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NOVA: Mind of a Serial Killer
NOVA Mind of a Serial Killer
Actor: Patrick Stewart
Director: Larry Klein
Genres: Educational, Documentary
NR     2005     1hr 0min

The Boston Strangler. The Son of Sam. Jeffrey Dahmer. Every time a serial killer hits, it touches a deep collective nerve of fear?in part because his grisly acts so defy comprehension. Or do they? Step behind the scene...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Patrick Stewart
Director: Larry Klein
Genres: Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Educational, Crime & Conspiracy, Science & Technology
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/22/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

A compact but interesting look into a serial killer's psyche
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 08/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Since the 1960's, the murder rate in the United States has doubled and an average of 55 people are killed every day. Some of the most difficult homicides to solve are those perpetrated on complete strangers due to a lack of easily identifiable suspects and no evident motives.

Over 1000 cases are examined annually regarding serial offenders and the FBI's Investigative Analysis division is often the group that is tasked with attempting to find these elusive killers. Describing techniques developed in the 1970's, current processes used in crime scene investigation and criminal profiling is looked at here. Some of these methods have proven successful after discovering patterns and behaviors of some killers.

While many cases can be solved using good old fashioned detective work, others are difficult due to the unpredictability of some serial killers and this is what makes them the more disturbing and frightening of all criminals. Interviews with psychiatrists and law enforcement officials offer insights into the abnormal and devious mindset of these offenders.

Although short references are made to several high profile criminal cases and famous serial killers in this program, the latter half of this documentary focuses primarily on Arthur Shawcross and his killing spree of numerous prostitutes in Rochester, New York. This is quite interesting in and of itself because there is a detailed examination of all the work that went into solving this crime.

This feature isn't all encompassing because it's hard to tackle such an intriguing and in-depth topic in only one hour of material. NOVA leans more toward the science of profiling and behavioral studies more than anything else but they do it well in my opinion. I just wish they would produce longer shows as the topics they document are usually very appealing.
A Documentary Written Like A Murder Mystery
Raniel Almaria | Roselle, IL | 02/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"NOVA: MIND OF A SERIAL KILLER examines the horrifying reality of serial killers. This video, narrated by THE X-MEN's Patrick Stewart, looks at how law enforcement (FBI, etc.) deals with this type of criminal. The video examines different types of serial killers (organised, disorganised), the makings of a serial killer, case histories, and the process known as criminal profiling. Criminal profiling has been used to track down & convict serial killers like Wayne Williams & others. The video also tracks down the investigation of murdered prostitutes in the Rochester area. The investigation led to the capture & conviction of Arthur Shawcross. Shawcross was a recently paroled sex slayer who was found responsible of at least 10 murders. Using criminal profiling along with other evidence, the FBI successfully imprisoned Shawcross to a term of life imprisonment.NOVA: MIND OF A SERIAL KILLER is a must-have for true crime afficionados. Highly recommended."
Go for it
francoise gaspari | 09/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This dvd is just extraordinary, so very interesting and extremely well done. Once again, you have John Douglas in it and that's such a treat for anyone interested in profiling.
This dvd is so interesting that you'll be upset when it's over, buy it without hesitation."
A compelling look into the mind of criminal profiling
Nicoletta Carlone | Los Angeles | 02/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This documentary is a compelling look inside the process of catching a serial killer through criminal profiling, it follows an FBI team on the hunt for Arthur Shawcross, the murderer of 11 prostitutes in Upstate New York, as well as touching on some other cases, including the Son of Sam Murders and others. It is interesting to watch how these FBI investigators can pin point an individual so throughly through profiling. The only complaint that I have about this documentary is that it, being made in 1992, is a little outdated, but never the less compelling."