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Twenty-First-Century GothicAn Edinburgh Companion$
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Maisha Wester and Xavier Aldana Reyes

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474440929

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474440929.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Contemporary Serial Killers

Contemporary Serial Killers

(p.117) Chapter 8 Contemporary Serial Killers
Twenty-First-Century Gothic

Bernice M. Murphy

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter surveys selective twenty-first century serial killer narratives and outlines their most significant recurrent themes and tropes. The most notable twenty-first century trend considered here are the depiction of the serial killer as a sympathetic anti-hero, as in Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter novels and the TV series of the same name, the TV series Bates Motel (2013–) and the YA novel/film I Am Not a Serial Killer (2009/2016), all of which depict disturbed teenagers struggling to repress their seemingly innate bloodlust, and the pre-eminent serial killer TV show of the past decade, Hannibal (2013–15). This chapter also defines the popularity of serial killer narratives as a truly global phenomenon by examining ‘Nordic Noir’, the Korean films Memories of Murder (2003) and I Saw the Devil (2010) and the Hong Kong film Dream Home (2010). Finally, the chapter concludes by considering the representation of serial killing in post-2000 biopics and true crime narratives.

Keywords:   crime procedurals, male Gothic, (ir)rational monsters, everyday horrors, true crime, biopics, psychopaths, familial dysfunction, social decay

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