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S02.E04: Episode 4


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5 hours ago, Yokosmom said:

Hats off to everyone in season 1 who claimed that Tench’s kid was a little serial killer in the making.

There was a lot of evidence suggesting that he had reactive attachment disorder. It's often highly associated with criminality, but it's not a certainty.

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On 8/16/2019 at 10:29 PM, Yokosmom said:

Hats off to everyone in season 1 who claimed that Tench’s kid was a little serial killer in the making.

True, although I'm a little disappointed that it does appear like they're backing off on the suggestion that Ford is a sociopath. I was really into that.

I'm actually pretty versed in the Dean Corll killings, which have been kind of overshadowed by the John Wayne Gacy killings, so I was excited to see them tackle them. I thought "Elmer" did a great job.

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Since there is no actual standard of how to interview a serial killer and more then that the BSU are the ones building that standard Wendy could just say she is building a report with Elmer Wayne Helmsy Jr.  I thought her approach was clever.   

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After many years of being a true crime follower, I only heard about Dean Corll about a year ago. For whatever reason, his is the one case I can’t handle, and I hate that I ever learned about it. So my stomach dropped when I realized they were going to address it in the show. 

I’m also struggling with the Atlanta child killings case because as far as I know, there was never a legit solve for that one. I guess they’re at least trying to show us why (racism and politics). 

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I watched up until this episode last night and why is Anna Torv looking so orange in some scenes?

I really liked the scene in the beginning with the undercover cop picking up the kids and then asking Holden what to do next. "Take them out for ice cream" while the kids are all demanding their $2.

The stuff with Tench's kid is creepy.

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Shit, looks like Brian really is a serial killer in training. At least he apparently didn't actually murder the kid, but...this isn't good. So what do you do when you profile serial killers for a living and then find out that your son could become one?

The undercover cop trying to get kids to go with him was kind of hilarious, especially the kids demanding their $2. Always get the money upfront kids!

The Dean Corll murders are so nasty and horrible, its almost surprising that he doesn't get referenced that much in media based around serial killers. Maybe because he was killed before he was caught? That was another great/creepy sequence, and having Wendy and Gregg doing the interview shook things up a bit. Wendy did great, and she gave herself some plausible deniability when she admitted to having a girlfriend, she can easily say that she was making it up like Gregg assumed. 

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58 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

The Dean Corll murders are so nasty and horrible, its almost surprising that he doesn't get referenced that much in media based around serial killers. Maybe because he was killed before he was caught? That was another great/creepy sequence, and having Wendy and Gregg doing the interview shook things up a bit.

I have never ever heard of this case - especially horrible that he used a youngster to lure others in his age group. They guy playing Elmer Wayne (or oops, JUNIOR) did a fantastic job - very good acting in that scene.

Poor Gregg has been proving himself all kinds of useless, not to mention uptight as anything. Wendy did a great job salvaging the interview.

The poor Tenches. I kind of felt that was where the show might be heading, but nonetheless, how unbelievably horrifying.

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I remember reading about Dean Corll. The show just slightly mentioned it, but he was called the "Candyman". His mother owned a candy factory. His early training at luring kids was by giving out candy. As he got older he came up with getting Elmer to bring teens to him to be killed. Elmer started doing it for the money and then began enjoying it. That is until he couldn't take the threats anymore and killed Corll.

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As Corll got older, he got a kid named David Brooks to bring him victims; David introduced him to Henley. Brooks might have intended Henley to be a victim but Corll chose to offer him employment. At first it was burglary, but then Corll offered Henley $200 for every boy he could get. Henley was told at the time that the intent was to sell the kidnapped boys into sexual slavery for a pedophile organization in Dallas. He said no. Eventually he got poor enough that he agreed to do it, not knowing the boys would be killed. That said, once he did find out, he kept helping and eventually began to enjoy it.

The reason he finally quit, the night he'd brought both a boy and girl over and Corll got mad, was that the girl convinced him to. Corll told him to rape and kill the girl. As Henley started to undress her, she asked "Is this for real?" Henley replied in the affirmative and she then asked Henley whether he was to "do anything about it." At which point he grabbed a gun and shot Corll six times, released the victims, and called the police to confess.

