Serial killing became a media spectacle at the turn of the 19th century when the prototypical serial killer, Jack the Ripper emerged, and with (him) the popular stereotype of the serial killer as a white male sadistic performance artist, although such criminals are not all white, all male, or their victims all female. The FBI defines serial murder as involving an offender associated with the killing of at least three victims, with a cooling off period in between.
Many of the most notorious serial murderers are either from Washington State or were active here, including the nation’s most prolific (Gary Ridgeway, known as the ‘The Green River Killer’) and the most famous (Ted Bundy) – along with more than forty others. The landscape of the west allows a killer to move easily between urban and rural areas and has many wilderness areas where bodies can be disposed of in order to make them difficult to find. These locations are called “Dump Sites” by law enforcement agencies.
In 1999, Stephen Chalmers (Spokane, WA) graduated from Southern Illinois University with his MFA in Cinema and Photography. Following graduation, he received fellowships from such organizations as The American Photography Institute and Lightwork. Chalmers has shown in many solo and group exhibitions at such venues as The Photography Gallery at the University of Norte Dame; the Pingyao International Photography Festival, China; Shift Gallery, Seattle, WA; The Photography Institute, NYC; among others. Chalmers has received numerous awards throughout his career and can be viewed in publications such as Lightwork Annual and IN FOCUS. He has given lectures at universities across the country since 1997 and teaches workshops in Albumin printing, the Diazo process, and digital negative creation.