If you entered a serial killer's mind, could you understand
what provokes seemingly functional people to commit repeated, senseless
acts of violence? And if you did so, would you be buying into a glamorization
of the darkest side of human nature?
Mind of a Killer gives you a chance to find out, as it probes
the psychology of serial murders and searches for patterns and motives.
While some aspects of the program are flashy and tabloidesque, its encyclopedic
range--it includes the text of four important homicide-related books and
video commentary from two forensic psychologists and two former FBI agents--gives
nature or nurture?
You'll find case studies of 14 murderers, including Ted Bundy, Jeffrey
Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, and Aileen Wuornos. Learn about
their childhoods (recurring themes include animal torture and violent sex)
and their fetishes, and see re-creations of crime scenes. Revealing personal
interviews supplement the factual accounts and expert analysis. In a poignant
interview, Gacy remarks that "the dead won't bother you; it's the living
you got to worry about." Ted Bundy admits that he has been impolite but
insists that no man is truly innocent.
The essays, with their many useful hotlinks, offer the best introduction
to the mind of a killer. In the Profile of Serial Murderers, the term psychopath
leads to its definition, derivation, 16 associated characteristics, and
further reading suggestions. More information appears in tables (one includes
each serial murderer's nickname) and in charts. A map of the world, decorated
with red dots, reveals the disproportionate number of mass murderers in
the United States, with the highest concentration in California.
If you just want to look at the pictures, the photo gallery is loaded
with mug shots, crimes scenes, drawings, and more. If the sight of a blender
used to mix drinks of human blood makes you queasy, opt for the installation
feature that blocks the most disturbing images.
While this disc is insightful and informative, the intensity and disturbing
nature of its subject matter limits its audience severely. Mind of a
Killer will appeal only to those particularly intrigued by the mental
workings of a serial killer--namely, to those obsessed, for whatever reason,
with these infamous figures in modern history.