In plain view : the body as site of detection and inscription in serial killer narratives ; ein Essay

  • At the beginning of every story of murder there is always a body. If the murderer is a serial killer, there is, of course, more than one. More importantly, the bodies left by the serial killer are not likely to be intact and whole. What he leaves behind and what we, the audience, will get to see is the body in pieces, dismembered, scattered. A series of snapshots, partial views, and close-ups, inflicting cold sharp shocks, is all we may glimpse: the head of Benjamin Raspail floating in a jar of formaldehyde in The Silence of the Lambs, a finger removed by the serial killer from his landlord’s hand in Kalifornia, a ziploc bag of fingers recovered from a flooded drainpipe in When The Bough Breaks, a surgically severed hand used to leave misleading fingerprints on a wall at a crime scene in Seven.

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Author:Steffen Hantke
Parent Title (English):Caligari : Deutsche Zeitschrift für Horrorstudien = German Journal of Horror Studies
Place of publication:Marburg
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2010/08/23
Year of first Publication:2009
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2010/08/23
serial killer
GND Keyword:Film; Körper <Motiv>
Dewey Decimal Classification:7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 79 Sport, Spiele, Unterhaltung / 791 Öffentliche Darbietungen, Film, Rundfunk
Sammlungen:Sammlung Musik, Theater, Film / Literatur zum Film
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht