Parting Glances: How’s it hanging, Philip?

By |2018-01-16T11:34:40-05:00May 7th, 2009|Opinions|

Latest word is that Philip Markoff, dubbed the Craiglist Killer, alleged murderer of 26-year-old masseuse Julissa Brisman, had also been trawling the popular site for gays and T-persons as possible victims.
The 22-year-old Boston University med student – who looks a dead ringer for serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer – used sexaddict5385 as a come on. “Let me know what else you want to see or know about me,” he baited.
Back in the late ’60s another 22-year-old EMU college student – equally handsome, equally predatory – John Norman Collins terrorized Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, killing six female students before behind caught in 1969. (Jailed for life, he’s in his 60s.)
As serial killers go (excluding Vlad the Impaler – the Dracula prototype; S.S. Officer Dr. Joseph Mengele, “the Angel of Death”), high victim counts are Britain’s Dr. Harold Shipman: 215 patients; Alfredo Gravito Cubillos, Columbia, South America: 200 children, ages 8 to 13.
America’s infamous: Dr. H. H. Holmes (50 to 200); David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz (six killings; six maimings; 1,400 arsons); Richard “Night Stalker” Ramirez (20); John Floyd Thomas, Jr., just recently DNA arrested (25); John Wayne Gacy (33); Ted Bundy (35 to 60); Jeffery Dahmer (17).
The number of female serial killers compared to males is small. Harold Schecter’s “The Serial Killer Files” (Balantine Books; 2004) profiles the 13 deadliest, including Aileen Wuornos, subject of bio-flic “Monster,” starring Charlize Theron.
Wuornos, often dubbed “America’s first woman serial killer” – she wasn’t, by a century – was abandoned by her mom at six months, sexually abused as a child by her dad. She did in seven truckers out for a prostituting good time.
Her lesbian lover turned state’s evidence and testified against her ar Wuornos’ 1992 trial. She was executed in October 2002, a radical feminist icon of sorts.
Serial killer memorabilia are coveted. Gacy’s paintings, pricey. (One collector buys his evil clowns to destroy them). Trading cards, comic books, T-shirts, snapshots sell fast. Aptly named “murderabilia.”
Son of Sam’s e-Bay “fan” letters get $200 plus. “I know what a nightmare it is to see some of these things marketed,” he whines. “The sale of these things grieves my heart.” (Yeah, sure!) Arrested in 1979, Berkowitz, now 56, says he’s born-again. “Son of Hope.”
“Son of Hopeless” is not the only serial killer to be “washed in the blood of the Lamb,” as the old-time gospel hymn appropriately ghouls it.
He’s joined by Jeffrey Dahmer – purportedly now serving out his eternal life sentence in Heaven – who repented of his cannibalistic crimes, accepted Jesus as his personal savior, shortly before being done in by a convict he was with, sharing a soap-on-a-rope, spine-chilling prison shower.
Although Gacy and Dahmer were gay, Wournos, a lesbian, according to author/authority Harold Schecter the majority of serial killers are, and have been, straight (hardly consolation to the gay living or the heterosexual dead).
Years ago in Chicago I met a guy in his mid-thirties who claimed he had been hijacked by John Wayne Gacy from the city’s notorious “Bug House Square.” He escaped. Lived to tell the horrific tale. More likely he was BS-ing me. Fleeting fame by way of vicarious infamy.
And bar stooling with me at Twingo’s (regrettably closed) restaurant, a WSU student asked me cautiously if I knew the name Mudgett. Said he was related. Distantly. Jeopardy surprise! I did. Real last name of Dr. H. H. Holmes, “America’s first serial killer.”
(Herman Webster Mudgett. Studied surgery at U of M. Graduated 1884. Passed through Detroit in 1892. Dissected three in Toronto. Hanged – but not drawn and quartered – in 1896.)

About the Author:

Charles Alexander