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Serial and Mass Murder


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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I: Serial murder; 1. Who are the serial killers?; 2. Are there explanations for serial murder?; 3. What happens after the murders end?; Part II: Mass murder; 4. Who are the mass murderers?; 5. Are there explanations for mass murder?; 6. What's the aftermath?; Part III: Multicide; 7. Comparing serial and mass murder; 8. Comparing mass shooters and lone actor terrorists; 9. Conclusions and future directions

About the Author

Elizabeth A. Gurian is an associate professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Norwich University. She is also the associate director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her research focuses on multicide offenders, including serial and mass murderers, lone actor terrorists, and mass shooters. In 2016, she was awarded an American Association of University Women publication grant for her work exploring serial murder adjudication and outcome patterns. She has published in several leading criminology journals, and she has discussed her work through media such as BBC Radio, VPR, WCAX, and the New York Times and CBS podcast, "Why Women Kill".


As anyone who's spent much time reading about serial killers, mass murderers, or homicide in general knows, the existing research tends to focus on solo male offenders who look an awful lot like Ted Bundy. Elizabeth Gurian's work fills a huge gap in the field by bringing women, minorities, partnered offenders, and international ones into the dialogue. While there may always be something about violent crime that remains unknowable, Gurian's knack for examining a multitude of multicide offenders (and her refreshing rejection of stale typologies like "Black Widow") makes this book a great gift to anyone who's longed for a more holistic, comprehensive examination of these almost folkloric figures.
-Tori Telfer, Author of Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History...[P]recisely because it explores the multidimensionality of murder, Serial and Mass Murder offers detailed and above all differentiated insights into a still not fully understood phenomenon by its pluralistic and abstract dissection. Although nominally addressed at 'scholars and students interested in criminal justice, criminology, psychology, or law' as the publisher indicates and perhaps challenging for readers outside of these disciplines, this book about multicide could nonetheless also be recommended to an audience consisting of the more ambitious enthusiasts of true crime as well as literary and cultural scholars interested in the (mis)representation of said crimes. The latter scholars will find a refreshing perspective differing from the seductive tendency to create definitive but reductive typologies in their own fields, while creative writers might find inspiration to deviate from perpetual stereotypes.
-Moritz Maier, Crime Fiction Studies 3.1 (2022): 75-77

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