Review by Jack Foley
Hunting Humans is an intriguing and controversial book. It digs deep into the minds of six multiple murderers - what could be termed real-life Hannibal Lecters - and examines their psyche and motivations.
A noted anthropologist, Elliot Leyton has performed a detailed study to find out what makes these people tick, what drives them to commit these bloody crimes of rape, torture and murder. Are they clinically insane killers? Or are they individuals blighted by worldly ambition, success and failure, not so different from the ordinary man in the street?
Leyton shows that in reality serial killers are not like the aristocratic types like the fictional Hannibal Lector and do not have powerful personalities irresistible to women; in reality, the majority are defective and limited persons whose only mean of relating the opposite sex is to exploit, humiliate and kill them. All of them seem to have a real or imagined grudge against society but none have any genuine reason for what he does. Also the overriding majority are not powerful masculine types but often possess both physical and mental inadequacies.
To conclude Leyton says that unlike their fictional counterparts, serial killers "are dull, unimaginative, socially defective, self-absorbed and self-pitying human beings".
The more I read the book the more I felt, tell us something new. Although initially captivating, it soon lost its way drudging over the same ground time and time again exploring the same subject far too tediously.
If you really do want to get inside the mind of a serial offender no matter what kind it might be. I would recommend The Jigsaw Man by Paul Britton, its far more gripping. And really will keep you awake at night.