This book argues that cultural fascination with the "madperson" stems from the contemporaneous increase of chronically mentally ill persons in public life due to deinstitutionalization-the mental health reform movement leading to the closure of many asylums in favor of outpatient care. Anthony Carlton Cooke explores the reciprocal spheres of influence between deinstitutionalization, representations of the "murderous, mentally ill individual" in the horror, crime, and thriller genres, and the growth of public associations of violent crime with mental illness.
Anthony Carlton Cooke is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University, USA. His work has been published in journals such as Journal of Black Studies and Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. In addition to his academic work, Anthony has published poetry and fiction in the African American Review and the Arkansas Review.
1. Introduction: Popular Panics 2. From the "Feebleminded Offender" to the "Sexual Psychopath"3. Deinstitutionalization and the Rise of the "Slasher"4. The Forensic Detective as Panic Figure5. The Panic Figure and the Psychopath: A Psychical CorrespondenceConclusion