When Myra Hindley, an ambitious, yet violent, young woman met Ian Brady, an unemotional man with a twisted mind, their deepening love became a source of tragedy. From 1963 to 1965, the duo acted on their dark desires by murdering children in England. Greg and Vanessa explore the bone-chilling dynamics of serial killer couples like Ian and Myra.
With Greg Polcyn & Vanessa Richardson
About Serial Killers
Every Monday, Serial Killers takes a psychological and entertaining approach to provide a rare glimpse into the mind, methods and madness of the most notorious serial killers with the hopes of better understanding their psychological profile. With the help of real recordings and voice actors, we delve deep into their lives and stories.
After William Bonin took the life of his first victim, his killings only escalated in frequency and violence. In part 2, Greg and Vanessa dive into Bonin’s need for validation, and how the loneliness resulting from his traumatic childhood likely led him to invite multiple accomplices along on his killing spree. After the rape, torture, and murder of at least 21 men and boys, William Bonin’s accomplices became the key to his capture and conviction.
William Bonin drove California’s freeways, picking up hitchhiking men and boys and driving them to their deaths. As a child, he was abused by almost everyone he met--family, classmates and authority figures -
leading to complete desensitization. Greg and Vanessa discuss Bonin’s hunger for power and addiction to torture, rape, and murder.
Andrei Chikatilo killed with increasing frequency over twelve years. Greg and Vanessa explain how the Soviet system of criminal profiling allowed a monster like Chikatilo to evade the police, even as his killing became more frequent, and more gruesome. They examine how a psychiatrist helped crack the case, Chikatilo’s attempt to plea insanity, and the horror of tracking down a killer who’s victim profile is “anyone they can get their hands on”.
One of the most prolific serial killers ever to live, Andrei Chikatilo murdered 53 people between 1978 and 1990. Greg and Vanessa examine how Chikatilo was molded by the horrors of World War II in Ukraine and then the Soviet Union. Driven by his impotence, he could only be satisfied by killing women and children.
In the case of the Lethal Lovers, Gwen Graham was charged with five murders, and Cathy Wood charged as her accomplice. But was that truly their relationship, or was Cathy blackmailing Gwen to use her as a scapegoat? Greg and Vanessa piece through the lies to discover who was really culpable in the Alpine Manor killings- Gwen Graham, Cathy Wood, or both women?
After meeting at Alpine Manor in Michigan, nurses’ aides Gwen Graham and Cathy Wood began a romantic relationship that eventually earned them the nickname “The Lethal Lovers.” Motivated by dark erotophonophilia, Graham and Wood’s dangerous “pranks” soon escalated to what they dubbed “The Murder Game”.
Bible John left gruesomely specific crime scenes. This week, Greg and Vanessa scrutinize this killer’s disturbing methods for any semblance of meaning. Were the kills sadistic, predatory, or spurred by rage at encountering an “unclean” menstruating woman? And how, despite the fact that the Glasgow police interviewed over 20,000 people, did Bible John evade capture?
Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom was meant to be a place for people to dance and enjoy themselves. Instead, Bible John, one of Scotland’s most infamous serial killers, used the dance hall as a hunting ground. Vanessa and Greg investigate the motives of this mysterious murderer who may have used the Bible as justification to target menstruating woman.
Charles Cullen was one of the deadliest serial killers in American history. As a nurse, he went from hospital to hospital, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. Greg and Vanessa investigate how the New Jersey hospitals that employed the killer nurse ignored evidence of his murders. Yet despite the mounting deaths, the one person capable of bringing Cullen to justice was his only friend.
Nurses are trained to save lives. But this nurse killed. Charles Cullen overdosed his elderly patients on digoxin and insulin, passing off over 40 deaths as natural before authorities finally got involved. Greg and Vanessa examine how Cullen’s depression, feelings of victimhood and drug abuse led him to abuse drugs on others.
A fire rages at black widow Belle Gunness's murder farm, where her many victims lie buried below her hog pen. After deputies find a headless woman's body in the ashes, authorities believe that Belle was murdered by her jealous farmhand. But Greg and Vanessa think that’s exactly what Belle wanted them to believe. Why would a serial killer fake her own death? And what would drive her to do so? Greg and Vanessa investigate.
Norwegian immigrant Belle Gunness was one of America's deadliest black widows. Suitors answering her personal ads seeking romance found themselves at the wrong end of Belle's meat cleaver. Join Greg and Vanessa as they investigate the motives behind Belle's prolific murders. Was early-life trauma to blame? Or did simple greed drive Belle to kill?
What makes someone evil? And how evil is Gary Ridgway, serial killer and necrophiliac? Greg and Vanessa discuss Ridgway’s sex addiction, how he lured his victims, and the great lengths he went to in order to evade the police for nearly twenty years.
Struggling with a low IQ, Gary Ridgway always wanted to be the best at just one thing. That one thing turned out to be serial murder. The most prolific American serial killer, Ridgway claims to have killed almost eighty women. Greg and Vanessa discuss the formative events and possible Oedipal complex behind the Green River Killer.
Behind the cheerful demeanor of a sweet southern grandma, lurked a vicious killer. Nannie Doss poisoned her husbands, killed her children, and even went after her own mother. This week, Greg explores Nannie’s use of the lonely hearts columns to find victims, and Vanessa examines how social conformity and societal norms helped this killer fly under the radar for so long.
“The Giggling Granny”, Nannie Doss’ home cooked meals were served with a side of poison. Was she suffering from Munchausen-by-Proxy, or did she just feel trapped by mid-20th century society? Greg and Vanessa examine how a troubled childhood, brain damage, and an abusive husband led this killer to snap and go after everyone who was closest to her.
Lonnie Franklin Jr. offered rides to Los Angeles women, only to kill them, photograph them, and leave their bodies to be found like trash on the street. “The Grim Sleeper” had a deep-seated need to degrade women, ending at least ten lives before new breaks in forensic technology helped the police to catch him. Greg and Vanessa discuss Franklin’s change in MO, his police interrogation, and the remaining task of identifying the unknown women in his polaroid’s.
Join us after the episode for an exclusive interview with Hart Hanson, creator of the TV series BONES. We’ll talk about his new crime novel, The Driver.
He targeted and killed multiple women in the 1980’s; then mysteriously disappeared. Fourteen years later, he started killing again. Why would he stop? And why, after so long, would he come back? Greg and Vanessa examine what made “The Grim Sleeper” different from other serial killers operating in the area at the same time, as well as the psychology behind his “trophies.”
A lust killer who dreamed to be known as an outlaw, Paul John Knowles sought infamy. He was so desperate to be remembered; he recorded his own confession to multiple murders while still a free man, and shared the tapes with his lawyer. Knowles killed indiscriminately, occasionally allowing writers to live—so they could chronicle his story. This week, Greg and Vanessa follow Knowles’ cross-country murder spree to its shoot-out conclusion.