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Down the Dark Road of ‘The Alienist’


While the crime procedural has existed on television since the 1951 premiere of Dragnet, the series that arguably set the tone was Law & Order, which began in 1990 and remained on the air for 20 years, spawning five spin-offs and countless impersonators. Just a few years after that series started, writer Caleb Carr would find enormous success with his historical crime procedural, The Alienist.

What makes The Alienist unique is the way it plays with the timeline, reaching about 200 years beyond its 1994 publication date. Blending fact (Teddy Roosevelt’s history as the Police Commissioner of New York City) and fiction (a series of horrific murders of child prostitutes), The Alienist provokes an odd sense of déjà vu for fans of Netflix’s Mindhunter and those who’ve followed Thomas Harris’ Hannibal novels (as well as the movies and TV shows spawned from that universe).
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31 Days of Horror: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

This article is part of Biff Bam Pop’s ongoing “Now Streaming on Shudder” series.

The reputation of a horror film can often loom so large that even the thought of watching it elicits fear. Such is the case with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. After years of hearing it was one of the most realistic and shocking cinematic depictions of a serial killer, I purposely avoided it.

After growing fond of Michael Rooker as an actor over the years, I was also worried that he would be so believable I wouldn’t be able to watch him in anything else. I finally got the nerve to tackle Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer a few weeks ago.
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Brand-New Trailer for Netflix’s ‘Mindhunter’

Just a few more days until October 13, when Netflix’s new series, Mindhunter, premieres on the streaming service. We’ve got the new trailer.
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How Do We Get Ahead Of Crazy? David Fincher’s ‘Mindhunter’ Trailer

“How do we get ahead of crazy if we don’t know how crazy thinks?”

Fans of crime procedurals and David Fincher have much cause to celebrate. The director of such ground-breaking movies as Se7en and Zodiac is bringing his talents to the small(er) screen — Netflix — on October 13 with Mindhunter.

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Creations of Chaos: The Care Bears Movie

On this edition of Creations of Chaos, I explain how The Care Bears Movie sparked my lifelong interest in murderers and serial killers.

Care Bears

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True Crime Corner: Andrew Cunanan

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He may be most known for killing a celebrity designer in the fashion world. However, before he murdered this man, he is suspected of traveling from coast to coast, ending the lives of four men along the way and devastating their families. In this edition of True Crime Corner, who was Andrew Cunanan?

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True Crime Corner: David Berkowitz

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When people get called out for doing something that they shouldn’t be doing, sometimes they use the excuse that the devil made them do it. However, one New York serial killer claimed that a dog had something to do with his criminal actions. This week on True Crime Corner, who was the Son of Sam?

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True Crime Corner: Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris

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What do you get when two convicts, with one heinous plan, join forces when they are released from prison? You get The Toolbox Killers, on this edition of True Crime Corner, two men who terrorized teenage girls in California for a few months in 1979.

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True Crime Corner: Arthur Shawcross

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The areas near rivers are sometimes used as body dumps for serial killers. While Gary Ridgway favored locations around the Green River, another man frequented New York’s Genesee River, becoming known as The Genesee River Killer. Today on True Crime Corner, who was Arthur Shawcross?

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True Crime Corner: Leonard Lake and Charles Ng

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The last True Crime Corner featured the killing cousins who perpetrated The Hillside Strangler murders. In this edition, I’ll introduce you to another dangerous duo, Leonard Lake and Charles Ng.

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