Take an in-depth look at some of the world’s most prolific serial killers through the first hand accounts and testaments of the people who knew them best. Police detectives, journalists, childhood friends, room mates, attorneys and leading experts in criminal psychology will offer us an insight in to their unique relationships with the most evil of society.
During 1976 and early 1977, female students at the University of California in Santa Barbara were terrorised by some lookalike murders, so-called because the victims closely resembled one another. Thor Christiansen struck while they were hitchhiking and desecrated their bodies after murdering them.
When eccentric Hadden Clark was arrested for the murder of a young girl in Maryland, he claimed he was also responsible for other murders. Was Hadden Clark Born to Kill?
Wichita, Kansas is in the Midwest, right in the Bible belt of America. This normally peaceful place was rocked to the core in 1974 when the city discovered they had a killer in their midst. A family of four were brutally slain in their home, and this was to prove the start of a vicious killing spree that terrorised the community for 30 years. Dennis Rader was a church deacon, Scout leader and a local family man. He was also a monster who murdered 10 people in cold blood. Through his own extraordinary testimony we uncover in intimate and chilling detail how this pillar of the community led a double life as a heinous sexual sadist and serial killer. Rader's childhood seemed completely normal, so what was it that drove him to such depths of depravity? Was Dennis Rader born to kill?
Hollywood has always had a dark side, but Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono were perhaps its darkest. Serial killers usually work alone - Bianchi and Buono would defy all the rules. In the late 1970s, these 'killing cousins' would commit a series of brazen murders that leave the women of Los Angeles terrified to walk the streets. Their murders plumbed the depths of depravity, and their cold-heartedness and forensic awareness left detectives angry and frustrated. On his capture, Kenneth Bianchi would make an audacious attempt to convince the world he had multiple personalities and was not responsible for the murders. Bianchi and Buono would kidnap, rape, torture, and snuff out the lives of 12 innocent young girls, but what had led to this extraordinary collaboration in killing.
After being convicted of attempted murder and kidnapping, David Carpenter went on to kill five women.
The crimes of serial killer Trevor Hardy - the so-called `Beast of Manchester' - who murdered three teenage girls in the mid-1970s. Despite being arrested after the second killing, Hardy was freed on the basis of an alibi he had arranged with his then-partner.
A psychological profile of former nurse Beverly Allitt, who is currently serving 13 life sentences for murdering four children and injuring nine others at Grantham Hospital in Lincolnshire in 1991. Psychologists and criminology experts explore the possible motives for her crimes, examining her behaviour during childhood, when she was known to be an attention seeker. The apparently caring nurse Beverely Allitt had only just joined the staff of Children's Ward 4 of Grantham Hospital when a substantial rise in young patient deaths began occurring. At first, no one could explain why children, some as young as six months, were arriving on the ward with only minor health problems, but leaving only days later dead. A shocked and seemingly uncomprehending public would eventually be informed the culprit was actually the very person who was meant to be caring for the children. During her 59 day stint as a nurse, 23-year-old Beverly Allitt, nicknamed The Angel of Death, attacked thirteen children, killing four. From a very early age, Allitt was known to be an attention seeker. Was her desire to be the centre of attention really the reason why she attacked such innocent children or was something far more psychologically disturbing the cause for this evil?
Psychologists and criminology experts analyse the crimes of cinema entrepreneur Peter Moore, who brutally murdered four men in Wales in 1995.
Following the story of the serial killer, Peter Sutcliffe, who between 1975 and 1981 murdered 13 females and became known as The Yorkshire Ripper. But how did he get away with the crimes for so many years and was it nature or nurture that turned this chilled out hard-working man into a serial killer.
During the summer of 1980, Douglas Clark and Carol Bundy carried out a series of shocking murders in Los Angeles, leaving a trail of blood in their wake.
Despicable duo Gerald and Charlene Gallego joined forces to rape and murder several teenagers.
In the mid-1970s, Donald Nielson aka the Black Panther committed a string of burglaries, armed robberies and murders in north-east England.
The psychology of Charles Manson, an American cult leader whose followers murdered seven people in their California homes over two nights in August 1969. Detectives, lawyers and psychiatrists analyse what prompted the crimes, and examine how Manson was able to persuade his acolytes to take the lives of innocent people.
