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Investigative Reports - Inside the Killer's Mind
Investigative Reports - Inside the Killer's Mind
Director: Sylvia Sweeney
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2008     0hr 50min

A look at the work of Dr. Dorothy Lewis, famed for her pioneering research on the causes of violence. We follow Dr. Lewis as she participates in the cases of two brutal murderers, Arthur Shawcross and Terrance Wainwright. ...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Sylvia Sweeney
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Crime & Conspiracy
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/15/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 0hr 50min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Take the Title Literally
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 06/04/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Too much true crime coverage wants to just supply the facts and move on. This show goes further. It asks, "Is there a problem with the brains of killers?" The problem is that the show only relies on one expert, a Dr. Lewis. And I do wonder if she is seeking self-promotion more than anything else. Further, any time Dr. Lewis wanted her theories checked or corroborated, she went to a Dr. Pincus. Maybe they are in cahoots with each other. Science needs blind and double blind studies, so why not ask for the opinions of others besides Dr. Pincus? But Dr. Lewis does present a reasonable formula: these killers had previous damage to their frontal lobes, they were abused, and they were of low intelligence. She says this causes them to do bad acts that most people have the control to avoid doing.

The cliche "If it bleeds, it leads" is true. I've seen many reports of murders. However, when the work showed an empty seat at a graduation ceremony honoring the young woman (a sista!) that one interviewee-murderer killed, I did get teary-eyed. In balance, the work includes one expert who challenges Dr. Lewis' views.

Unlike the psychiatrists portrayed in "Silence of the Lambs" or "Terminator 2" who always wanted to be seen as correct, Dr. Lewis seemed to accept that her ideas were not dispositive in court. The work says something like, "The law has yet to catch up to this research." Well, I sure as blank don't want to encourage any person to become a lawyer, but maybe the law is not flawed here. Part of the criminal system is designed to keep dangerous people away from the rest of society. So if these damaged individuals can't control their urges to kill the innocent, then maybe they should be locked up. A rational person could say, "Despite the tragedies the murderers experienced, no one forced them to do what they did." Numerous criminal law texts say it only takes a second to decide to murder. I am worried that society would be in danger if every murder defendant could go free based on Dr. Lewis' testimony.

Near the end of the work, more than one person says, "These findings corroborate that more must be done to address child abuse." I couldn't agree more. If this show helps a legislator to pass more stringent laws in that area or invigorates children's rights advocates, then I appreciate its contribution to that noble cause."