ItemAddicted to death : serial killings as an addiction(Dublin Business School, 2001) McAlister, JohnThis Final Year Project, entitled "Addicted to Death: Serial Killing as an Addiction" investigates the phenomenon of serial killing and attempts to explain the addictive quality that it possesses. This will entail a peering into the mind of those who kill repetitively, an understanding of their fears and the methods they employ in an attempt to deal with them. The first section is mainly an elaboration of Mark Seltzer's book "Serial Killers: Death and Life in America's Wound Culture," which sees serial killing as a method employed by certain psychotic individuals to counteract the experience of a dissolution of self. With this phenomenon we will see a dissolving of the boundaries between private and public, fantasy and reality, mind and body, person and place, and human and machine. The next section is a reading of Freud's 1920 paper, "Beyond the Pleasure Principle." This text clarifies even further the addictive nature of the murders in serial killing. The subsequent section discusses elements of the phenomenon from a Lacanian point of view, incorporating such notions as the formation of the ego, infantile fantasies (the imagoes of the fragmented body,) the necessity of sexual difference and the realms of the Real and the Symbolic. The last section consists of a case study of Theodore Robert Bundy, a man who killed at least twenty-eight women (but probably many more) in extraordinarily brutal ways. This was a man of above average intelligence, who was charming, likeable and even worked on a crisis helpline. For a man with so much on offer to him with a choice of a normal life, to decide to risk his freedom and destroy his sense of decency in becoming a serial killer must have required a powerful impetus of some sort. I will show how Bundy's life, and words support the theory put forward in this Final Year Project that serial killing is an addiction, underlying which is the desire to return to the infantile state of being at one with the mother.