The girl, Rhonda Williams, told her story to the Houston Press if you want to read her story.

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I've been fascinated by the Houston Mass murders for the past couple of years- I even wrote a short narrative based on someone who told me about how he used to hang out with David Owen Brooks at parties in the early 70's. They didn't do much more than small talk and drink a little, but one night there was a lull in conversation and he noticed David staring at him intensely and it gave him the absolute creeps. In retrospect, he realized he was being "appraised." Ugh.

I though the Wayne actor did a pretty good job, but physically he was a bit too tall and large- Wayne is a smaller guy.

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I'm pretty sorry to see they went there with Tench's son. It just adds a melodramatic note that seems unnecessary for this show. Though I do have to admit, the actor playing Tench did a hell of a job during the scene with his wife on the patio.

I hadn't heard of Corll before, which surprises me. I read a lot of true crime from the time I was 12 until Dahmer. I couldn't get over the story of the poor young man who'd escaped, but couldn't speak English so Dahmer convinced the policeman to hand him over.  I haven't read in depth articles/books about any serials since then. I've always wondered what happened to that policeman, and how devastated he must have been when he found out what had happened.

Edited by Clanstarling
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14 minutes ago, Clanstarling said:

I couldn't get over the story of the poor young man who'd escaped, but couldn't speak English so Dahmer convinced the policeman to hand him over.  I haven't read in depth articles/books about any serials since then. I've always wondered what happened to that policeman, and how devastated he must have been when he found out what had happened.

That has always haunted me - imagine managing to escape from a deranged murderer, only to be delivered right back into his hands by the people who are supposed to be rescuing you. I don't know what the police were thinking in that situation, or what the impact must have been after discovering the truth. It's too horrible to imagine.

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15 hours ago, Violet Impulse said:

The police have never seemed particularly upset in interviews, but I don't want to get too far off topic (waiting for Dahmer to appear in an episode next season).

I wonder if they will recast for later seasons like they do with The Crown. They keep the same cast for two seasons and them cast older actors.

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On 8/21/2019 at 6:39 PM, Clanstarling said:

I hadn't heard of Corll before, which surprises me. I read a lot of true crime from the time I was 12 until Dahmer.

I think the Corll story got buried when Gacy got caught. He became the more high profile story with a similar MO. Being from IL around that area, he's all I heard about it. 

They set up something being off with Tench's son last season. Of course they were doing that with Holden last season to and seemed to have dropped it. Even though he still matches their criteria for a killer or sociopath. This show is still interesting with showing how the FBI started building profiles and that most of if was just guess work. 

What is the point of that other agent. He acts like they don't give him enough credit but he rarely ever does anything. He had a chance in that interview and he failed. Wendy had to save it with her "fake" real story about her life. Which I guess is good that she went an interview and learned her line of questioning doesn't work. That bringing yourself to their level or finding a commonality is what gets them to share their stories. 

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4 hours ago, Sakura12 said:

What is the point of that other agent. He acts like they don't give him enough credit but he rarely ever does anything. He had a chance in that interview and he failed. Wendy had to save it with her "fake" real story about her life. Which I guess is good that she went an interview and learned her line of questioning doesn't work. That bringing yourself to their level or finding a commonality is what gets them to share their stories. 

I think he brings yet another type of bias to the table, exemplifying the difficult beginnings of this research. He's a boy scout compared to the others, and I think he truly wants to do this work, and does believe he has skills that will help, but he can't conceive of finding a commonality with their subjects, even in his imagination. His set of values and attitudes gets in the way of this research. He's the least self-aware character, I think, and doesn't acknowledge that there is anything at all in his own nature or background that could in any way be similar to these evil men - which is how he failed in the interview.

Tench resisted the idea that he should bring anything personal to interviews (imagined or not); Wendy was stuck in clinical, scientific, mode until experiencing the reality of a live interview in person. What's his name may have a similar epiphany - or he may end up so repulsed he leaves the team, creating an opening for the Atlanta agent who clearly is already better at interviews.

*Edited to note that I have not watched any of the upcoming episodes.

