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Murderers and Their Mothers – Season 1 (2016)
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Murderers and Their Mothers – Season 1 (2016)

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What part does a domineering mother play in the creation of a future serial killer ? As, with many cases, there seems to be an odd connection between how controlling the matriarch of the family is, and how subservient, afraid, besotted or aroused the son is of his mother. Obviously, although devastating, a violent, scary and domineering mother isn’t the only aspect of a serial killer’s upbringing which aides their psychological disintegration, but (for many killers) it is an important aspect of their psyche, and often a method to their madness.

IMDB (5.8)

Episode 1:
Daniel Bartlam: The Coronation Street Killer

At just 14 years old Daniel Bartlam savagely killed his mother with a claw hammer and then sought to cover his tracks by setting fire to her body. Daniel’s deep resentment of his mother following his parents’ divorce rapidly led to dark and menacing behavior, and she was desperate to keep the problems behind closed doors, but did her love for him seal her fate?

Episode 2:
Fred and Rosemary West: Killer Couple

Fred and Rosemary West murdered twelve young women including two of their daughters in one of the most shocking cases of serial killing Britain has ever seen. But why did the Wests embark on their path of depravity? Were they born to kill; or did their mothers make them into monsters?

Frederick Walter Stephen West @ Murderpedia

Rosemary Pauline West @ Murderpedia

Episode 3:
Jed Allen: The Wolverine Killer

The case of Jed Allen, a young man who on the surface had a happy, stable life. Yet in May 2015 he would kill his mother, step-father and six year old half-sister in a brutal knife attack. MacIntyre and criminologist Dr Elizabeth Yardley explore Jed’s dysfunctional childhood years with his mother to discover the trigger that led him to commit family annihilation.

Episode 4:
Harold Shipman: The Angel of Death

Dr Harold Shipman, was Britain’s most prolific serial killer with at least 215 known victims. Was Shipman simply addicted to murder, playing God by killing many of his elderly female patients with overdoses of morphine, or did his upbringing and the circumstances of his mother’s death turn him into a mass murderer?

Dr. Harold Frederick Shipman @ Murderpedia

Episode 5:
Dennis Nilsen: The Kindly Killer

One of Britain’s most infamous killers, Dennis Nilsen murdered fifteen young men, some as young as 14, in London during the late seventies and early eighties. Nilsen held on to the corpses of his victims for weeks on end, keeping them in pristine condition and talking to them on his return home from work and sleeping beside them.
His horrific crimes were only revealed when a plumbing company found human remains in his drains. But what led this seemingly normal civil servant to start killing for company? How big a role did his lonely childhood in an isolated Scottish fishing village play? And how devastating was his cold and religious mother’s inability to feel any love for him or to acknowledge his homosexuality?

Dennis Andrew Nilsen @ Murderpedia

Episode 6:
Joachim Knychala: Frankenstein

Joachim Knychala, the Polish serial killer who earned the ghoulish nickname ‘Frankenstein,’ attacked his victims with an axe, butchering and desecrating their bodies after death. MacIntyre and criminologist Dr Elizabeth Yardley explore Knychala’s twisted relationship with his mother and grandmother to discover whether they were the cause of his murderous misogyny.


Joachim Knychala @ Murderpedia

Episode 7:
Robert Black: The Lone Killer

Serial child-killer Robert Black worked as a delivery driver, preying on young girls up and down the country. Black’s own childhood was fraught with violence and abandonment. MacIntyre and Dr Elizabeth Yardley piece together Black’s fractured upbringing and explore whether these early psychological traumas were the triggers which transformed Black into the depraved monster he became.

Robert Black @ Murderpedia

Episode 8:
Leszek Pekalski: The Vampire of Bytowa

One of Poland’s most notorious serial killers, Leszek Pekalski confessed to murdering dozens of people – men, women, and children, who were mostly savagely bludgeoned to death before being raped – although he later recanted all but one of his confessions. What role did his violent mother’s heavy drinking while pregnant and later abuse and neglect play in Pekalski’s evolution?

Leszek Pekalski @ Murderpedia

Episode 9:
Adam Lanza: Sandy Hook School Shooting

In December 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother Nancy before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School and shooting dead 20 children and six teachers in one of the bloodiest mass shootings in American history. How much is Nancy to blame for keeping an arsenal of weapons in the family home with a mentally disturbed son for whom she refused to seek comprehensive treatment?


Adam Peter Lanza @ Murderpedia

Episode 10:
Richard Kuklinski: The Iceman Killer

Richard Kuklisnki, known as the ‘Iceman,’ claimed to have killed up to 250 in his three-decade-long career as a hitman for the mafia, all of which he kept separate from his average middle-class existence. How much of Kuklisnki’s psychopathic personality was passed on by his parents? And how much of his traumatic upbringing was invented by Kuklinski as a way of rationalizing his crimes?

Richard Leonard Kuklinski @ Murderpedia

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