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BOOK: THE NEED TO KILL: Inside the World of the Serial Killer

Egger, Steven A.
The Need to Kill: Inside the World of the Serial Killer
ISBN 0-13-143344-X Copyright 2003 by Pearson Education

Dr. Egger's third book "The Need to Kill: Inside the World of the Serial Killer" is very similar in layout, chapter headings and in content to the second edition of his previous text "The Killers Among Us: An Examination of Serial Murder and its Investigation". There is a marked difference, however, in the style and the intended audience. It is geared toward the lay-person and is much more readable for the general public. This has much less of a technical tone, and more attention is paid to the social costs of these homicides that claim uncounted lives.

The influence of the media and Hollywood's myth building on both the already distant members of the social fringes and on society in general are held to the light and found disturbing and counterproductive. A substantial portion of text is devoted to victim. Victims may be weak, vunerable, or may exhibit the risky behavior of the "less-dead", or may just be selected by happenstance. Ways to reduce, though never eliminate, risks are promoted. Many case histories are again documented, with a search for common factors that lead to the killer behavior. The general conclusion can be summed up in this quote:
"...the decision to become a serial killer is just that-a matter of choice. As the old saying goes: It's not the cards you're dealt, it's how you play them."(page 44.)

This book ends with a look to the future, and suggestions that the force that pushes with a violent bent to act out their inclinations may very well be rooted in the violence that is locked into the fabric of our modern American society.