Serial Killers

I'm catching up with Season 7 of Dexter right now. I am OBSESSED with this show at the mo'. I can feel it picking up steam for the last season which I believe is running right now, and I expect a spectacular ending. But I don't have Showtime, so I've been way behind. And I just got the Season 7 Finale from Netflix 10 minutes ago, and now all I want to do is ditch you all and go watch the show. But I won't.


I've always had a thing for stories about serial killers, tho normally those stories are about the people trying to catch these baddies. And the project I am currently working on is a crime novel about a serial killer, so they're really on my radar right now.

So, how about a couple recommendations for you?

1. Dexter
Of course! I just love the character work on this show. They are all so rich and complex. I've always had a love hate relationship with Maria LaGuerta, she's just such a fascinating character and I'm always waiting to see what she will do next. And I've absolutely loved Deb's growth in the series and her creative curse phrases. This show is based on a series, so if you prefer books, you might check that out.

The plot: A Miami police forensics expert moonlights as a serial killer of criminals who he believes have escaped justice.

2. Se7en (Movie)
I can't assume everyone has seen this, but you should have. Seven is absolutely one of the best movie examples of this genre. A stellar cast, including Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman; here's the plot:

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.

3. Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

I really liked the dark psychology of this book, and we get a female serial killer for a change. This one is being made into a TV series, so be on the lookout for that! I can't wait to see who they cast for Gretchen Lowell.

Plot: Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him, and then mysteriously lets him go. When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders.

4. Arsenic and Old Lace

This movie is a little on the bizarre side. Dark humor for sure, and unlike most of Cary Grant's other movies. But he's still Cary Grant and still fantastic.

The plot: A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

5. The Mentalist
I love this show, it's more of a relax and sit back while we solve a puzzle together show, than an intense, horrific, creepy show. The best episodes of this procedural are the ones where something to do with Red John is happening. That said, they've really dragged that whole storyline out a little too long without some concrete progression. This show does not work without Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) AND Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunne). But Cho (Tim Kang) might just be my favorite character. And Tim Kang is my dreamcast pick for a character of mine in another book.

Plot: An infamous 'psychic' abandons his public persona, outing himself as a fake, to focus on his work as a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation in order to find "Red John," the madman who killed his wife and daughter.

6. Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates
This book dives right into the mind of a serial killer. It's a unique first person take, dark, disturbing, fascinating.

Plot: A brilliant, unflinching journey into the mind of a serial killer, Zombie views the world through the eyes of Quentin P., newly paroled sex offender, as he chillingly evolves from rapist to mass murderer.

What great pieces of serial killer fiction should I be reading or watching? What are your faves?

Follow the Author:


  1. I'm going to have to watch Se7en. That sounds really good! I'm a fan of the movie version of the Bone Collector. The books series, not so much. I found the characters were a bit abrasive for me. Still, I could watch that movie time after time, haha.

    Have you seen The Following? The premise is that a serial killer and writer, Joe Carroll, is caught by an FBI agent, Ryan Hardy, and sent to prison, but while in prison he forms an entire following/cult of serial killers and a pseudo-religion based around Edgar Allen Poe's writing. Carroll breaks out and Hardy, now retired after Carroll nearly killed him, is called back in to help catch him. It's a wonderful series :) I can't wait for season 2. I'm for Ryan Hardy all the way!

  2. I did enjoy Bone Collector at the time it was released but am not as much a fan of Washington or Jolie these days. Never read the book either. I haven't seen the Following, I heard mixed things about it and I couldn't afford to get into a new show at the time. These days it doesn't seem to matter if you miss a show's beginning, because it eventually gets cancelled or put on DVD/Netflix. :)

    And I have a ton of things I've not yet seen or read and I know I need to catch up.

    1. I loved The Following. It's totally worth it :) The character relationships are really interesting, I think, particularly between Hardy and Carroll. It's definitely worth a watch, I think.


Copyright © 2012 The Word Wood.