Friday, November 14, 2014

True Crime TV Friday

As I'm testing out new things for this blog, I'm thinking about discussing various True Crime shows here on Fridays. 

First out of the gate is a show I just recently started watching called The Killer Speaks on A&E.  They start out with a murder, and then they shift to talking with the murderer.  It shifts back and forth between the crimes and the question/answer part.  To me, it's very insightful.  I mean, sure, these people make my skin crawl, but what better way to get a glimpse into the mind of a real killer?  You know, without actually meeting a real killer. 

It gives you a real chance to see the dead eyes and the cold, expressionless faces.  To witness the hint of glee behind it all when they think you aren't paying attention.  To hear the words they use to describe their crimes. 

Sometimes they try to convince the viewers that they're remorseful, but you can tell they're lying.  Sometimes they make excuses for why they're just wrong inside.  Sometimes, it's even true - as in the case of the man who is schizophrenic.  That guy knows what he did is wrong and he never wants to be let out because in prison, they make him take his medicine and he doesn't want to kill people anymore. 

But the psychology of it all is fascinating.  Especially if you're writing crime fiction. 

Have you ever caught the show?  If you're a writer, do shows like this help you build your characters?  If you're a reader, what do you think of learning about the psychology behind a killer?


  1. You know I thought I was a bit of a freak because I not only watch all the cop / CSI shows, but the true crimes too. I find shows like "Snapped: Women Who Killed", "Evil Twins", "Nightmare Next Door" etc totally fascinating. I've caught The Killer Speaks & it's definitely creepier than the others as you actually see & hear the killer. I agree with you that they try to not appear as monsters but most of them just are. They can't really hide it. And you're right again that it's the psychology that's so interesting, understanding how they fantasize about doing something so heinous and then actually doing it. Most have no remorse at all. But you know what bugs me most, all those mental health professionals saying "Ah well he was abused in childhood" implying it's an excuse or something we should expect. There are unfortunately a lot of people who suffered abuse in childhood, many such horrific things you can't bear to think about them, but not all of them turned into serial killers. So stop making excuses for them, accept that they made their own choices to do what they did and punish them accordingly. Oh sorry I feel quite strongly on this issue, as you can tell - ok rant over.

  2. LOL, not a freak, Fran - you're a connoisseur of crime entertainment. And yes, you watch enough of these things and you definitely see the excuses over and over. Don't get me started on using abuse as an excuse. Stuff happens, and most people get over it rather than take it out on others. Feel free to rant. You're in good company. ;o)

  3. I'm not sure I've watched that exact show before, but I've definitely watched the shows where they flip between the murderer and the murder. I find them interesting too, but I can only watch them every so often.

    I do watch shows like SVU, NCIS (although way less scary lol), and The Following (terrifying).

  4. I've never heard of this show. Don't watch true crime. Not sure why. Definitely a good way to analyze a villain!

  5. I watch shows like that to go to sleep to. It's like listening to my duty radio when I was on call back in the day. LOL I've sat in the courtroom with killers, or sat across the table from them in an interview room at the station. Some I've even watched get arrested. They are a fascinating species. And yes, I say "species" because so many of them lack the spark of humanity that keeps the rest of from murder.

  6. I don't think I've ever watched anything on A&E. I'm more of a Supernatural/Vampire Diaries kind of viewer. Well...alone (or with my daughter). My husband won't watch those with me.

    I do watch some crime shows. And mysteries. But real crime? Not so much.