Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

This gentle-looking, benevolent grandfather cleverly lured children to their death, then devised recipes to eat them. This cannibal model for Hannibal Lecter is a study in criminal psychology and a true enigma. His wife thought him to be a wonderful husband and his children believed him to be a model father. What inner torments caused him to drive many spikes into his pelvis and tell people that he looked forward to his execution?

John Borowski's film about the demented child killer is an engaging piece of visual art that has raised the bar on this type of subject.

Incorrect expert testimony causes murder convictions to be overturned. Is a new trial in the offing?

Dr. Katherine Ramsland explores cases of doctors who kill and why they do it including a new case file on Dr. Robert Bierenbaum

Nurses continue to murder their patients. Dr. Katherine Ramsland examines the motives and some high-profile and recent cases.

Evidence of nurses who murder their patients has reached epidemic proportions globally. Dr. Ramsland examines the motives and major cases. Review of new book on Donald Harvey.

Brutal murders committed by people who kill in their sleep.

Detective Mark Gado looks at the evolution of the many theories on what causes crime and criminal behavior. Genes, environment, or eating too many Twinkies?

Attentive pediatric nurse, suffering from bizarre Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, maims and murders many babies before the hospital understands the problem.

The methods and motives of the female serial killer. Now with a new chapter.

The malicious weave a tangled Web.

This ancient ritualistic practice has disappeared from most cultures, but increasingly survives as a bizarre and poorly understood criminal behavior. Psychologist Rachael Bell looks at the explanations.

What jurors bring to a trial is as decisive to the outcome as the evidence presented. Some experts are concerned that criminal procedural dramas like C.S.I. are affecting not only the behavior of criminals, but the jurors who determine guilt or innocence.

Bad seed or bad parents?

16-year-old son of Omaha meat-packing baron is kidnapped. Incredibly, the kidnappers, who have pocketed $50,000, are caught but acquitted by 2 different juries.

Obsessional pursuit and the digital criminal.

A beautiful and talented reading teacher turns into a sexual predator in the space of a year. A detailed account of what really happened as the then 23-year-old teacher enticed a 14-year-old boy into a sexual relationship, how she was caught and the twists and turns of her prosecution and sentencing.

A number of things in her life contributed to her obsessive need for sexual attention from boys a decade younger than herself and her step over the line into outrageous and highly illegal behavior. Her crimes have been disastrous for her victim, her husband, the families involved and the community. Many believe that she has gotten off too lightly.

The chance to see celebrity criminals in action - contributing to their own downfall.

Forensic psychologist developed a new way to define psychopaths and discovered that their abnormalities are physical as well as behavioral.

Katherine Ramsland looks at the manifestations of "evil," how it became an unpopular concept in our culture until recently and the inadequacy of modern psychology and sociology to explain its origin in individuals.

Katherine Ramsland pierces the heart of darkness as she examines famous criminals who reframe their murders to make them seem less wicked and, in some cases, trying to ennoble their crimes

Katherine Ramsland concludes her 3-part series on criminals representing the essence of evil and how they differ from other types of criminals. She also explores why we love Hannibal Lecter and find evil so fascinating.

What kinds of pressures drive fathers to murder their children? Dr. Katherine Ramsland provides some answers and looks at some high-profile cases.

Many people think of mass murderers as men and most of them are, but here are some famous women mass murderers. Some of the psychology and motivations are different from male mass murderers.

Female crime is increasing at an alarming rate. A look at why women break the law and some high-profile cases of women criminals.

How this art form was used in high profile cases like Andrea Yates, Scott Peterson, and John Wayne Gacy.

It started out as a simple trip from her home in Oregon to see her friend in California, but she never got there. As she hitchhiked, she was picked up by Cameron & Janice Hooker. Instead she spent the next seven years chained, blindfolded and living in a ventilated box, wearing a slave collar.

Eventually she was allowed to do household chores such as cooking, washing dishes, and cleaning up for the couple and their two children. Yet whenever Cameron yelled "Attention!" she was to strip off her clothes, stand on her tiptoes, and reach her hands to the top of the doorway between the living room and dining room.

Then one day the whole nightmare ended as quickly as it had begun.

Young psychopath obsessed with poisons grows up to be the expert St. Albans Poisoner, assisted by negligent authorities.

