Abstract

Interest in serial killers has become a prominent topic of discussion in the media today. The so-called serial killer fandom has been on the fringes of our society for generations. Violence and the perpetrators of violence have always been fascinating to some individuals. The advent of the internet has allowed the serial killer fandom to spread and for members to connect with each other. Over time, many forms of expression for this interest in killers has manifested.

This thesis proposes a theoretical continuum of serial killer fandom. Constructed from an ethnographic content analysis of existing literature and relevant media, this continuum includes six categories: consumers, collectors, dark tourists, correspondents, groupies, and hybristophiliacs. A description of each category is given alongside discussion of types of associated activities and the prevalence of each within the fandom. The purpose of this project is to bring more context, awareness, and understanding of the fandom to mitigate the concern and fear that surrounds it since there is little research on the topic. Our greater society questions the morality of members of the serial killer fandom, but this concern is mostly unfounded as we will see

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2022

Mentor

Carl Root

Mentor Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level

Bachelors

Department

Justice Studies

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