhood Suffering

 
Testimony under Hypnosis

 
Child Abuse and Murder

 
Inordinate Need for Power

 
Animal Cruelty and Violence against Humans

 
Challenges of Predicting Serial Murder

 
Biological Predisposition

 
Blaming the Family

 
 
Chapter 10: Nonsexual Control
Power over Patients

 
Female Serial Killers

 
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

 
 
Chapter 11: Killing Cults
Killing for a Cause

 
The Appeal of Dangerous Cults

 
Suicide or Homicide?

 
Satanism and Serial Murder

 
 
Chapter 12: So Many Victims
Vulnerable Victims Preferred

 
Catching the Serial Killer

 
Behavioral Profiling

 
VICAP

 
DNA

 
Lucky Breaks

 
 
Part III: Massacres
 
Chapter 13: For Love, Money, or Revenge
Relative Obscurity

 
A Profile of Mass Killers

 
Selective and Methodical

 
When Love Kills

 
Sweet Revenge

 
Profiting From Mass Murder

 
Explaining Mass Murder

 
Contributing Factors

 
 
Chapter 14: Family Annihilation
A Profile of the Family Annihilator

 
Impact off Unemployment

 
Murdering Moms

 
The Defiant Son

 
 
Chapter 15: Firing Back
Profile of the Workplace Avenger

 
The Impact of Frustration

 
Mixed Motives

 
Workplace Murder by Proxy

 
Romantic Obsession

 
Externalizing Responsibility

 
Social Isolation

 
Screening out Problem Workers

 
Going Postal

 
 
Chapter 16: Schooled in Mass Murder
Disgruntled Students

 
A Global Perspective

 
On to College

 
The Role of Violent Video Games

 
Shooting for Infamy

 
Shooting for Infamy

 
Adult Copycats

 
Overstating the Copycat Effect?

 
 
Chapter 17: Fighting City Hall
Attacking the System

 
Legal Battles

 
Filing a Grievance

 
Increasing Alienation

 
 
Chapter 18: Hate Motivated Mass Murder
Choice of Victims

 
A Life of Frustration

 
Blaming Women

 
The Killer as Victim

 
Settling a Grudge With a Gun

 
Minority Against Majority

 
 
Chapter 19: Going Berserk
Paranoid Thinking

 
Confused State of Mind

 
Long-Standing Mental Illness

 
Civilian Battlefields

 
Brain Abnormalities

 
Deadly Weapons

 
 
Chapter 20: Weapons of Mass (Murder) Destruction
Mass Shootings and Gun Legislation

 
School Shootings and Political Will/Won’t

 
The Assault Weapon Debate

 
Expanded Background Checks

 
Concealed Carry

 
Armed Faculty and School Security

 
A Final Word

 
 
Part IV: Epilogue
 
Chapter 21: Remembering The Victims

Very thorough with current examples. Easy to follow and understand

Dr Anita Black
Criminal Justice, King College
July 7, 2016

Adopting for a different module

Miss Marie Robbins
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
December 1, 2015

Excellent resource with lots of case studies to demonstrate the mind and thinking of a killer.
Highly recommended

Miss Sarah Bishop
Public Services, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College
March 20, 2015

Interesting read but it lacks theoretical depth

Dr Maria Ioannou
School of Human and Health Sciences, Huddersfield University
January 2, 2015

This is a well written and interesting book. However, it's not suitable for the intended course. We are looking for something with more theoretical depth when it comes to trying to understand and explain "extreme killing".

Mr Peter Karlsson
Sch of Health & Social Sciences - HOS, Halmstad University
December 11, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 19


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James Alan Fox

James Alan Fox is the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern University. He has published 18 books, dozens of journal and magazine articles, as well as hundreds of freelance columns in newspapers around the country, primarily in the areas of multiple murder, youth crime, school and campus violence, workplace violence, and capital punishment. As a member of its Board of Contributors, his opinion column appears frequently in USA TODAY.  Fox often gives keynote talks and testimony before Congress and in criminal and civil court proceedings. He has briefed various leaders here and abroad, and has... More About Author

Jack Levin

Jack Levin is the Brudnick Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology at Northeastern University, where he co-directs its Center on Violence and Conflict. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 books, most recently The Violence of Hate and Hate Crime: A Global Perspective. Dr. Levin has also published more than 250 articles and columns in professional journals, books, magazines, and newspapers, such as The New York Times, London Sunday Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and USA Today.  Dr. Levin was honored by the Massachusetts... More About Author

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