The fascination of things unknown is a human instinct that we have developed throughout time; we like to figure out what cannot be readily understood Delving deeper and deeper into what we do not understand allows us to feel involved and informed. A circus with a freak show is parallel to the many TV shows that flood the airways with serial killers and other murdersl We want to see them and observe their behaviors, but we do not want to come in contact or be one of them Atelevision series or a news report on a disturbing murder case allows us to be involved, but from afar.
Like the smell of our home or riding a bike, we get used to these things because they are constantly around us and we are exposed to them daily. Popular TV shows such as Criminal Minds, NCIS, First 48 Hours and other such programs show the gruesome details of murders all the time and the viewers actually enjoy it Although the whole point of the show is to bringjustice to the victim, our curiosity for the murderer is just as crucial to the shows success.
Just like these TV shows, society has become obsessed with popularizing serial killers and putting them in the limelight for our own enjoyment. Dexter, in Jeff Lindsay‘s Darkly Dreaming Dexter, finds himself in the midst of the murders, fighting them and committing the crime as well, He chose to the career path of a blood spatter analysis, this in turn opened the door for him to embrace his curiosity for the bloody and evilt Someone who was born with a mind like Dexter’s must become normalized in society By taking on ajob that can feed into his obsessions helps him sustain a clear mind, However, the man who learned how to get away with murder from a cop, now became one.
It could be that it is all he knew To get away with murder you must become one with those who are fighting murderl In return, Dexter can stray away from the famous serial killers of the past because is certain he will not get caught. He does not want to he recognized like the murderers, he just wants to murder. In the beginning of this novel, the reader is told about “the Need” off the bat, this is an indication that whomever is speaking at that moment feels like they have to accomplish something for the greater good But if it is not the greater good they are working for, they must need to accomplish something to make themselves feel better.
That “something” is murder, Dexter, the narrator, proclaims that “I felt a lot betteri I always did, after, Killing makes me feel good. It works the knots out of darling Dexter’s dark schemata, It’s a sweet release, a necessary letting go of all the little hydraulic valves” (8) For Dexter, killing someone was not a random act. He chose those who had taken innocent lives; he believed he was doing the right thing, Believing he was doing right for the community made Dexter lust for the act of murdering that much enjoyable, and not getting caught was just as important. His lust for killing did not cloud Dexter‘s reasoning; he knew how to clean up his mess and hide his fascination when in public As you look at serial killers of the past, many of them were normal men/women, John Wayne Gacy was a normal man who took on high power roles in their community. He was deemed as trustworthy, his counterparts knew him as a happy, healthy man However, he could not resist his urges. He did not do all he could to hide his fascination with young men and eventually was caught for raping a teenage boy.
Dexter cannot kill without knowing that nothing will be traced back to him. He does everything in his will power to be organized, quiet, and most of all clean. This displays Dexter as someone who wants to be under the radar, unseen, and more importantly uncaught. He can be viewed as an anti-hero, or a robin hood; killing those who killed the innocent. The other serial killers of the past could not have been as meticulous as Dexter, because they were caught. Although we can consider Dexter similar to the serial killers of our past, Dexter is merely a character in a book. The author was able to transcribe his life into exactly what he wants us to see this man Lindsay built Dexter into a character that we hate to love. His acts of murder, yes gruesome are committed because those who killed, must be killed. Is the author wanting us to sympathize with Dexter because he is acting as a Robin Hood? Are his good intentions enough to make us look past him murdering another human being? Most people in our society blame serial killers and other horrible crimes on mental illnesses, but Dexter is a functioning person in society and so were some other serial killers in the past. John Wayne Gacy is a notorious serial killer from America’s pasti His childhood revolved around his alcoholic father.
When Gacy was young he attached to his mother, his father knowing that he was not like the other boys took out his aggression on his son. John grew into a man who worked side by side politicians, the school districts, and other influential people allowing him to live a life that hid his dark secrets and also made him trustworthy, just like Dexteri By working with the government and police department, Dexter was not suspicious to anyone, except Batista, he thought Dexter was just weird, These two men knew what it meant to hide who they really wanted to be. However, these two could not be more different Serial killers that were made famous throughout history were made famous because of their awful crimes committed against those who were innocent: young children, women, men providing for their families. These men who lusted for power did not restrain themselves. Gacy was one of those men who lusted after teenage boys and could not stop himself from engaging in sex with them, and eventually stabbing the young men to death.
The evil that consumed someone like John Wayne Gacy was not the same evil that consumed Dexterr Dexter was told to use his lust for killing constructively and he learned to get away with it John Wayne Gacy on the other hand did not know how to stop his lust for the young men and he was on a downward spiral, Gacy would be a perfect victim for Dexter. Young boys being murdered was just the type of evil Dexter would not deal with. The author Jeff Lindsay made us sympathize with Dexter, he chose an eye for an eye, to fight evil with evil. The culture that revolves around the infamous serial killers is, of course, dark. This darkness is an idea or a thought that many can only comprehend through media driven outlets. One may make assumptions based on how a serial killer is presented In Dexter‘s case we can see that he cannot control his urges, but at least he is using it to right the wrongs of those who cannot see justice be brought to those who killed Gacy is using his power and manipulation to feed his own vices. One cannot simply understand the mind of a murderer, his or her mind might not be worth understanding