Since the beginning, Man has killed. Man's natural inclination toward violence has been used to defend territory, protect kin and set the pecking order for society. As an instinct, violence has also been used "senselessly" with no motive other than release. It is this motiveless release of the homicidal drive that has befuddled, confused, shocked and worried Man for thousands of years. Instead of attempting to come to terms with his violent side, Man separated these motives into categories of good and evil. The good drives were channeled into those avenues used for protection of home and kin, the evil was suppressed and blamed on a devil's malefic influence. These "evil" crimes were then relegated to a land of myth, legend and sorcery.
In early and more recent antiquity, when a man murdered a child and consumed its flesh, he was considered a Lycanthrope, a Werewolf, or a blood-thirsty Ghoul; the Devil had transformed him into a beast of terror and violence. Because of prevalent religious superstitions, all sorts of mythical monsters were created to explain, seemingly unexplainable behavior. Tales of Vampires, Werewolves, Demons, Ghouls and Monsters have proliferated around the globe.
In modern times, we have our own Vampires and Ghouls: Ed Gein, Richard Chase, Jeffery Dahmer, Henry Lee Lucas and Richard Ramirez, to name only a few. They have killed without mercy, dismembering their victims, devouring their flesh and assaulting them sexually, alive or dead. Some killers, like Mr. Gein, fetched their playthings from the graveyard, others stalked their prey within the victim's own home; silently entering through the window like a modern day Count Dracula. These ancient myths and legends must have arisen from encounters with men like Dahmer and Gein; their atrocities, combined with religious superstition obviously contributed to form the archetypes of horror fiction that we see today. In this more objective, scientific age these monsters are now revealed to be people just like you and me; sometimes the boy next door, frequently some one you never would suspect.
The media, of course, sensationalizes these killers to boost television ratings and to sell more books, papers and magazines. The morning newspaper has become a contemporary Tales from the Crypt, but unlike the chilling stories printed in that 1950's comic book, today's tales are all too real. More chapters are being written every year.
It is estimated that in the United States alone, 6,000 men, women and children are murdered each year by serial killers and mass murderers. It is further believed that, as you read this, there are at least twelve serial killers on the loose, wreaking havoc. There were only a handful of known serial killers in the United States in the 1950's when Charles Starkweather became front page news, killing ten people on his bloody rampage. Today's experts believe that the U.S. produces a serial killer a month; that makes for a lot of Demons and Ghouls haunting our world, and many more to come. What does this tell us about our world, about ourselves; when a species turns so intently and intensely against itself? What does this say about over-population, unnatural living situations, about a single organism that spreads so much despair and destruction?
Perhaps this is how it should be. Perhaps our time upon this earth is nigh and it's high time that we sink back into the primordial ooze from whence we have come. Perhaps Dahmer, Lucas, Gacy and Gein are only serving the Will of a natural order; an order that can no longer accept the gross artificiality and overpopulation of the stinking horde called humanity.
© Vadge Moore / DISCRIMINATE MEDIA, 2008