Jack Levin, Professor Emeritus
Julie B. Wiest, Associate Professor of Sociology, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Any murder causes pain and suffering that ripple through families and communities—of both the victims and the perpetrators—but premeditated murders cause the worst kind of damage. The Allure of Premeditated Murder is about the worst kinds of premeditated homicide in which the perpetrator plans an attack over a period of days, weeks, or months, leaving behind massive carnage and unspeakable suffering. Drawing on extensive research and interviews with murderers, sociologists Jack Levin and Julie B. Wiest help readers understand why such vicious murders occur and what we can do to minimize their incidence. Throughout the book, theyexamine why people engage in acts of premeditated murder—planning and implementing terrible violence against others—from the perpetrator’s viewpoint.
By juxtaposing the motivations for these hideous homicides against everyday social circumstances, these often-baffling crimes are explained in an easy-to-understand manner that paves the way for promising solutions. In the process of examining the characteristics of premeditated murder, the book also addresses those questions that are commonly asked about this kind of violent crime but usually unanswered. How could a killer have enjoyed his murderous rampage when he committed suicide right afterward? Why do sadistic killers sometimes regard their murders as great accomplishments? What can be done to effectively reduce the likelihood of this kind of homicide?