Murder is the ultimate crime punishable by life in Prison or in some countries, death. But is anyone capable of becoming a killer or is there is something unique about those who do?
In this three-part documentary series for Channel 4, three convicted murderers submit themselves to a ground-breaking biological and psychological investigation to determine whether they had truly control over their actions or if a combination of hidden factors meant they were destined to kill.
It’s an investigation with huge implications for how we treat society’s ultimate offenders. Scientists are now beginning to understand how certain biological traits, including those we may be born with, can influence behaviour and how our experiences can change our biology right down to DNA, to make an individual more likely to become involved in crime, violence and even murder. Their discoveries are set to revolutionise how society thinks about the fundamentals of crime and punishment.
In each episode of this pioneering series, a neuro-criminologist and a forensic psychologist investigate the life, crimes, body and mind of one convicted murderer in unprecedented detail. By analysing their brains, genes and hormones, and through gripping psychological interviews, they uncover a series of biological, psychological and social risk factors that when combined could have caused their aggressive, impulsive, immoral or risk-taking behaviour and put them on an inescapable path towards becoming a killer.
The series features pioneering neuro-criminologist Professor Adrian Raine, who has dedicated his 41-year career to analysing the bodies and brains of killers, looking for biological causes of crime and violence. Teamed up with forensic psychologist Dr. Vicky Thakordas-Desai who has spent 20 years analysing the minds of inmates in Britain’s toughest prisons to understand how past experiences from abuse to neglect can shape future criminal behaviour.