Peter Vronsky’s latest work, American Serial Killers (Nua Edizioni), will also be available in Italy from May 12th. It’s an extraordinary essay that delves not only into what the author calls the “golden age” of serial killers, but also examines their historical, cultural, and psychological origins, taking readers on a journey into the darkest recesses of the human and collective psyche.

Vronsky is a Canadian investigative historian, writer, and director who holds a PhD in the history of criminal justice and espionage in international relations from the University of Toronto.

With bestsellers like Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters, Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters, and Sons of Cain: A History of Serial Killers from the Stone Age to the Present, he has established himself as the foremost expert on the history of serial killers.

American Serial Killers: The Deadliest Years 1950-2000

Fans of Mindhunter and true crime podcasts will devour these chilling stories of serial killers from the American “Golden Age” (1950-2000).

American Serial Killers: The Deadliest Years 1950-2000 by Peter Vronsky

American Serial Killers: The Deadliest Years 1950-2000 by Peter Vronsky

With books like Serial Killers, Female Serial Killers and Sons of Cain, Peter Vronsky has established himself as the foremost expert on the history of serial killers.  In this first definitive history of the “Golden Age” of American serial murder, when the number and body count of serial killers exploded, Vronsky tells the stories of the most unusual and prominent serial killings from the 1950s to the early twenty-first century. From Ted Bundy to the Golden State Killer, our fascination with these classic serial killers seems to grow by the day. American Serial Killers gives true crime junkies what they crave, with both perennial favorites (Ed Kemper, Jeffrey Dahmer) and lesser-known cases (Melvin Rees, Harvey Glatman).

Review

I must confess that I was not familiar with Peter Vronsky before reading this essay, but I was impressed with his vast knowledge on the subject from the very beginning.

The writing style is direct, and the narration conveys the author’s fascination with the mystery of the human mind. Despite the abundance of information and the numerous points of reflection, the reading is fluid, with the parallelism drawn between the myth of vampires and werewolves and the brutality of serial killers being a particularly intriguing point.

Jeffrey Dahmer infografica espositiva, ritaglio, presso “Serial Killer Exhibition” Milano 2023

Jeffrey Dahmer infografica espositiva, ritaglio, presso “Serial Killer Exhibition” Milano 2023

Using a metaphorical approach, Professor Vronsky follows a group of future serial killers during the epidemic years. In this way, he outlines a social, political, and cultural context that seems to be actively harming the mental stability of its own descendants.

The relationship that the United States has had with violence is unsettling. The development of the country’s national identity in the last century was forged through collective post-war traumas. Moreover, racial conflicts and the explicit images of abuse and domination easily found in “true detective” magazines targeted at a male audience add to this disturbing context.

Infografica Statistiche Serial Killer presso “Serial Killer Exhibition” Milano 2023

Infografica Statistiche Serial Killer presso “Serial Killer Exhibition” Milano 2023

There are many elements that are considered likely ingredients for future crimes, some of which may be surprising. For example, the development of large state highways and freeways has facilitated actions and escapes, increasing the number of victims of serial killers and their ability to operate.

In recounting some important cases, the author also highlights the response of law enforcement and forensic psychiatric communities. Initially unprepared for the evolutionary aspect of criminal profiling techniques, which were practically non-existent before the 1930s.

However, we are currently living in a period where serial killers are in sharp decline worldwide. Could the increase in technology, such as street cameras, satellites, and DNA analysis, act as deterrents to criminal activity? And if the calm of recent years is only apparent, could a new “golden age” be on the horizon?

Conclusions

Highly recommended!

American Serial Killers is an almost encyclopedic essay. This is a real gem that true-crime enthusiasts, psychologists, and forensic procedure fans should not miss!

The exceptional research presented in this book defines Vronsky as one of the foremost experts in the field.

I recommend this book not only to fans of the genre, but to anyone who wants to take a look at the dark side of our own actions.

Everyone should understand that what we are today is the result of what we experienced yesterday.

“Serial killers are the product of our times, and these are bloody times.”

Richard Ramirez – The Night Stalker

Autore

  • Roxanne Caracciolo

    Affascinata dal lato oscuro che c'è in ogni persona, mi piace approfondire misteri e leggende. Ho studiato negli anni, tutto ciò che riguarda il vampirismo, a livello letterario, storico e reale. Quando non sono al lavoro o in palestra, sono immersa nella lettura, i miei autori preferiti sono Poe, Lovecraft, Wilde e tra i contemporanei King ed Anne Rice.

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