THE SERIAL KILLERS
Directed by Neal Ashford
2005/5 hrs. 45 mins/Color/2.0 Dolby Digital
1.33:1/English/US/NTSC Region 1
Review from Dark Sky Films DVD
If there's one twisted subject that has always intrigued me, its the stories of serial killers. In this documentary, director Neal Ashford takes a look at some of the most well known, and some lesser known, serial killers. We get 13 half-hour episodes that features interviews with the prosecutors, journalists and the victims' families but also the killer itself. Most of them are not ashamed to go into all the vile, disturbing and horrific details about the crimes they commited and the reason why. Not surprisingly, I couldn't watch all of it in one session... why?! I felt dirty and discussed by all the things that were said in front of me. This ain't the kind of documentary you would watch with the whole family, trust me.
Profiled in this three-disc set are…
Henry Lee Lucas, “The Confession Killer,” was born to a prostitute and by all accounts, endured a horrific childhood. Along with Ottis Toole, Lucas embarked on a multi-state killing spree and was believed to have murdered more than 100 people. The movie, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is loosely based on Lucas.
Michael Bruce Ross, “The Roadside Killer,” was an articulate Cornell University graduate who ran a successful insurance agency. He murdered at least six young women, placing them on their stomachs to strangle them from behind. He was executed in May 2005 by the state of Connecticut.
Theodore Robert Bundy, “The Lady Killer,” was an attractive man who killed at least 35 young women and escaped twice from custody. Author Ann Rule wrote a best-selling book about Bundy, The Stranger Beside Me, whom she met when they volunteered together at a suicide prevention hotline. Bundy received the electric chair in January 1989.
William Heirens, “The Lipstick Killer,” got his name after he left a note for police, written in lipstick. Heirens has served the longest life sentence of any killer in America for the barbaric murders of two young women and the strangulation and dismemberment of a young girl. He is currently incarcerated in Illinois.
Kenneth Bianchi, “The Hillside Strangler,” a wannabe policeman and his cousin, Angelo Buono embarked upon a rampage of terror across southern California. The pair used fake badges to ‘arrest’ their female victims, who were tortured, killed and dumped along the hillside. Buono died in jail 2002. Bianchi is serving time in Washington State.
Kenneth Allen McDuff, “The Broomstick Killer,” killed three teenagers and received a death sentence. However, a corruption scandal involving his attorney and the parole board chairman, resulted in an early release for McDuff. He began to kill again, possibly as many as 18 more victims.
Harvey Louis Carignan, “Harv the Hammer,” was a man of enormous physical strength who placed bogus help wanted ads for women, then assaulted and murdered them with a claw hammer.
Ronald DeFeo Jr., “The Amityville Horror,” was a young man who murdered all six members of his family execution-style. DeFeo received 25 years-to life in prison on all six counts. The popular book and movie, The Amityville Horror, was based on the supernatural events allegedly experienced by subsequent homeowners where the killings occurred.
Catherine May Wood and Gwendolyn Graham are known as “The Lethal Lovers.” Their bizarre quest for sexual gratification led to the smothering deaths of helpless residents at the nursing home where they worked.
Arthur Shawcross, “The Monster of the Rivers,” had a history of sexually violent crimes, but was often released for being a model prisoner. He is now serving 250 years in jail for the murders of prostitutes, leaving many of his victims in watery graves.
Douglas Clark, “The Sunset Slayer,” cruised Sunset Boulevard seeking out prostitutes to kill and dismember. He was sentenced to death by electrocution. His female accomplice, Carol Bundy, died in prison in 2003.
James A. Paul, “The Executioner,” killed using weapons stolen from the farm where he worked. He committed at least three execution-style slayings over a period of a few days and is serving three consecutive life sentences.
THE SERIAL KILLERS is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The quality of the image depends of the source material and surely its age. Still, the image looks very good and is exactly what you would expect from a documentary. The 2.0 Dolby Digital English audio track is clear and does a perfect job. One thing though that almost drove me nuts while watching this... the annoying theme song and intro each time we got to a new segment. The DVD features static menus with music, in all there's 13 chapters, and the 3 discs comes in a transparent keep case with a booklet for other MPI/Dark Sky Films DVDs.
There is no extras.
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2005. ©