You are here

Extreme Killing

Extreme Killing
Understanding Serial and Mass Murder

Fourth Edition

February 2018 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Accessibly written, yet analytically rich, Extreme Killing gives a comprehensive and concise overview of multiple homicide, including both serial and mass murder. Filled with contemporary and classic case studies, this fully updated Fourth Edition illustrates the many violent expressions of power, revenge, terror, greed, and loyalty. Written by renowned experts and authors in the field, James Alan Fox, Jack Levin, and Emma Fridel bring their years of research to bear in this fascinating analysis of serial, multiple, and mass murder. They examine the theories of criminal behavior and apply them to a multitude of mass and serial murderer from around the world, such as the Grim Sleeper in Los Angeles, the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, the shooting of nine African Americans by a white supremacist in a Charleston church, the five police officers who were gunned down in Dallas, and so much more.  This book involves the readers in 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.


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  
2. Defining Multiple Murder
Mass, Serial, and Spree  
Mass Confusion  
Counting Victims of Serial Murder  
Typologies of Multiple Murder  
3. Theories of Multiple Homicide
Sociological Theories  
Psychological Theories  
Biological Theories  
4. An Anatomy of Serial Murder
Prevalence of Serial Murder  
A Profile of the Serial Killer  
Extraordinarily Ordinary  
Rehumanizing the Victims  
5. With Deliberation and Purpose
When Killing Is Thrilling  
On a Deadly Mission of Terror or Revenge  
Killing for Expediency  
For Love and Loyalty  
6. Partners in Murder
Insanity in the Relationship  
Partners for Profit  
Partnerships of Men and Women  
All in the Family  
7. Killing for Company
Placing the Blame  
Killing for Companionship  
The Functions of Cannibalism  
Desire for Total Control and Ownership  
8. Fantasyland
Keeping Souvenirs  
Normal and Abnormal Fantasies  
The Impact of Pornography  
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  
Blaming the Family  
10. Nonsexual Control
Power Over Patients  
Female Serial Killers  
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy  
11. Killing Cults
Killing for a Cause  
The Appeal of Dangerous Cults  
Suicide or Homicide?  
Satanism and Serial Murder  
12. Cathching Serial Killers
Vulnerable Victims Preferred  
Catching the Serial Killer  
13. For Love, Money, or Revenge
Relative Obscurity  
Trends in Mass Murder  
Profile of Mass Murderers and their Crimes  
Characteristics of Mass Murders  
Selective and Methodical  
When Love Kills  
Sweet Revenge  
Profiting from Mass Murder  
Explaining Mass Murder  
Warning Signs of Mental Disturbance  
Contributing Factors  
14. Family Annihilation
A Profile of the Family Annihilator  
Impact of Unemployment  
Murdering Moms  
The Defiant Son  
15. Firing Back
Profile of the Workplace Avenger  
Mixed Motives  
Workplace Murder by Proxy  
Romantic Obsession  
Externalizing Responsibility  
Social Isolation  
Screening out Problem Workers  
Going Postal  
16. Well Schooled in Mass Murder
Disgruntled Students  
Addressing the risk  
The Worst Laid Plans  
A Global Perspective  
On to College  
The Role of Violent Video Games  
The Copycat Effect  
17. Fighting City Hall
Attacking the System  
Legal Battles  
Filing a Grievance  
Increasing Alienation  
Close Call  
18. Hate Motivated Mass Murder
Choice of Victims  
The Killer as Victim  
The Growth of Defensive Hate Attacks  
Mission Hate Crimes  
Targets Not Included in Hate Crime Legislation  
Organized Hate Crimes  
Identifying Hate Crimes  
19. Political Terrorism as Tactic
Hate Crime or Terrorist Act?  
Trends in Domestic Terrorism  
Trends in Global Terrorism  
Vehicular Terrorism  
Lone Wolves  
Reducing Terrorist Violence  
20. Going Berserk
Paranoid Thinking  
Confused State of Mind  
Long-Standing Mental Illness  
Civilian Battlefields  
Brain Abnormalities  
Deadly Weapons  
21. Weapons of Mass (Murder) Destruction
Mass Shootings and Gun Legislation  
School Shootings and Political Will/Won’t  
Expanded Background Checks  
The Assault Weapon Debate  
Concealed Carry  
Armed Faculty and School Security  
A Final Shot  
22. Remembering the Victims

Preview this book

For instructors

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781506349114