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Documentaries from Films on Demand (Library Database)
Why They Kill
Why do some men, women, and even children assault, batter, rape, mutilate, and murder? The breakthrough research and singular theory proposed by renowned criminologist, Professor Lonnie Athens, comprehensively explains how violent criminals develop; how violent communities are created and transformed; and how violent acts are committed and can be prevented. Based on the critically acclaimed book by the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Richard Rhodes, this documentary is a startling exploration of the four-step "violentization" process that leads some to attack and murder. (57 minutes)
Social Theory of Crime
This film brilliantly captures the essence of three of the major social theories of crime and looks at their continuing relevance to the study and control of crime in contemporary societies. “Strain Theory and the American Dream” looks at application of Merton's theory to consumer societies. “Labelling Theory Today” documents the switch from crime to social control and looks at the theory's continuing influence on criminology and criminal justice. “Place, Space and Broken Windows” begins with the question of why most recorded crime is concentrated in very specific areas. (20 minutes)
Tell Tale Bodies
By refining and expanding on the work of the founders of criminology, today’s forensic scientists link crime victims to perpetrators in ways that almost defy belief. In this program, Professor Matile of France’s Museum of Natural History; Professor Evenot, expert in odontology; and noted anthropologist Professor Perrot discuss the ways in which microscopy, entomology, dental records, and facial reconstruction help police solve crimes. The classic contributions of Lacassagne to ballistics, Revenstorf to forensic biology, Megnien to forensic entomology, and Guerassimov, who is shown actually doing a facial reconstruction, round out the historical background on these remarkable procedures. (55 minutes)
To Catch a Killer: The Use and Abuse of Criminal Profiling
In 2001, the last piece of a serial rape/murder case that had tantalized London police for nearly 20 years finally fell into place. In this program, retired FBI profiler Robert Ressler, LAPD psychologist Kris Mohandie, and British law enforcement professionals discuss the history and techniques of criminal profiling within the context of the Railway Rapist crimes that terrorized greater London during the 1980s. In addition, the sensational case of Rachel Nickell, murdered in broad daylight on Wimbledon Common in 1992, illustrates how profiling improperly applied can hijack an investigation. Forensic psychologist Gisli Gudjonsson, of King’s College London, provides commentary on that crime. (46 minutes)
In the Shadow of Feeling
Without remorse or empathy, psychopaths control, even kill, others for personal profit. But every psychopath starts out as a child. Using interviews with forensic psychologists, child psychiatrists, and a 17-year-old named Jonathan who is serving a sentence for first-degree murder, this powerful film elucidates the factors that can transform children into psychopaths. Dr. Elliott Barker, founder of the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, discusses both primary and ancillary causes of psychopathy, such as the effects of day care and a society premised on consumerism. Viewer discretion is advised. (44 minutes)
This A&E Special traces the origins of four critical weapons in the war against crime: ballistics, trace evidence, polygraph tests, and psychological profiling. Stories of headline-making crimes such as the “Mad Bomber” investigation in New York during the 1950s help show how these techniques were developed and refined, while dramatic reenactments introduce viewers to innovators like Calvin Goddard, the father of modern ballistics, and Leonard Keeler, the designer of the portable polygraph machine. Distributed by A&E Television Networks.