You wouldn't know it from watching the three Law & Orders, three
CSIs, and two NCISs, but the number of confirmed serial murders declined
almost 70 percent in the last two decades. Lest one think America somehow
solved its mass murder problem--or that such a problem ever really
existed--Slate's Christopher Beam
says serial killers lost their hold on America's cultural angst after the 9/11 attacks.
Beam explains the natural progression:
crimes almost always needle the anxieties of their
periods. ... Sensational crimes that don't play into a larger societal
narrative fade away ...What child abductors were to the '20s and serial
killers were to the '70s and '80s, terrorists are to the early 21st
century. After 9/11, fear of social unraveling has been replaced by
anxiety over airplanes, bombs, and instant mass annihilation. [British
serial killer] Stephen Griffiths isn't the new Jeffrey Dahmer. The Times
Square Bomber is.
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