How To Catch A Killer
Dr. Chris Merritt and Dr. Katherine Ramsland
Bloody Scotland Online Event
This was a rather fasinating and yet chilling interview between Dr. Chris Merritt and
Dr. Katherine Ramsland about forensics and the psychology of those who kill or to be more precise – psychopaths.
Dr. Chris Merritt started proceedings with an introduction:
Dr. Chris Merritt
Author of the Boateng and Jones series and the Lockhart and Green series; Dr. Chris Merritt is also Clinical Psychologist. He has produced a lot of research papers on mental health, which he has researched and also studies the impact technology has on our lives.
He has practiced clinical psychology in the UK National Health Service. Now, he consults on psychology for businesses and write.
Dr Katherine Ramsland
Dr Katherine Ramslet teaches forensics psychology and has appeared in 200 documentaries, consulted on The Alienist (now on Netflix). She has an article about her in Psychology Today. She has spent 25 years, specialising in serial killers.
She is a Professor at DeSales University specifically to teach forensic psychology, focusing on her field of expertise—extreme offenders.
She has worked on a book called How To Catch A Killer about Dennis Radar, one of the most notorious serial killers of all time.
A Notorious Killer
She has known Dennis Radar for 10 years and seemed fascinated by him and in writing about him, although 85% is his work, with some suggestions etc being made. She shown an interesting slide show, which can be seen when the recording is shown of the event.
Finally, caught in 2004, he didn’t come across as a totally stereotypical guy who would be a serial killer. He was a president of a church group and a public figure.
He, however started with a family of 4, so was a mass murderer before he became a serial killer, with more victims outwith the family.
His thing was binding, torturing and killing people. He killed 6 more people. You’ll get a bit more about it in Mindhunter.
What is described is chilling, but there certainly seems a clever way of catching him.
Katherine talked about how he was manipulative and how she seemed to pay attention to what he said and how he said it. She said that they played chess and she was watching how he played. She talked about the layers of him; which was fascinating to hear about.
She talked of compartmentalising or cubing, which describes the behaviour and she learnt how to talk to him and she reckons it all allowed her to do an indepth study of him.
Dr. Chris Merritt asked about the psychological effect that her work could have on her.
Dr Katherine Ramsland talked about how she approaches the case with a clinical perspective and says it hasn’t really effected her. She did however, talk a bit to some of her friends about a few of the more disturbing things. She said she had studied so much and reckoned her approach made the difference in coping.
How she came to start working on this
She was curious as a child, when in Michegan and became fascinated by the process. She worked with John Hunter and started to write for the Crime Library and wasn’t intending on becoming an expert on serial killers. She teaches forensics at universities. She talked about how there is so much diversity in serial killers in certain traits and backgrounds.
She is interested in many unique cases these days and less so, than those that hit the main news headlines.
The History of Serial Killing
Interestingly, she talked about how serial killers can be traced way back in history.
The earliest was 2nd BC in China and says it is of interest to psychologists in what leads them to study that. She also wrote about serial killers that go back to Ancient Rome.
She also talked of many different types of seriel killers and of all the different manifestations of murder.
Dr. Chris Merritt talked about there being myths around serial killers and one being single white men.
She says that women are also seriel killers and are mostly quiet around it with poisonings, but not always. She says that she is past the whole women are all nurturers and can’t possibly do this. She talked of some women being in teams as they go about their killing. They talked of some in England and the manipulation that presents itself in their behaviours.
They both talked about the psychology of team killers and used the Moors Murderers as a prime example and how she sees how much females in a male/female team can be involved.
All serial killers are not psychopaths, it would seem. It is fascinating to hear that there is so much work that is going into studying the traits really early on and kids who are maybe at risk of becoming a psychopath. Sometimes, however there isn’t a childhood history. She studies the case histories and looks into what arouses a person and their perspective on the world.
Most Like To Interview
Dr. Katherine Ramsland would most want to interview Jack the Ripper.
Dr. Chris Merritt’s and Dr. Katherine Ramsland’s books are available to buy.
Pics of their latest….