When body parts began washing up on the beaches of a peaceful Californian seaside town, police realised someone was hunting, abducting, murdering and dismembering female co-eds. What they didn't realise was; the killer was in their midst - drinking with them at their favourite local bar. Cops considered the 6'9" Edmund Kemper a gentle giant, little did they know that as a teenager he'd murdered his grandparents, he'd fooled psychiatrists into releasing him from secure hospital after just 5 years, and while he was socialising with police officers he was living out his bizarre sexual fantasies with the corpses of young co-eds. Edmund Kemper would kill and dismember 6 young college girls before turning on his mother and her best friend. Was his mind was twisted by his upbringing in a broken home and volatile relationship with a domineering mother? Or was the Co-ed Butcher born to kill?
The horrific case of Timothy Wilson-Spencer, who strangled five people in the 1980s. The case was historic as it was the first case solved with DNA evidence.
In 1982, when the bodies of 3 women were discovered beneath the surface of Seattle's Green River, no-one realised that it was the beginning of an extraordinary killing spree that would baffle police for 19 years. The 'Green River Killer' would become the most prolific serial killer in US history, claiming the lives of more than four dozen victims, but it would take until 2001 before DNA testing solved the mystery of his identity. To his friends and family, Gary Ridgway was a mild mannered truck painter and a loving husband, but for 19 years he had prowled Seattle's red light areas, picking up young women, strangling them during intercourse, dumping their bodies in the woods, and sometimes returning to have sex with the corpses. Featuring video of his startling confessions - the cops that pursued him, the attorneys who prosecuted and defended him, leading experts, school-friends, and the wife who spent 16 loving years with her dream man, attempt to unravel what had created this monster. Had he been warped by his unusual relationship with mother? Or was the Green River Killer a product of nature - born to kill?Watch Now:iTunes
In 1958, the real ‘Natural Born Killers’, Charles Starkweather and his teenage girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate, embarked on an 8-day killing spree that left 10 people dead and many more fearing for their lives. The duo was captured in January 1958 and Starkweather was executed on the electric chair little over a year later…
Ted Bundy orchestrated a campaign of terror that stretched across the United States. Between 1974 and 1978 he lured a series of pretty, dark haired women to gruesome deaths. Described as handsome and charming, Ted didn’t fit the bill of a conventional murderer. Until the end, Bundy remained arrogant and defiant, choosing to conduct his own defence in the trial. Bundy was sent to the electric chair in 1989, whilst hundreds of people cheered his death outside the prison…
Once dubbed 'the most dangerous man in Britain', Patrick Mackay was responsible for a string of bizarre murders during the 1970s. Was Patrick Mackay born to kill?
Tony Costa murdered four women in 1969, before penning a chilling, unpublished novel detailing his crimes.
In 1979, a violent crime spree rocked the town of Richmond, Virginia. The discovery of a triple murder led police to a local gang of brothers.
The case of Charles Albright, who is suspected to have killed three women in Dallas' red light district between 1990 and 1991, and surgically removed their eyeballs.
The Son of Sam would become the most notorious killer in New York's history. Shooting women or couples parked in lover's lanes, the mystery killer spread terror through the streets of the metropolis, leading young women to cut and dye their hair for fear of becoming the killer's next victim. Writing to the police and press, the Son of Sam would claim to relish his 'work' and that he was programmed to kill. A massive manhunt would lead police to David Berkowitz - a lonely young man, adopted at birth, who claimed he was commanded to do the devil's work by a neighbour's barking dog. So was the Son of Sam driven by demons? Wreaking a bitter revenge fuelled by mental illness? Or was he programmed from birth to be a serial murderer?
The crimes of Allan Legere, who in 1989 brutally ended the lives of four defenceless residents in his home community of the Miramichi, New Brunswick. Having been convicted of murder three years previously, Legere had escaped from prison during a hospital visit and remained on the run for six months. Intent on revenge, he returned to his home town, hiding out in the woods during daylight but stalking the community at night. Dubbed The Miramichi Monster, Legere's ultimate act of revenge was the murder of his local catholic priest.
A profile of infamous serial killer Colin Ireland, who lured five gay men to their deaths and taunted the press and police as he heightened the intensity of each murder.
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