Honors College | Scholars Week Theses Presentations

Title

Market Success of the Serial Killer Genre

Presenter Information

Taylor ChadduckFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Marketing

Minor

N/A

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Alexander Rose; Dr. Warren Edminster

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Arguably since the end of the twentieth century, serial killers (both real and fictional) have been at the top of public interest in American society. The names Hannibal Lecter, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Ted Bundy are as well-known as most A-list celebrities in our pop culture. Gruesome and telling cinematic films, television shows, novels, and documentaries have all seen enormous successes, and it seems the masses can’t get enough. The prolonged prosperity of this peculiar market brings up a lot of interesting questions about the origins of its success.

The main question seems to be this: Why do we keep wanting more?

Our society - which generally looks down on criminals and stigmatizes those with mental illness - is so utterly fascinated by serial killers. Discovering the foundational appeal(s) behind this curiosity will help us to better understand the success of this market.

Decades of prosperity indicate that the serial killer market isn’t dying down anytime soon. Massive entertainment hits like Making a Murderer, Silence of the Lambs, and Dexter prove that the market for horror consumption is a thriving one. In the ever-changing industry of entertainment, it’s exciting to speculate how the market may grow and shift to continue meeting the demands of a serial killer-obsessed audience.

I’d like to look at what fueled the increased interest in serial killers (and the homicidal horror genre in general), discover how various industries have adapted to fulfill and exploit this interest, and contemplate what may be on the horizon in the serial killer market.

Affiliations

Honors Thesis

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Market Success of the Serial Killer Genre

Arguably since the end of the twentieth century, serial killers (both real and fictional) have been at the top of public interest in American society. The names Hannibal Lecter, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Ted Bundy are as well-known as most A-list celebrities in our pop culture. Gruesome and telling cinematic films, television shows, novels, and documentaries have all seen enormous successes, and it seems the masses can’t get enough. The prolonged prosperity of this peculiar market brings up a lot of interesting questions about the origins of its success.

The main question seems to be this: Why do we keep wanting more?

Our society - which generally looks down on criminals and stigmatizes those with mental illness - is so utterly fascinated by serial killers. Discovering the foundational appeal(s) behind this curiosity will help us to better understand the success of this market.

Decades of prosperity indicate that the serial killer market isn’t dying down anytime soon. Massive entertainment hits like Making a Murderer, Silence of the Lambs, and Dexter prove that the market for horror consumption is a thriving one. In the ever-changing industry of entertainment, it’s exciting to speculate how the market may grow and shift to continue meeting the demands of a serial killer-obsessed audience.

I’d like to look at what fueled the increased interest in serial killers (and the homicidal horror genre in general), discover how various industries have adapted to fulfill and exploit this interest, and contemplate what may be on the horizon in the serial killer market.