Extreme Offenders: Psychological Insights

The names: infamous. The crimes: extreme. The insights into the darkest corners of behavioral psychology and the disturbing ways serial killers think and act: illuminating.
Extreme Offenders: Psychological Insights is rated 3.0 out of 5 by 6.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Presenter is poor choice I believe the presentation style is terrible. I would absolutely avoid any courses from this presenter. By its nature this is a very sensitive topic and it involves demise of innocent loved ones - presenter did a terrible job at this.
Date published: 2021-09-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Very Interesting individual cases, BUT.. The individual case studies were very interesting as a basic level course, BUT the instructor's presentation style was Notboring! It reminded of being handed a presentation as you are walking into a meeting and told to read it. That is what occurred in this course. It is obvious from the Lecturers credentials she is an exemplar In the field but is not allowed to display her knowledge and experience. I found myself looking at my phone and even dozing off as listened to the lectures. I have purchased over 450 lecture sets and greatly enjoy the diverse knowledge gained from the wonderful professors. Compare this course with the just released set on Communism and the professors delivery which is outstanding. Not much intellectual depth and insight into the mind of these killers, just basic comments on tough parents, being bullied, no friends, etc. This is the most negative review I have posted through the many years of enjoying the courses.
Date published: 2021-09-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Just Summaries - No Insight Listened to several so far and these lectures are just summarizing events. There is a small amount of analysis at the tail end of each but nothing you couldn't find on a wiki page. Was hoping this would delve more into the nuts & bolts psychology.
Date published: 2021-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Introductory Content I really enjoyed this series. As previous comments have noted, the script is read at a slow rate, but I just play it at 1.25x speed. This is definitely introductory content and it references the DSM-5, which is great. Hopefully we will see content that goes beyond introductory level.
Date published: 2021-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating Topic! Need more courses like this! So far only watched one lecture and am really looking forward to the one on Jeffrey Dahmer. Even though her voice is slightly grating I would still give her a 5 star just based on the content and would take another course by her :)
Date published: 2021-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Subject, but Plodding Delivery Fascinating subject! I've watched only one lecture so far, but plan to watch the entire series. The lecturer, however, will make this difficult. She connects not at all with her 'audience,' reads her script VERY slowly, and has a rather grating voice. Sure glad I'm not in her classroom.
Date published: 2021-09-10
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Overview

Professor of Forensic Psychology Katherine Ramsland distills her years of experience studying extreme offenders into 12 fascinating episodes that plunge you inside the troubled minds and infamous crimes of serial killers, spree killers, and mass murderers, including Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and Jeffrey Dahmer.

About

Katherine Ramsland
Katherine Ramsland

Using penetrating insights from psychology, we’ll deconstruct the “whats” and “whys” of some of the most notorious killers of all time.

INSTITUTION

DeSales University

Katherine Ramsland is a Professor of Forensic Psychology and the Assistant Provost for Special Programs at DeSales University. She holds graduate degrees in Forensic Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Philosophy. She has been honored as a distinguished alumna by Northern Arizona University and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

The author of more than 1,000 articles and 68 books, Katherine spent five years working with Dennis Rader on his autobiography Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, The BTK Killer. Among her other books are How to Catch a Killer, The Psychology of Death Investigations, The Mind of a Murderer, Beating the Devil’s Game, and The Devil’s Dozen: 12 Notorious Serial Killers Caught by Cutting-Edge Forensics. Her background positioned her to assist former FBI profiler John Douglas on his book The Cases That Haunt Us and to cowrite books with former FBI profilers Gregg McCrary and Mark Safarik. She also coauthored The Real World of a Forensic Scientist with Elaine M. Pagliaro and renowned forensic criminalist Henry C. Lee. She blogs regularly for Psychology Today.

Katherine trains law enforcement professionals and speaks internationally about forensic psychology, investigative psychology, jury dynamics, suicidology, and extreme offenders. She is an executive producer of Murder House Flip and has consulted for CSI, Bones, and The Alienist. She has also appeared on more than 200 documentaries and shows, including 20/20, 48 Hours, and Nightline. She is a go-to consultant regarding perpetrators of the most deviant forms of criminal behavior.

By This Professor

Extreme Offenders: Psychological Insights
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Extreme Offenders: Psychological Insights

Trailer

Rage and the Serial Killer: Joseph Vacher

01: Rage and the Serial Killer: Joseph Vacher

Forensic psychology first got its start in the late 19th century, which is where this series begins. Joseph Vacher’s vicious spate of murders in France, earning him the name “the South-East Ripper,” would make him an instructive subject on compulsive rage, manipulation, and violent sexual domination.

