Why do serial killers commit the crimes they do?

: Sammy Croteau, Arts & Culture Editor

Have you ever wondered why serial killers commit their horrid crimes?

“Mindhunter,” a new series on Netflix, uncovers the minds of serial killers and reveals the motives and methods of their killings. The show follows two FBI agents, Holden Ford and Bill Tench, who study serial killers’ twisted psyches and attempt to understand their spiteful acts surrounding the victims of each killing. “Mindhunter” is not a reality show’ the interviews between Ford and Edmund Kemper, a real life serial killer played by Cameron Britton, are verbatim from the real accounted interviews, and the results are mind blowing. In 1977, when the show takes place, Kemper was named the “co-ed killer” after he abducted and murdered a series of female college students in California.

Ford’s methods of interviewing these subjects include empathizing with the suspected killers but still treating them like a victim in order to get the killers to reveal their tactics. The FBI condemns Ford’s radical treatment of the criminals during the questioning process, but Ford knows his intense approaches work.

Ford is fortunate enough to meet a young, behavioral sciences student, Debbie. She opens up his mind to the possibilities of criminal psychology and he becomes intrigued with the thought of future findings. Ford then persuades Bill Tench to join him in interviewing imprisoned murderers to answer the question: why do they kill? The agents give way to the development of modern serial-killer profiling, and their studies help the team solve other serial killer crimes in the area. What is so intriguing about this project and the series overall is the concept that regular people cannot comprehend what’s happening in the mind of a killer.

Each interview sends a chill down the viewer’s spine as some killers calmly explain their everyday life while also detailing how they dismember their victims. Disturbing descriptions come out of these interview scenes, yet the ongoing suspense throughout the show and peculiar storylines have viewers pinned to the screen and flying through the season. The cliffhanger ending will be picked up when the second season is released next October. 

If you’ve already binged-watched the first season of “Mindhunter” and can’t wait another year, a few shows might tide you over; try “Dexter,” in which the main character is a fictional serial killer who only murders on account of justice, or Hannibal, which features the infamous Hannibal Lecter pre-“Silence of the Lambs.”