Serial Tendencies

For those of you that still read these blog entries you will know that starting around April that I got hooked on the Grimm Fairy Tales series from Zenescope.  I have progressed from the main series to the secondary series (Myths and Legends, Wonderland) and now actually like them better as they have a bit better scripting and remain loyal more so to the original vision of the series.  In the past couple of weeks I have been piecing together missing parts of the series and reading more of the tie-ins than the core books.  This has meant reading more of the things like annuals and one-shots than stuff which is necessarily related to the series.  In the process of catching up on Myths and Legends last week I came across for the first time in all the stories a serial killer that likes to kill prostitutes.  This is a pretty dark subject of course, but is maybe no more dark than a lot of other subjects which are dealt with (suicide, pedophilia, rape and so on) but this is maybe one which is handled the least poorly among all of these taboo subjects.  Criminology is not one of my main fields of interest, so I can’t really explain the thinking that goes into it, but it is a sad fact that serial killers quite often target prostitutes.  This is likely because of one of two reason though – that it is relatively easy to get a prostitute to do what you want her to, and that prostitutes represent a form of feminine corruption to the criminally insane.    In the course of a few issues today, there were two more stories about killing ladies of the night to go along with the one that I read last week.  Recently I also read a book called “The Natashas” which detailed the horrific conditions which women undergo who are kidnapped or duped into prostitution from poor areas of the world and who are essentially forced into sexual servitude (which constitutes rape.)  One of the reasons that I like Grimm Fairy Tales so much is because I like how they create strong female characters to lead their series.  Characters that have flaws and yet still manage to see the light in things.  From my perspective though if the creative teams want to continue occasionally showing serial killers killing prostitutes that it might be better served by showing the point of view of the killed and not the killer.  Showing the killer does definitely highlight the crime, but the tragedy is not seen as well until the women themselves get a voice, just like in fiction as in reality.  

5 Comments
5 Comments
Posted by Delphic
it is a sad fact that serial killers quite often target prostitutes.This is likely because of one of two reason though – that it is relatively easy to get a prostitute to do what you want her to, and that prostitutes represent a form of feminine corruption to the criminally insane.

I have to disagree. The reason that prostitutes are often targeted is due to the Serial Killer's own inferiority complex. Many males who target females (not just prostitutes), feel powerless in their own lives and the only way they can retain a sense of power and domination is to dominate those who they feel are weaker and lower than themselves. In our society today and in the past, prostitutes have always been looked down upon as a form of lower lifeforms. When a serial killer targets them, they see a being lower than themselves, and know in the back of their minds that if this person were to suddenly disappear no one would really care. To them taking the life of that lower lifeform is a form of claiming power of those lower than them.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@Delphic: That is pretty much what I meant, just I didn't expand upon it like that.  
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Posted by COBRAMORPH

I dont know, what other occupation allows a killer to call a person into an empty room? Right before we graduated high school, & a few years after, one of my friends worked in a new pizza place thst open up around the corner from his then apartment. But he left when they started to offer delivery because A: He didnt have a car, & B: he called it ordering his death with a snack.

Add in the fact prostiution is illegal (which is itself the problem) , a smart killer knows he has a perfect menu to order from.

Posted by RedQueen

@RazzaTazz: said:

it is a sad fact that serial killers quite often target prostitutes.This is likely because of one of two reason though – that it is relatively easy to get a prostitute to do what you want her to, and that prostitutes represent a form of feminine corruption to the criminally insane.

It seems to be one of those common literary stereotypes, which are based on extensions of real life events. Jack the Ripper targeted prostitutes (although this is believed to be an extension of his overall hatred of women). From the killers point of view they offer easy accessibility, and a slower response from the authority. And, of course, the aforementioned ability for them to see their targets as a sort of inferior life.

@RazzaTazz said:

One of the reasons that I like Grimm Fairy Tales so much is because I like how they create strong female characters to lead their series. Characters that have flaws and yet still manage to see the light in things. From my perspective though if the creative teams want to continue occasionally showing serial killers killing prostitutes that it might be better served by showing the point of view of the killed and not the killer. Showing the killer does definitely highlight the crime, but the tragedy is not seen as well until the women themselves get a voice, just like in fiction as in reality.

I completely agree.

Posted by BumpyBoo

What a blog! The dehumanization of prostitutes by serial killers is something I am all too familiar with - meaning that I grew up in a house full of books about serial killers, NOT meaning that I am, in fact, Jack The Ripper :P I think it's awful the way society in general disassociates itself from these women, reducing them to no more than the sum of their profession. It is all too easy to blame the victim, especially when said victim lives outside the bounds of so-called normal society. By seeing these women as somehow less than human, it becomes easier to pass them by, to ignore the difficult questions like why are they doing this, and where are their families?

The depiction of violence against women in comics is something I pay very close attention to. There are those that get it right, like The Maxx . I felt that the way they depicted the story of Julie Winters' ordeal by showing her complex emotional reaction to it, as opposed to just drawing the horrible deed was refreshing, and brought home the reality of what victims go through without being patronizing or voyeuristic. then there are titles like Crossed: Family Values, which I feel gets it really really wrong, almost using the abuse of women as titillation.

Thank you for writing this, it's very interesting.