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Are serial killers dying out?

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Netflix series ‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’, shares a glimpse into one of the world’s worst serial killers

The Milwaukee cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer, killed 17 men and boys over a 13 year period.

His violent crimes involved drugging his victims, eating them, and acts of necrophilia.

He pleaded insanity in court but was later found guilty on 15 counts of murder.

Dahmer received 15 life terms for his gruesome crimes but was killed at the Columbia Correctional Institution by his fellow inmates. 

Sue Firth is a UK-based psychologist, who said these behaviours are thankfully quite rare.

“If you ever get the chance to listen to a proper interview with him, it’s quite interesting. He sounds very sensible.”

“He was actually a very repressed individual, couldn’t make a fundamental connection, didn’t have very many friends, and therefore didn’t learn social skills.”

“I think the saddest thing is that he then became so repressed, and started to experiment with the thought of dead people, because of course, they’re inanimate, they can’t answer back.”

SUE FIRTH, PSYCHOLOGIST

According to FBI documents, Dahmer told investigators he tried to create “love slaves”.

Dahmer’s father claimed things changed after his son had hernia surgery at four-years-old.

After that surgery, he stopped speaking and became withdrawn. Some believe this contributed to the violence he later inflicted on others.

Firth said Dahmer’s history of trauma could explain part of his actions, although it is not an excuse.

“He certainly sounded to me as if he knew what he was doing.”

“I think the sad reality is, once you’ve got somebody who’s dead, he’s now following up with the kind of behaviour that he did as a child, which is looking at how the skull is formed, how the brain is formed,” she said.

Are we getting better at catching these killers?

From Jeffrey Dahmer, to the deadly crimes of Ted Bundy, and Joseph James DeAngelo—technology and psychological assessment is helping authorities to put these notorious criminals behind bars.

“Forensic scientists are even getting better in understanding their own psychology and their approach to crime scenes,” said Associate Professor Xavier Conlan from Deakin University.

“As forensic scientists, we’d like to say with the development of new technologies, there’s no crime that can’t be solved, it’s just that we sometimes don’t have the technology yet to solve it.”

The introduction of DNA sampling helped to catch Joseph James DeAngelo, who comitted his last murder in 1986 before being caught in 2018.

“Testing people based off DNA when they do their own family testing actually brought down the Golden State killer.”

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR XAVIER CONLAN, DEAKIN UNIVERSITY

“Technology really has advanced and helps solve cold cases,” Dr Conlan said.

Joseph James DeAngelo, also known as the Golden State killer.

Forensic scientists believe there may even be some parallels between Dahmer and their own work.

“He would do things like put hydrochloric acid and inject it into the skulls of some of these later victims to try and improve his own approaches to being able to retain the bones that he’d like to keep.”

“Certainly forensic scientists and scientists look to improving their approach to being able to look after their samples,” Dr Conlan said.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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Streaming service shift and the award season snubs

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Netflix Introduces Changes to Subscription Model, Academy Award Nominations Spark Cinematic Buzz, and the Doomsday Clock Continues its Ominous Ticking.

Netflix is set to discontinue its ad-free Basic subscription in select countries, commencing with Canada and the UK in Q2 2024.

This strategic shift introduces a significant price increase for the baseline entry, signalling potential adjustments to Netflix’s global pricing structure.

Simultaneously, the 96th edition of the Academy Award nominations has stirred cinematic debates, with the prevailing question being whether the upcoming season will be dominated by “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer.” These contrasting narratives set the stage for a fierce competition, highlighting the diverse and compelling offerings in this year’s film industry.

Beyond the realm of entertainment, the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic representation of the likelihood of a human-made global catastrophe, continues its ominous countdown.

Maintained since 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the clock serves as a metaphor for threats arising from unchecked scientific and technological advances. As global tensions, environmental challenges, and technological risks persist, the ticking of the Doomsday Clock serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to address multifaceted threats to humanity.

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Adidas faces potential $320M Yeezy shoe write-off post-Kanye split

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Adidas is contemplating a significant financial blow as it considers writing off $320 million worth of Yeezy shoes following its separation from music and fashion icon Kanye West.

The sportswear giant’s decision to sever ties with West’s Yeezy brand has left a mountain of unsold merchandise, threatening to dent the company’s balance sheet.

The partnership between Adidas and Kanye West, which began in 2013, had been immensely successful, with Yeezy shoes becoming a highly sought-after fashion statement.

However, recent controversies and disagreements between West and Adidas prompted the sportswear company to distance itself from the celebrity designer.

The massive inventory of Yeezy shoes now presents a dilemma for Adidas, as it grapples with finding a solution to deal with the surplus stock. A $320 million write-off could significantly impact the company’s financial performance in the short term.

Adidas is currently exploring various options, including discounting, donating, or repurposing the unsold inventory to mitigate the financial hit.

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Warner Bros discovery warns of Hollywood’s ‘real risk’ post-strikes’

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Warner Bros Discovery, has issued a stark warning regarding the ‘real risk’ that Hollywood faces in the aftermath of the recent strikes that have taken a considerable toll on the industry’s financial health.

The strikes, which disrupted film and television production for several weeks, resulted in substantial financial losses for studios, production companies, and countless industry professionals.

Warner Bros Discovery emphasised the necessity for a resilient and adaptable approach to navigate the ongoing challenges and uncertainties facing the film and television sector.

The conglomerate stressed the importance of implementing measures to mitigate such risks in the future, which include fostering better labour relations and contingency planning to safeguard against potential disruptions.

The message underlined the need for the industry to adapt to the evolving landscape of content creation and distribution, particularly in the digital era.

This warning from Warner Bros Discovery highlights the need for the entertainment industry to recognise the ever-changing dynamics and economic challenges, and the importance of preparedness to maintain its prominent position in the global market.

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