Intelligent teen athlete with chronic juvenile rap sheet turns into a rampaging rapist, stalker and serial killer. Despite his good points, his chronic violence puts him on Pennsylvania's death row.

Along with psychopath sidekick Ottis Toole, he traveled the U.S. raping, robbing, killing, and mutilating men, women & children. Originally thought to have killed 360 people, some of his confessions are now discredited. Whatever number of murders he & Toole committed, these two serial killers set a new standard in depravity.

Why Serial Killers Have to Kill to Feel.

Evolution of a controversial defense and famous trials in which it was used.

Joran van der Sloot's media antics have overshadowed his victims' plight, but is there a deeper psychology at work?

Bad company and an abusive home life took their toll on Colton Harris-Moore, even so he still showed signs of resourcefulness and resolve. A peek inside the mind of the Barefoot Burglar.

Young man from a normal family, as far as any family under a microscope can be designated "normal," reaches puberty and starts to fantasize about sex with dead men. As these fantasies begin to take over his conscious mind, his link with the real word begin to disintegrate. He becomes more and more alienated with his family, who cannot fathom what is going on and are powerless to help him.

He moves away, takes a low-level job far beneath his abilities, and starts to lure young minority men to his apartment where he conducts bizarre experiments on them, brutalizes and finally kills them. As if this were not enough, he then mutilates and decapitates them, has sex with their corpses and cannibalizes them.

Inevitably, he is brought to justice, and like many men who go to prison for life, he professes to find God and embrace religion before he was killed by a fellow prisoner. But does he really or is this just one more prisoner sham?

Sharon Wood, 24, left her secretarial job in Portland and entered the basement level of a parking garage to look for her car when a tall, pudgy man approached her. She later told police that she had sensed someone behind her and had tried to return to an area where she could hear other people. But then someone tapped her shoulder and she turned around. The man was holding a pistol.

In a split second, she decided to fight. She had barely a chance against him, but she believed that if she didn't struggle while someone might still hear her, she'd die that day. Instinct told her that this man had murder on his mind.

Sharon kicked at him with her high-heeled shoes, screamed again and bit him hard. Yet he managed to slam her head on the concrete, dazing her. Fortunately another car came along, and her attacker ran off. She survived, but not long afterward another young woman did not.

Brudos is one of the most shocking serial killers ever and the subject of Ann Rule's book The Lust Killer. He abducted, tortured & mutilated young women in his garage, right under the noses of his wife and children. An analysis of the psychological factors that created this monster.

Serial killer Jerry Brudos, died March 28, 2006.

Serial pedophile Kenneth Parnell abducts seven-year-old Steven Stayner, the brother of serial killer Cary Stayner, and takes him to live in his cabin near Yosemite. By a tragic coincidence, Steven's stepmother's father had a cabin a few hundred feet from Parnell's, not knowing that his Steven was easily within the sound of voice.

Steven's seven years of captivity are partially shared when a new boy is abducted and shares his fate as a sex slave to the aging pedophile.

Years later in 2002, Parnell was free and in his 70s, but Parnell's age and frailty did not prevent him from asking a caregiver to obtain a little African-American boy for him. Parnell offered the woman $500 for the service. At first, the woman doubted that the old man was serious, but when she became convinced that he was, she went to the authorities. A sting operation was arranged and Parnell was caught red handed in an attempt to perpetrate his twisted, criminal behavior on another child victim.

Most children murdered during stranger kidnappings are killed within a few hours. A close look at this serious problem and what can be done about it.

Homeless preacher Brian David Mitchell and his common law wife, Wanda Barzee, brazenly kidnap a 14-year-old girl from her bedroom, initiating an internationally publicized investigation. Bureaucratic errors permit the kidnappers and their victim to live out in the open for 9 months. This case is a excellent example of the Stockholm Syndrome, where the captured victim learns to sympathize with her captors.

New information sheds controversial light on the behavior of Columbine school shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold that should have been a red flag to parents, school authorities and law enforcement.

A thin, young man with a shaved head and a white baseball cap had been sitting for a while on a bench in the hall outside the University of Montreal's registrar's office. He looked agitated, as if he were waiting for someone who had failed to arrive. He made eye contact with no one, but his attitude was clear in his stiff posture and grim expression.

