‘The list of serial killers who wore glasses is long and bloody, from Dahmer to BTK to Harold Shipman and his professorial frames; even the Zodiac Killer, never caught, wears a thick-rimmed pair in a police sketch. The aesthetic of “serial killer glasses” is so pervasive that it pops up everywhere from Urban Dictionary (“Eyeglasses with heavy or severe frames that live somewhere between fashionable and creepy”) to TV Tropes (where “a guy who is cold, emotionless … or even a soulless monster” is given glasses “to quickly tip off the audience to his personality”), and countless Tumblr posts in between.
Search for “serial killer glasses” on Amazon and you’ll be directed to the “So In Luxe Aviator Retro Fashion Glasses” – perfect for the manic pixie dream serial killer. Naturally, Spirit Halloween sells a pair, too. It’s a look that signifies “creep” and “outsider” so well that it’s become the punchline to a joke: Amy Schumer and Conan O’Brien have both done skits about how men who favor a certain style of glasses tend to be serial killers, molesters, cult leaders or all of the above.
Of course, the fact that many serial killers wear glasses is simple math: over 60% of Americans use some sort of vision correction, and serial killers are just like the rest of us, at least when it comes to their eyesight. But because these killers are often exhaustively scrutinized and even fetishized in the media, their glasses have become part of the serial killer iconography. A pair of shiny lenses, perched on the bridge of a serial killer’s nose, becomes a subtle metaphor for his walled-off nature, for her sociopath’s aloofness. Glasses become a mask that’s acceptable for the killer to wear in public. They become a threat, too: after all, the serial killer who wears glasses is apparently someone who can see us better than we can see them. Someone who’s always watching….’
Via The Guardian