Welcome, fellow mind detectives!
This is the place to learn about true crime and the psychology behind it.
A little bit about me: I’m a clinical/forensic psychologist, private investigator, and crime writer. I’ve been interested in the dark side of human nature since I picked up a book about Charles Manson and his followers while on a family vacation at age fourteen. I also come from a long line of crime and horror junkies. My mom never missed detective shows like Columbo and Baretta. And as for Alfred Hitchock? Well, he was a god in our house.
What transformed an interest into a obsession (and a true crime buff into a forensic psychologist), though, was Ted Bundy’s escape from a Colorado jail. His subsequent rampage at the Chi Omega house at Florida State University and murder of an innocent twelve year old girl happened just eighty miles from my home. I was a high school senior. Some of his victims looked like me. And that’s when I realized the direction my already-chosen profession as a psychologist was going to be spent somewhere other than a therapist’s office.
Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time in prisons, forensic hospitals, and courtrooms. I’ve been in the “hole” and on the crisis unit. I’ve worked with victims and perpetrators. And I’ve gained a lot of respect for “true crime fans” although I prefer the term “mind detectives.” That’s because I don’t think we are really “fans” of true crime. Instead I think of us as mystery solvers, safety advocates, and insight seekers. It’s my experience that most people who listen to true crime podcasts and read true crime books are curious people who not only want to know what bad things happen; they want to understand why.
If this is you, you’re going to fit right in. Each week we’ll take a look at a different crime (sometimes more than one!) and explore the psychological issues around it. Sometimes we’ll have some answers; sometimes, we’ll have more questions. But hopefully we’ll wrap things up feeling a little bit more aware than we did before we started. That’s my goal. So get ready for our first case . . . coming soon.
In the meantime, you can find other articles I’ve written on my Medium site, Psychology Today blog, youtube channel, or podcast.