Edited by Clanstarling
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23 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

I think he brings yet another type of bias to the table, exemplifying the difficult beginnings of this research. He's a boy scout compared to the others, and I think he truly wants to do this work, and does believe he has skills that will help, but he can't conceive of finding a commonality with their subjects, even in his imagination. His set of values and attitudes gets in the way of this research. He's the least self-aware character, I think, and doesn't acknowledge that there is anything at all in his own nature or background that could in any way be similar to these evil men - which is how he failed in the interview.

You touched on this but I also feel he represents that person who underestimates the talent others like Holden are bringing to the table. You see this in life a lot. They think if given the chance that they can do a better job because of whatever more important (in their mind) things they think they're better at. At first he and Wendy both wanted to stick to a more regimented script to make things more consistent and reproducible. Wendy quickly adapted; he didn't.

I like the way the show shows how each of the three main characters contribute in very different but needed ways to make their efforts work to a common goal going forward.  

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On 8/23/2019 at 1:29 PM, Clanstarling said:

He's the least self-aware character, I think, and doesn't acknowledge that there is anything at all in his own nature or background that could in any way be similar to these evil men - which is how he failed in the interview.*Edited to note that I have not watched any of the upcoming episodes.

I'd like to see him and Holden face off for the gold medal in the Lack of Self-Awareness Olympics.

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Holden strikes me as kind of being on the scale.  He doesn't seem to get jokes, takes things a little too literally, doesn't seem to show real emotion, seems to lack social skills, he can't read a room, and is extremely focused and fixated in this area.

I was hoping that Wendy and the other guy would fail in their interview and go back empty handed  Getting them to realize that sticking to their script is impossible to get real usable information .  While Holden and Tench's methods aren't "by the book" they are really able to get their guy to open up and get the story.  

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Wendy really should have had a procedure in place for what to do when the killer is reluctant to talk.

That was bound to happen when you come up against psychopaths who want to mess with you and assert control over you. Hell, it already happened last season with the womens' footwear fetishist.

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On 8/27/2019 at 7:37 PM, Blakeston said:

Wendy really should have had a procedure in place for what to do when the killer is reluctant to talk.

That was bound to happen when you come up against psychopaths who want to mess with you and assert control over you. Hell, it already happened last season with the womens' footwear fetishist.

I guess they do such a procedure. Remember, they are just in the beginning. 

Still, I don't think that one can't do strict rules. These quys aren't similer and they can learn new tricks. And they can simply refuse to talk.

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Also, the point of the questions is more to get information which can actually be compared. It's not really helpful when one tells exactly how he felt during the killing and the next only explains how he picked his victims and the next only talks about his relationship to the police. They need information they can match up in order to figure out which behaviours are connected with each other and which aren't.

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On 8/27/2019 at 6:54 PM, Boilergal said:

I was hoping that Wendy and the other guy would fail in their interview and go back empty handed  Getting them to realize that sticking to their script is impossible to get real usable information .  While Holden and Tench's methods aren't "by the book" they are really able to get their guy to open up and get the story.  

2 hours ago, swanpride said:

Also, the point of the questions is more to get information which can actually be compared. It's not really helpful when one tells exactly how he felt during the killing and the next only explains how he picked his victims and the next only talks about his relationship to the police. They need information they can match up in order to figure out which behaviours are connected with each other and which aren't.

Both of you are right. On the other hand Holden's method get the criminals (or some of them) open up and to talk, but the information can be so different, that it hard to compar it (plus, making leading questions can make these quys to answers in the expected way). On the other hand by sticking to the procedure one can't get any information or if one gets, it's limited only to the things one has in procedure even if every individual can add important points of their own one hasn't even thought beforehand about.  

Yet another problem is how much the answers and stories can be trusted. After all, they are skilled liars and manipulators. For analysing it would important to watch video material.  

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On 8/21/2019 at 7:39 PM, Clanstarling said:

I'm pretty sorry to see they went there with Tench's son.

I was disappointed as well - and dreading this development since season 1  with the focus on the son's adoption and social issues. 
For me, it teeters the show towards typical soap opera. On shows like 'Criminal Minds', at some point every main character has to have some personal drama connected to a serial killer - or it is revealed they had worked undercover as a spy, had been tortured, etc. Very over-the-top melodrama. I hope this show does not go that route.  

On 8/23/2019 at 1:29 PM, Clanstarling said:

Wendy was stuck in clinical, scientific, mode until experiencing the reality of a live interview in person.

