Hello my fellow true crime lovers! I recently watched the first season of the Netflix series Mindhunter and read criminal profiler John Douglas‘ Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit.
Today I am going to discuss some elements I find worth exploring. This post might contain spoilers. Please keep in mind this is not a summary, but merely my rambles as a true crime lover.
I absolutely love criminal profiling. It’s amazing how accurately profilers can predict who the perpetrator is, from their job, social life to upbringing.
Because I find this such an interesting investigate tool, I immediately watched the pilot of Mindhunter when it was first released on Netflix. Due to the racial slurs and sex scenes, I decided I didn’t want to continue it. Because I find this field so interesting, however, I ultimately did watch the rest of the season almost a year later, and I’m glad I did. The interviews with the serial killers and the murder cases in which they proof the effectiveness of profiling, are by far my favourite parts of the show.
Those scenes are based on Mindhunter by John Douglas. I was surprised that certain shocking scenes from the series – such as Richard Speck flinging his favourite bird into a fan – did occur in real life!
I listened to the audiobook of Mindhunter and I liked the narration. It’s definitely also a memoir of Douglas’ life, which some readers don’t like. I understand that he seems self-obsessed, but I can’t really blame him: look at everything he achieved in his career! Furthermore, he’s quite funny, which you wouldn’t expect from such a book!
As I have mentioned before, I love learning more about serial killers. In the book, Douglas talks about his interviews with notorious criminals such as Ed Kemper, Charles Manson, Richard Speck, Jerry Brutos and the Son of Sam. These interviews are incredibly fascinating and I love that the Netflix series explores them even further. Like I said, I found it shocking that scenes I thought were inserted for shock value, were actually historically accurate!
Why do people kill? Is it nature, or nurture? Perhaps we’ll never know for sure. Douglas stresses that it could be nurture (such as parental abuse) rather than nature, but that doesn’t mean the crimes are justifiable. Many people have abuse parents, a horrible upbringing, etc. but they don’t kill. As Douglas says himself: women experience these things as well, yet almost all serial killers are men.
Additionally, Douglas believes certain violent sexual offenders cannot be rehabilitated. I know this is controversial, but I agree with him. After having listened to so many true crime podcasts and having watched numerous true crime documentaries, it’s infuriating to see how many men continue to rape and kill once they’re released from prison. Those victims could’ve been avoided, and we shouldn’t be lenient.
That said, I do not feel the same way about justifiable homicide, drug charges, burglary, etc. I am only talking about violent sexual offenders.
Which brings me to the death penalty. We don’t have this in my country, so it’s not something I think about regularly. I actually still don’t know how I feel about it. But horrible serial killers such as Ted Bundy, Ed Kemper, Richard Speck, etc. could never be released. They don’t want to die – hence why men such as the Green River Killer accept plea deals to avoid the death penalty – so wouldn’t the death penalty be the ultimate punishment?
On the other hand, the interviews with serial killers prove we could learn much from them. If they are willing to cooperate, they’re more valuable alive than death. Additionally, if it weren’t for those plea deals, some wouldn’t talk at all, and victim’s families would never know the truth.
To avoid his execution, Ted Bundy finally admitted his crimes after years of proclaiming his innocence. I talk about this more in my first Chelsea’s Crime Corner. If he wasn’t on death row, he probably never would’ve spilled the beans. If he hadn’t been executed, however, perhaps we would’ve found out even more about his crimes, such as the exact number of victims.
These are just some thoughts I have about the death penalty. I’m not in favour of it, but these despicable human beings would give everyone some second thoughts, I think.
Anyway, back to the book. Douglas discusses many murder investigations in which criminal profiling was helpful. While those cases illustrated the importance of the investigative field, there were A LOT of cases, it was a bit hard to keep track of them.
Additionally, I would’ve liked even more information about the serial killer research. While criminal profiling and the research go hand in hand, I think he could’ve written individual books about each subject, in order to go into more detail.
content and trigger warnings for murder, rape, suicide, animal cruelty, ableism, n-word (quotes from murderers), kidnapping, mutilation
Have you watched or read Mindhunter? What are your thoughts? Do you agree/disagree with what I said?
Stay Sexy and don’t get murdered,
Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!