Jack the Ripper's "From Hell" Letter
From Jack the Ripper through B.T.K. in Wichita, Kansas, certain serial killers crave media attention to chronicle their infamous deeds.
by Ben Johnson
The relationship between serial killers and the media is one that has spanned centuries and divided opinion.
From the panic-inciting Penny Dreadfuls published in the fog-filled squalor of Victorian London slums, to the online, on demand, news consumed in the high-tech offices of today, there can be no doubt about one thing: Serial killers sell newspapers, and nobody exploits this fact more than a killer with a desire to be acknowledged.
Some killers are merely happy to collect the cuttings telling of their foul deeds, clipped from the pages of lurid tabloid newspapers. Some use these stories to relive their terrible crimes and some take things a step further. They write their own news.
These infamous few are unique in the world of crime, taunting police with their boastful claims, causing panic amidst communities around the world, and puzzling the minds of right thinking members of society with their cryptic clues and ciphers.
Whether we like it or not, these killers become celebrities. Dark-hearted stars who cause revulsion and fascination in equal measure.