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Whatever Happened to Serial Killers?

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The Ringer, June 2024

In the first five decades of the 20th century, the number of serial killers in the U.S. remained at a very low level. But between the 1950s and 1960s, the number of serial killers tripled. Between the 1960s and 1970s, they tripled again. In the 1980s and 1990s, they kept rising. And then, just as suddenly as the serial killer emerged as an American phenomenon, he (and it really is mostly a he) nearly disappeared. What happened to the American serial killers? And what does this phenomenon say about American society, criminology, and technology?

Today’s guest is James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern University. The author of 18 books, he has been publishing on this subject since before 1974, the year that the FBI coined the term “serial killer.”

Listen at The Ringer.

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