As he entered one of the classrooms, a few people looked over at him and he offered a slight smile, as if to apologize for the interruption. He looked at the women, as if to make certain of where they sat. Used to students arriving late, Professors Yvan Bouchard and Adrien Cernea both ignored him.

But then the grinning man in the baseball cap ordered 10 female students to get up and move across the room. "I'm fighting feminism," he told them. "Women had been taking employment and opportunities away from men, he said, and feminists needed to be taught their place."

He lifted the rifle again and, as they screamed for mercy or tried to leap out of range, he methodically shot them from left to right. All were hit.

Bizarre case of married teacher who raped her young student and eventually had two children by him. Now out of prison, she has married her victim. Happy ever after? Not entirely.

Marybeth Tinning was a familiar sight in Schenectady's trauma centers. She usually came running into one of the city's emergency rooms, confused and hysterical, typically with one of her babies cradled in her arms, either dead or near dead. The medical staff knew Marybeth well. Some hated her. Others felt great sorrow and pity for her. That's because from January 3, 1972, the day her daughter Jennifer died, until December 20, 1985, when Tami Lynne was found dead in her home, all nine of Marybeth Tinning's children died suddenly and usually without any rational explanation.

And no one knew why.

Sixteen-year-old Paula Perrera was a bubbly, confident, carefree girl who performed well in school, enjoyed the company of her tight-knit group of friends as much as a good book and was active in the church youth group.

On many occasions she chose to bypass the school bus altogether and instead hitchhiked to classes. Paula's boyfriend begged her not to hitchhike because of the inherent dangers, she ignored his pleas claiming that, "only nice people pick me up."

Michael Ross was later quoted saying to police during an interview "as soon as I saw her (Paula), she was dead." Paula was not Michael's first victim, nor would she be his last. In fact, before his capture he would claim responsibility for the murders of 8 young women.

While at school, Michael was socially active and joined several organizations. Moreover, he became involved in several relationships with some beautiful young co-eds, one to which he became engaged. However, the relationships always ended in failure and Michael's "dream of the perfect family began to be crowded by other fantasies — disturbing, violent, sexual fantasies."

It didn't take long for his fantasies to spiral out of control.

Reckless accusations by mentally unstable woman leads to an incredible $16 million case of nightmarish hysteria.

While it appears to be true that some people who immerse in horror imagery feel provoked to commit the same aggressive crimes they just viewed, it's also true that there is no evidence of a causal factor, and millions of people watch such films without feeling instigated to act. Some people process external images into aggressive behavior, others might gain catharsis, and still others remain altogether unaffected. A few become horror film makers or novelists. It's not easy to know just what effect a specific film might have. Whatever results, research shows that it has more to do with the viewer than the material viewed.

It stands to reason that violent imagery will affect certain people in a way that inspires them to act out. From the story that affects them, they acquire a frame and guidelines, and sometimes even interpret the film as a license to kill. Not everyone will be thus affected, but among those who are, it's safe to say there is such a thing as a "Copycat Effect" when the portrayal of violence grips a person so firmly that he or she decides follow the details of that specific template. Has the movie made him kill? No, but has it given him ideas and methods — even victims? We can see that such things have occurred and are likely to continue to occur.

Highly controversial disorder, often faked, has been the cause of hysteria and scandal.

Profiler Pat Brown describes this bizarre form of psychopathic behavior that particularly affects women.

On December 30, 2006, the complete and partial skulls of nineteen people four women, eleven girls and four boys - were discovered on the property of an upscale home in Nithari, a suburb of New Delhi, precipitating a search for more remains. It was obvious at once that the police were dealing with a serial killer, but investigators would soon learn that they in fact had two suspects, possibly three.

Alleged killer of his wife and baby daughter, he returns from England to face the charges. Dr. Katherine Ramsland looks at the psychology of men who kill their families and the pressures that lead to such homicides.

Nietzsche's concept of the Superman, who did not have to conform to the morals of the times, was an inspiration to Hitler, among others.

Sadistic, psychopathic monster terrifies California suburbs, murdering, raping & brutalizing his victims. New chapters on his trial and his love for Satan.

