Mind of Serial Killers / Open Lines

Hosted byIan Punnett

Mind of Serial Killers / Open Lines

About the show

John Douglas is one of the foremost experts and investigators of criminal minds. He's worked directly and/or had overall supervision in over 5,000 violent crime cases and interviewed many of America’s most notorious killers. He joined Ian Punnett (Twitter) to discuss his unique insight into his profiling process, and to explain his approach in helping identify and capture America’s most disturbing criminals. Douglas recalled his time in the FBI and development of a profiling system for serial killers. He was able to gather information directly from the criminals partly because he did not carry a tape recorder or notebook to prison interviews, so that the interaction became "a conversation," where the killers "had as many questions for me as I did for them."

Douglas told of his work with a parole board for the possible release of Joseph McGowan, a child killer who had served a mandatory 30 years and was recommended for release. Douglas was able to interview McGowan and determine that he was not ready to be released, remarking that "you cannot rehabilitate someone who is not habilitated in the beginning." His considered opinion that any negative event in McGowan’s life could trigger a relapse of his violent actions kept the perpetrator behind bars. Ian brought up a study that showed similar traits between serial killers and leaders in the business world, to which Douglas agreed that "it’s very similar when you start looking at it." To protect your own children from becoming victims, Douglas suggested educating them to the dangers and never letting them out in public alone.


During Open Lines, Joe in New York tried to make a connection between violent video games and serial killers; Ian did not agree that this had been proven. Joseph in Indiana commented on a rise in UFO sightings in Southeast Asia and wondered if it had anything to do with recent rocket testing by North Korea. Louise from Louisiana said that with Mother’s Day coming up, she wanted to point out that the ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra was sometimes referred to as "the mother of god." James from Missouri said that during his time in prison he had to "learn to read people" quickly to survive and that this habit became a burden on the outside when he was released after 18 years. In a revealing segment, Ian interviewed James about prison and what led him there and what happened after he was released.

Wayne in Washington state told about his childhood experience of Bible study with serial killer Ted Bundy when they were both ten-years-old, and recalled that he "didn’t notice anything too unusual about him." Jim in Michigan lamented the loss of media types like the legendary Walter Cronkite, who he said represented "honesty and integrity." Lynn in British Columbia said she used to live next door to a man who one day admitted to her that he had served 18 years in prison for killing someone in a bar brawl, and that "he was one of the most loyal and trustworthy neighbors I ever had." Larry in Texas related the frightening story of a car that paced him one night-- the driver "wasn’t human" he recalled, and gave him "a look I’ll never forget."

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