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The Killer Speaks

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Van Brett Watkins: Hitman
Van Brett Watkins reveals details about his career as a hitman.

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Gary Ray Bowles: The I-95 Killer
In 1994, an unknown drifter went on a violent killing spree in three states. Nicknamed the "I-95 Killer" by the press, Gary Ray Bowles left his victims with something viciously stuffed in their mouths.

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Lawrence Tarbert: Natural Born Killer
A young man is shot on a mountain trail and left to die. During the investigation, detectives believe they may be dealing with a serial killer.

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Timothy Thomason: Perfect Murder
In 1991, a human skull is found in the woods outside of San Antonio and a perfect murder begins to unravel. Investigators figure out the identity of their victim, but without witnesses or evidence, the case goes cold quickly.

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Gene Meredith: Devil Inside
In Great Falls, Montana, detectives respond to a barbaric scene where a 51-year-old former corrections officer is found dead.

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The Killer Speaks is a chilling, true crime documentary series that first aired on A&E in 2012. Developed by the producers of The First 48, one of A&E's most popular shows, The Killer Speaks has been widely praised for its gripping narratives and a distinct perspective not seen in many crime docuseries.

The premise of the show is both innovative and unsettling. Each episode dives deep into a different solved crime, revisiting the dark and often twisted history that led to its resolution. However, what sets this series apart is that it offers an unfiltered platform for the perpetrators themselves. The convicted killers narrate their own stories and provide first-hand accounts of their motives, the planning and action of the crime, and their thoughts when committing these acts.

This intense focus on the killers provides an unusual and disturbing insight into the psychology of the criminal mind. This is not the romanticized depiction of serial killers seen in crime dramas or thrillers. Instead, the audience is presented with a raw and unnerving semblance of reality that makes one question the limits of the human psyche. It is not just about understanding the circumstances that lead to the crime, but it is also about acknowledging the darkness that resides within society.

Much of the intrigue in The Killer Speaks lies in the stark reality of the killers' confessions, the sheer brutality of their actions, and the warped explanations they offer. However, it also does not neglect the impact of the crimes on the victims and their families. As the narrative progresses, the victims' voices and their impassioned stories form an essential part of each episode. This creates a well-balanced, deeply moving narrative that respects the victims of these heinous acts, without ignoring the role and the psyche of the killers.

The show combines elements of an investigative documentary with re-enactments of the critical events leading up to the crime, the arrest, and eventually, the courtroom battles. The chilling, confessional style interviews are juxtaposed with discussions with law enforcement, criminologists, and forensic experts. These experts provide their perspectives on the crime, the evidence, and their experiences with investigating and ultimately catching these killers.

Moreover, the show also breaks down the clues and the strategies used by detectives and prosecutors that eventually led to the arrests and convictions. It pulls back the curtain on the law enforcement process, shedding light not just on the great achievements but also on the struggles and the moral dilemmas inherent to the field.

By giving equal prominence to the stories of the killers, the victims, and the fight for justice, The Killer Speaks strikes a nerve-racking balance between bone-chilling horror and a sense of closure. Even though the outcomes of each case are generally known from the outset since they are solved crimes, the series still possesses a gripping tension because it is seen through the eyes of the perpetrators.

The Killer Speaks does not take a voyeuristic approach but instead offers a profound, thought-provoking examination of criminal behavior. It delves into the mind of the killer, exploring the motivation, the pathology, and the circumstances that led them towards their dark paths.

But be aware, the show does not hold back on the details, and some episodes can be genuinely challenging to watch. Yet, despite being unsettling, it offers a captivating perspective on the criminal psyche and the societal phenomena surrounding crime.

In terms of technicalities, the series has polished production values, with a cinematic quality that adds to the storytelling. The editing is well-executed, weaving the pieces together to create tension and emotional intensity, without exploiting or sensationalizing the subject matter. The subtle but effective use of ambient music often underscores the overall eeriness and somber tone, contributing significantly towards the show's overall impact.

To conclude, The Killer Speaks is an intriguing examination of the criminal mind and the aftermath of violent crime. It's a journey into the darkest corners of the human condition — a journey that is as spellbinding as it is disconcerting. While it may not be for the faint of heart, it provides viewers with an unprecedented insight into crime from a perspective that few would dare to explore, making it an unusual yet compelling addition to the true crime genre.

The Killer Speaks is a series categorized as a currently airing. Spanning 2 seasons with a total of 15 episodes, the show debuted on 1970. The series has earned a moderate reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 7.3.

Crime Drama
Pete Demeo, Rodd Houston, Sasha Bardey
The Killer Speaks is available on .