Celebrity serial killers are more than the sum of their crimes; invariably, they represent their particular cultural moment. Much as Jack the Ripper became the avatar for the class anxieties of 19th-century Victorian civilization, Jeffrey Dahmer was 20th century capitalism’s smirking emblem, a monster who played the system. And yet, Dahmer now seems like a throwback to a slower era, a time when serial killers hunted their victims personally. His victim list of 17, while horrific, is currently matched within minutes by guns wielded at American schools, movie theaters, and workplaces.
Scale, automation, and unregulated technology?