Art of murder

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The idea of the Art of Murder is an expression of the modern notion that art, except for pure aesthetics, is amoral, that murders may be dull, mundane and ordinary, or that they may be interesting and beautiful.

One early appreciation of the Art of Murder came from Thomas de Quincey in his essay "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts" (1827). He remarks, cynically and ironically:

De Quincey does not object to the apprehension, prosecution, and punishment of murderers, but argues that once the demands of morality have been met, the connoisseur may pause to consider degrees of brutality or finesse in the commission of the crime, just as with any other instance of individual expression.

This concept plays heavily in Showtime original series, Dexter, where the titular character shows excitement and deep appreciation for particularly talented killers, while holding contempt for cruel and amateurish work.

This idea has inspired at least one actual murder, Leopold and Loeb's killing of Bobby Franks, as well as any number of books and films, including Alfred Hitchcock's film Rope and Meyer Levin's novel and film Compulsion. The pop song "Murder By Numbers" from the Synchronicity album by The Police also considers how "you can turn a murder into art."

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