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Investigative Reports - Inside the Killer's Mind

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

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. This disturbing documentary features trial testimony, videotapes of psychiatric examinations, and a surprising neurological evaluation of Shawcross in prison.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Sylvia Sweeney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: January 15, 2008
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000WNTLC8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,974 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Format: DVD
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.
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