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It isnt hard to enter the local Barnes and Noble and find a book about a serial killer It isnt hard to go to the movie theater and see a film based on a serial killer It isnt hard to turn on the television and find something playing starring a serial killer Today killings seem to be a very common theme in popular culture However with these industries churning out item after item centered around serial killers each year the term has almost become a catch phrase for any person who commits a murder Writers now use the term so casually that it has almost lost its meaning Despite this there are still authors who have done their research and truly capture the true meaning of the term serial killer in their work Thomas Harris wrote a very successful series of three books all pertaining to a similar plot They have been so successful that two of the three have been turned into high grossing movies The first book of the set was called Red Dragon In this novel Harris was able to create a character Francis Dolarhyde who epitomizes the profile of a serial killer Instead of just writing a story for the sake of entertainment Harriss character portrays many of the details common in true-life serial killers To accomplish this Harris created a character whose crimes fit the mold of a serial killer who suffered physical and emotional abuse and who exemplifies the triad of symptoms present in many serial killers To be classified as a serial killer a murderers crimes must have certain characteristics A serial killer must claim a minimum of three to four victims while having a cooling off period in between In most cases victims are strangers to the killer and the murders are rarely for profit Instead the motive is psychological The victim may have a symbolic value for the killer and the method of killing may reveal
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