39 min
Cruelty and Lust Murder: Peter Kürten

02: Cruelty and Lust Murder: Peter Kürten

It’s the rare type of criminal who becomes sexually aroused by the sight of their victim’s blood. A classic lust killer, Peter Kürten demonstrates how a lack of remorse, coupled with narcissism and the need for violence as a stimulant, encourages the conditions for paraphilias and serial sexual murder.

35 min
Killing Husbands for Gain: Belle Gunness

03: Killing Husbands for Gain: Belle Gunness

Some extreme offenders are motivated by anger and lust; some just want money. Meet Belle Gunness, the enigmatic “Indiana Ogress” of the early 1900s who drew the attention of some of the world’s most prominent criminologists in search of psychological reasons why a woman could be so bloodthirsty.

35 min
A Life for a Life: Leonarda Cianciulli

04: A Life for a Life: Leonarda Cianciulli

Some extreme offenders operate with a firm sense of purpose while others are simply delusional. Unlike other extreme offenders in this series, Leonarda Cianciulli believed in the supernatural. In fact, her decision to kill was justified as an act of faith, love, and protection—namely, to spare the life of her military-age son, Giuseppe.

35 min
Deceptions of a Fatal Chameleon: Ted Bundy

05: Deceptions of a Fatal Chameleon: Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy is practically synonymous with the term “serial killer.” He presents the allure of the attractive, confident narcissist who firmly believes he is untouchable. Take a closer look at how, in the end, Bundy’s distorted perceptions of reality undermined him and proved he was not that special or unique.

35 min
Comorbid with Serial Murder: Rodney Alcala

06: Comorbid with Serial Murder: Rodney Alcala

In this discussion of the serial murderer Rodney Acala (who also appeared on the The Dating Game TV show), take a closer look at the nature of psychopathy. During the time of Acala’s early psychological evaluations, it seems likely that psychopathic traits—impulsivity, grandiosity, lack of empathy, and manipulativeness—were misdiagnosed as other conditions.

33 min
The Path to Psychopath: Edmund Kemper

07: The Path to Psychopath: Edmund Kemper

Co-ed killer Edmund Kemper’s case demonstrates how deviant murderous thoughts that become acts can start while the perpetrator is quite young. There exists, fortunately, a treatment program designed to treat specific personality and behavioral issues, and to help re-socialize persistently aggressive juvenile offenders.

35 min
Need to Harm: Joseph DeAngelo

08: Need to Harm: Joseph DeAngelo

What makes an extreme offender successful? Use Joseph DeAngelo, the Golden State Killer, as a lens through which to study how major categories of predatory rapists (the “gentleman rapist,” the power-assertive rapist, the anger-retaliatory rapist, and the sexual sadist) set goals, identify escape routes, evaluate obstacles, and react to cues.

36 min
The Mask of Insanity: John Wayne Gacy

09: The Mask of Insanity: John Wayne Gacy

Begin looking at claims about mental illness and its impact on aberrant behavior with the case of John Wayne Gacy, who killed at least 33 young men—but who also resided for several years over the decomposing bodies in the crawlspace under his house. Why did his case so confuse a jury?

37 min
Isolation of a Zombie Maker: Jeffrey Dahmer

10: Isolation of a Zombie Maker: Jeffrey Dahmer

Why do homicidal sex offenders report mostly deviant sexual fantasies and tend to mutilate their victims? Get inside the mind of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who exemplifies how predatory homicidal offenders can often show a greater incidence of fantasy based in paraphilias than non-homicidal offenders.

35 min
Dracula Delusions: Richard Trenton Chase

11: Dracula Delusions: Richard Trenton Chase

While some extreme offenders might fake a disorder when the stakes are high for punishment, sometimes a serious mental instability has been well documented in an offender’s past. Case in point: Richard Trenton Chase, whose history of mental illness manifested in some truly bizarre—and truly bloodthirsty—behavior.

35 min
The Retribution-Day Killer: Elliot Rodger

12: The Retribution-Day Killer: Elliot Rodger

Unlike mass murderers, who kill four or more people in a single event and at a single location, a spree killer slaughters three or more people in at least two locations. Here, meet Elliot Rodger, a spree killer and a symbol of justified violence to men known as “incels,” or involuntary celibates.

38 min