- Camera has created new kind of crowd in our long history of public beheadings, says Frances Larson
- Larson: ISIS beheadings were experienced by many viewers like gruesome serial drama
- She says public opinion should refuse to broadcast graphic imagery killers want us to see
Frances Larson is an honorary research fellow in anthropology at Durham University. Her latest book, "Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found," was published by Granta Books in 2014. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely hers.
(CNN)In 2014, beheading a westerner proved to be a chillingly effective strategy for Islamic militants. The killings of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, Alan Henning and Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig were both barbaric and uniquely modern.