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Extreme Killing

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



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
May 27, 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

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 USAToday. Fox led the investigation of Seattle’s Capitol Hill mass shooting and was part of the task force investigating the serial murder of college students in Gainesville,... More About Author

Jack Levin

Jack Levin is the Brudnick Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology at Northeastern University, where he codirects its Center on Violence and Conflict. He has authored or coauthored more than 30 books, most recently The Violence of Hate: Understanding Harmful Forms of Bias and Bigotry and The Allure of Premeditated Murder: Why Some People Plan to Kill. Levin has also published more than 250 articles and columns in professional journals, books, magazines, and newspapers, such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, The... More About Author