White Privilege Even Extends to Serial Killers
Can you name a black serial killer?
Over the last couple of days, I have been asking my followers questions about serial killers. As a writer of true crime, it was a question that my readers would expect. What they didn’t suspect was the reason behind the questioning.
The first question I asked was if they had heard of any of these serial killers:
Henry Louis Wallace
The response was unanimous no one had heard of any of them. Even though, these men combined are responsible for over fifty kills in the United States. The thing that all these men have in common, apart from being serial killers, is that they are black men.
The second question I asked, was for everyone to state one serial killer from the US. The responses were:
Keith Hunter Jasperson
Son of Sam
The thing that all these men have in common, is they are white.
Why do we not hear about black serial killers?
Some might say this is a positive statement. Black men are not labelled as serial killers, but that is not the case. There is another far more disturbing reason that we do not hear about these black killers. The majority of serial killers, kill their ethnicity.
The sad truth is that it is not the colour of the killer that stops us hearing about them, but the colour of their victims. With one exception, the victims were all black women and men. Black people are considered not newsworthy, so the killers do not get the news coverage. Had their victims been white, their names would be as famous as the ones my readers mentioned.
Black Serial Killers
Henry Lewis Wallace — Also known as the Taco Bell Strangler. All his victims were black women who he raped and murdered in North Caroline in 1990.
Chester Turner — Convicted of ten murders in South Los Angeles. All his victims were women, the majority, Black or Asian.
Samuel Little — Killed approximately ninety people across multiple states. He has officially been connected with 34 cases. His is one of the most prolific serial killers in America, all his victims were black.
Craig Price — Killed two neighbours in his teens and attempted murder when in prison. All his victims were black.
Jonathan Carr — One of two men behind the Wichita Massacre in 2000. The brothers raped and murdered numerous people in their homes. Some of the victims were white, the majority were black.
Anthony Sowell — Cleveland Strangler
The prejudice is not just evident in the media, but in the police that investigates them. This is never clearer than in the case of Sowell in 2016.
Gladys Wade was a young black woman who filed a report for sexual assault and attempted murder. She named Sowell as the perpetrator. When she was interviewed she had blood and bruises on her neck. Still, the police failed to investigate. They named Wade an unreliable witness, stating they did not have enough evidence to investigate.
A couple of months later, Vanessa Gay was raped and held hostage by Sowell. She also stated she found a decapitated body in his house. Again she wasn’t considered a reliable witness and the case was never investigated.
In the same year, Latundra Billups went to the hospital with evidence of strangulation and sexual assault. Pressurised by the hospital visit, police eventually went to Sowell’s house. What they found when they entered was the bodies of eleven black women. Many of the victims had been reported missing. No investigation had ever occurred into the missing people.
The police failed to investigate because the women were considered poor black women. Few people will have heard of Anthony Sewell. The victims he chose are not considered newsworthy.
Terminology is Different
As well as the lack of interest when black people are killed, the terminology is different. Ted Bundy, one of the most prolific serial killers, is described as a tortured genius. His murders have been glamorised through films and programs. He is not the only white serial killer to be glamorised by the media.
When you investigate black serial killers they are never glamorised. Instead, they are referred to as violent and animalistic. It doesn’t fit the narrative in the world to refer to black serial killers as anything less than animals. If you are white and commit horrendous crimes, you are referred to as a tortured soul. If you are black you are an animal.
When I first had the idea of this article, I was writing another post about serial killers. At the time I was watching a program on irradiating racism in schools. It crossed my mind that I knew no black serial killers. Do black people not commit multiple murder I asked myself? After, I realised that there had to be black serial killers, we had just never heard of them.
The results from my followers shocked me, not one of them recognised the black names. Not one of them mentioned a black serial killer.
Racism is so ingrained that we do not mourn the deaths of black people. So their killers are never mentioned. The media believe that the majority of people will not be interested in hearing about multiple black people murdered.
White privilege extends beyond the grave.