Excerpt from the book that tells the true story of Ted Bundy.

Patrick Mackay was known in school as a liar and troublemaker, and he also turned his violence against small animals, including the family's pet tortoise, which he reportedly set on fire. He pinned birds to the road and then stood back to watch cars come by and crush them. He stole from people on the street and entered the apartments of elderly women to take what he could find. He also set fire to a Catholic church (as well as other buildings).

Mackay had a fascination with death. Apparently his father had regaled him with stories from the war about seeing his comrades shot down or blown up. Mackay himself spent a lot of time with the corpses of animals and birds. A neighbor saw him toss dead birds into the air and play with them. It's likely that he developed fantasies that involved the death process, which may have then become eroticized for him.

The British health system kept giving him a pass, permitting him to escalate his violence into repeated murders, including a priest who befriended him.

NY Detective Mark Gado delves into the secret criminal world of pedophiles and child molesters: how it operates under the radar screens of law enforcement and communities; ways to identify these people and what to do to stop them from violating your children.

Bizarre fashion writer becomes obsessed with various women, stalks them and, in one case on Halloween, dressed as a fireman he breaks into a woman's apartment and molests her. On the lam for weeks, he is now on trial for sexual molestation and robbery. Pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, Braunstein's planning, deception and flight indicate he knew that what he did was against the law.

Obsession with babies leads to unthinkable acts of violence. A look at recent and high-profile cases and the mind-set of women who become prenatal predators.

Career criminal and meth-addicted mommy link up to fulfill Ricky's lifetime ambition — torturing, raping and killing women on video. Just as police got an important tip, this depraved couple escaped, abducted a young girl and planned their suicide.

A surge of cold into her lungs. Awareness. She is alive. But outside now. On the sand. On the broken glass. And there is an arm. Moving above her face. Left and right. Left and right. His movements are making a sound. A wet sound.

The sound of her flesh being slashed open. He's cutting her throat with the knife. Again and again and again.

It feels unreal as she watches droplets of her blood flung into the night. But it isn't. She feels no pain, but this is not a dream. This is happening. The man is slashing her throat.

The fear and the horror wrench through every nerve in her body. But she is completely aware.

The horrific injuries didnt stop with her throat being slashed. Yet, this attractive young woman who had been left for dead, survived. Her personal strength and a few miracles have given her life back.

Can we predict extreme fatal violence? Dr. Katherine Ramsland explores the causes of incidents of mass murder.

An imprisoned psychopath attempts to confess to dozens of murders, provoking debate as to his motives and veracity.

A study in sexual sadism, he & his friend stalked and abducted attractive women to torture, rape & murder.

Katherine Ramsland interviews one of the most famous pioneers of the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit who actually coined the term "serial killer." He talks about his experiences on major cases, including Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Arthur Shawcross and William Heirens, the "Lipstick Killer."

Hard-charging ambitious Ruthann Aron loses her moral compass when she looks for a contract killer to rid herself of people who get in the way of achieving her objectives.

From a modest start as a waitress in her father's diner, Ruthann rises to power and wealth in Montgomery County, Maryland, an important suburb of Washington, D.C. But the power goes to her head and she starts making business decisions that land her in court. Her ambition seems to know no bounds when she takes aim at unseating entrenched politicians with dubious campaign tactics. Finally, she embraces contract killing as a way to get what she wants.

Whether created out of boredom, therapy, or greed, violent offenders find a ready market for their drawings, paintings, poetry & song.

A grim fascination with serial killers has created a robust "murderabilia" market. Many millions are spent each year not on serial killer movies and books, but on everything from paintings and other artwork created by serial killers to tacky souvenirs, coloring books, games and joke gifts. Some women are so attracted that they become serial killer groupies and even wives. A close look at why we are so fascinated by serial murder.

Busty GroBust spokeswoman Victoria Redstall vows to make a "star" out of her good friend Wayne Adam Ford, a vicious serial killer who cut off the breasts of his victims. Redstall is just one of many women who become obsessed with the most frightening type of murderer. Some of them are surprising.

It's commonly believed that serial killers cannot stop, because their compulsion is so strong that they're literally addicted to murder. In addition, they feel no remorse so they have no reason to refrain from indulging their hunger for blood - or else they're just plain psychotic.

