According to Jim Clemente, retired FBI behavioral analyst and criminal profiler, when it comes to the “nature vs. nurture” debate, “genetics loads the gun, personality and psychology aim it, and your experiences pull the trigger…”
As a criminal profiler, it was Clemente’s job to catch murderers, serial killers, and rapists and pick up the slack when forensic evidence failed.
In the latest episode of Wired’s “Tradecraft,” Clemente explains how he went about his job tracking down some of the world’s most dangerous people.
In the early 1980s, Henry Lee Lucas claimed that he had murdered 100 women. Wait, make that 150 women. Or was it 200? No, 360. Actually, he thought it could be as many as 600. Such boasts instantly made him the world’s most prolific serial killer.
The thing is, it was almost certainly a lie.
Directors Robert Kenner and Taki Oldham’s incisive, infuriating five-part Netflix miniseries, “The Confession Killer,” is the story of a man intent on mythologizing himself—and, just as crucially, about the media and law enforcement’s desire to mythologize him, to their own benefit.
A poor Virginia native with a droopy eye, few teeth, and an IQ of 87, Lucas was convicted at an early age of murdering his abusive mother. Upon his release, he was pinned for killing both his girlfriend Becky Powell and his 82-year-old landlord Kate Rich.
When questioned about the latter double-homicide, Lucas began talking, first about his outstanding warrants, and then about how and where he had offed the two women.
It was, by all appearances, an open-and-shut case—until, at his arraignment, he asked the judge what they should do about the other 100 women he had killed, and then all hell broke loose.
“The Confession Killer” premieres December 6 on Netflix.
The FBI has named 79 year-old Samuel Little the most prolific serial killer in American history—and he would have gotten away with the vast majority of his murders, if not for a Texas Ranger.
As Sharyn Alfonsi reported Sunday on “60 Minutes,” Texas Ranger James Holland had a hunch about Little. Holland suspected that Little might be guilty of far more murders than a recent conviction accused him of, and though Little had never confessed to anyone before, he slowly began opening up to Holland.
Over the course of 700 hours of interviews, the tally finally ballooned to its gruesome total: Little confessed to killing 93 people from 1970 to 2005.
Law enforcement officials have corroborated dozens of Little’s confessions with Jane Doe cases. In just over a year, law enforcement has solved 50 cold cases, all due to the details sifted from the elderly serial killer’s memory.
The FBI has released several videos of Little talking in detail about murders that police have not been able to corroborate. They hope that, through tips from the public, they will eventually be able to identify the victims.
Brendan Dassey was 17 years old when he was convicted of helping his uncle sexually assault and murder photographer Teresa Halbach in a Wisconsin salvage yard.
He was 26 when the Netflix series “Making a Murderer” made the case — and the concerns about how it was handled — a global sensation.
Now, weeks from his 30th birthday, Mr. Dassey, who has pursued several failed legal appeals, is seeking mercy once again: On Wednesday, his legal team launched a campaign to persuade the state’s governor, Tony Evers, a Democrat, to grant him clemency.
While viewers continue to argue over the guilt or innocence of the docuseries’ main character, Mr. Dassey’s uncle Steven Avery, many viewers were moved by the plight of Mr. Dassey, who has intellectual disabilities and is serving a life sentence without the possibility of early release until 2048.
After receiving critical success with docuseries like “America to Me” and “Warriors of Liberty City,” Starz is continuing its prestige documentary push with “Leavenworth.”
Produced by Steven Soderbergh, along with Paul Pawlowski and David Check, the upcoming five-hour docuseries tells a controversial true-crime story that plays out in the military justice system.
The series is centered on Clint Lorance, who’s serving a 19-year sentence for murder at the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. While deployed in Afghanistan in July 2012, the former Army lieutenant ordered fire on three local men riding a motorcycle, killing two of them.
Lorance’s case made national headlines after a February 2015 story ran in The New York Times, and it recently came back into discussion when Don Brown, Lorance’s co-counsel and consultant during his appeal, published a book, “Travesty of Justice,” on the case this year.
Brown argues in the book that the Army restricted critical evidence from being revealed in Lorance’s trial.