However, there have been cases of men who have stopped themselves from killing again by going to the police to confess. Some actually express remorse, and might indicate that they'd been on drugs or were in some other state of diminished mental capacity during their crimes. They might also have come to the realization that, try as they might, they cannot stop themselves.

It's hard to imagine that these cases occur so often in recent times, but there are quite a number of them. Dr. Katherine Ramsland looks at some of the most interesting and high-profile cases where individuals and couples have become obsessed with taking sex slaves.

There are four basic victim types and sometimes their stories lead to the grave and sometimes to freedom. The slave masters are also very diverse psychologically in the way they practice this deadly game of dominance and submission.

Sid Vicious, born John Simon Richie, joined London's Sex Pistols band in 1977 and was still in his teens when they became one of the top bands in Britain. Ironically they were making money hand over fist as the icons of rebellion, the heart and soul of a generation alienated from rampant capitalism

The femme fatale was Nancy Spungen, very troubled young woman from a well-off Philadelphia family, who was determined to bed this young Sex Pistols celebrity, and bed him she did — with a vengeance. Nobody could stand her as friends watched Sid become dominated by her. Ultimately he'd go cuckoo when he wasn't' with her.

Finally, their lives became classic co-dependencies: heroin and each other, until one morning she was found stabbed to death and he was charged with her murder.

Many young men are brutally murdered at a gay massage parlor. Was it a mob hit, hate crime or theft?

Often the victims are celebrities like Madonna and murdered young actress Rebecca Schaeffer, but one in 12 women is at some time a victim of a stalker. What makes these obsessive people tick and what can you do to protect yourself and your family?

He did not fit the profile of a serial killer. He had a master's degree, knew several languages, was a former science teacher, was charming, was in a seemingly satisfying relationship, and seemed completely at ease with having his home searched and his gun tested. He did not abuse substances. Associates who were questioned about him remained loyal, certain the police had the wrong man. He had coached football, helped with Cub Scouts, and was kind to children. He was both articulate and artistic, a cultivated man accomplished in many things from piano to bullfighting, who seemed anything but a murderer. He was generous, friendly, and helpful to people in need.

Throughout the ages, some human killers have been fascinated and obsessed by the blood of their victims. Here are some of history's most notorious vampire killers and some of the most recent cases, some of which are very recent — and very weird.

Young man becomes obsessed with torture and murder, idolizes Charles Manson and seeks to become a "murder machine." Dr. Ramsland presents the interesting case forensics and emotional pathology.

Young Marine suffered head injury that completely changed his behavior and pushed him into murder. Now, he has a new friend, busty GroBust spokeswoman Victoria Redstall who threatens to make him a "star" in a her documentary.

Traces the long history of the belief that men could become wolves and rip apart their victims. Shocking recent cases are profiled as well as classics like Vacher the Ripper and the Monster of Florence. Psychologists debate the nature of the mental disorder responsible for werewolf killers.

"It was an urge. ... A strong urge, and the longer I let it go the stronger it got, to where I was taking risks to go out and kill people risks that normally, according to my little rules of operation, I wouldn't take because they could lead to arrest." —Edmund Kemper.

Where does this urge come from, and why is so powerful? If we all experienced this urge, would we be able to resist? Is it genetic, hormonal, biological, or cultural conditioning? Do serial killers have any control over their desires?

We all experience rage and inappropriate sexual instincts, yet we have some sort of internal cage that keeps our inner monsters locked up. Call it morality or social programming, these internal blockades have long since been trampled down in the psychopathic killer. Not only have they let loose the monster within, they are virtual slaves to its beastly appetites. What sets them apart?

Kennedy cousin's continuous problems with women -- the whole story.

The bad news is that it is increasing. A few key cases are analyzed to point to the types of workplace homicide and the reasons for it. Is there any truth to the myth of "going postal"?

Intelligent and educated, the "Black Messiah" styled himself into a religious leader who preached love and black empowerment but his followers practiced murder, intimidation and extortion. Those who joined the Yahweh ben Yahweh cult included fraternity boys, sheriff's deputies, grandmothers and ex-cons fresh out of prison. They allowed Mitchell to control every aspect of their lives, from their diet to their finances to their sexual liaisons.

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