I did like how Dr Carr and Agent Smith got a reality check by getting out of the office and trying an interview for themselves. The idea of pulling out a questionnaire and getting the killers to get right to answering seems pretty naive. 
But it also seems as if the interviews are never quite the same in what type of information is being gathered  ... which I believe is due to the showrunners not wanting to bore the audience. It seems as if it would be very useful to get the childhood history from every killer. It looks as if physical and emotional childhood abuse is a key factor in producing serial killers. 

Edited by shrewd.buddha
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15 hours ago, shrewd.buddha said:

But it also seems as if the interviews are never quite the same in what type of information is being gathered  ... which I believe is due to the showrunners not wanting to bore the audience. It seems as if it would be very useful to get the childhood history from every killer. It looks as if physical and emotional childhood abuse is a key factor in producing serial killers. 

Yes, but except that those quys of course lie, they also leave some things out. It can be that they talk about their mothers in order to be silent about something else. And it's unlikely they can know all about themselves.   

Therefore it would essential to check the killers' stories about their childhood by interviewing relatives and other people who knew them and finding out reports of doctors, teachers and social workers.  

But I understand that it would be too much in the show.  

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Weirdly I could care less about the murderers. I find Tench the most interesting character. His ability to be a good old boy and play the game but also his intuitive sensitivity when dealing with crime victims. Tench is the heart of the show for me. 

I do love/hate that twice librarians had a chance to ID the BTK killer. Gah! 

In general true crime depresses the hell out of me. I can only watch because these cases have resolutions.

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20 hours ago, jeansheridan said:

find Tench the most interesting character. His ability to be a good old boy and play the game but also his intuitive sensitivity when dealing with crime victims. Tench is the heart of the show for me. 

Agree 100%. I probably would have given up on the show were it not for the Bill Tench character (although I do like Dr. Wendy). Holt McCallany brings a natural warmth and humour to his portrayal that draws the viewer in - something that is missing from the rest of the show. I also hope we get to see more of Agent Barney , as what we've seen so far seems very humane. 

I'm a huge fan of David Fincher, but I think he veered way too far in stylizing things in a clinical manner (going so far as forbidding his lead actors to smile), which often makes the show feel cold and lifeless. The investigators are, after all, only human.

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On 8/27/2019 at 10:06 AM, swanpride said:

Well, Wendy didn't exactly stick by the script in the end, so I think she learned her lesson.

I don’t know why it took her doing an interview to get that her strictly scripted approach wouldn’t always work. She could hear it in the earlier tapes, just as we saw it. Maybe the first time she would be stubborn, or the second. But not longer than that, or as long as she was. 

On 9/7/2019 at 5:17 PM, jeansheridan said:

Weirdly I could care less about the murderers. I find Tench the most interesting character. His ability to be a good old boy and play the game but also his intuitive sensitivity when dealing with crime victims. Tench is the heart of the show for me. 

I do love/hate that twice librarians had a chance to ID the BTK killer. Gah! 

In general true crime depresses the hell out of me. I can only watch because these cases have resolutions.

Tench is the transitional character, able to live in both worlds as things change around him. He provides a rock for viewers, but he isn’t the reason we’re here. I find Holden more interesting and wonder every episode if this is the one where we will see him take a step down the line to being more like the people he profiles. I can take or leave Wendy and Gregg. 

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1 hour ago, Ottis said:

The don’t know why it took her doing an interview to get that her strictly scripted approach wouldn’t always work. She could hear it in the earlier tapes, just as we saw it. Maybe the first time she would be stubborn, or the second. But not longer than that, or as long as she was. 

Tench is the transitional character, able to live in both worlds as things change around him. He provides a rock for viewers, but he isn’t the reason we’re here. I find Holden more interesting and wonder every episode if this is the one where we will see him take a step down the line to being more like the people he profiles. I can take or leave Wendy and Gregg. 

Beg to differ. I started watching because of Groff. I stayed because of Gregg. I do find Holden interesting, but my interest isn't seeing him becoming more like the people he profiles, I'm more interested in the evolution of the process.

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14 minutes ago, Clanstarling said:

Beg to differ. I started watching because of Groff. I stayed because of Gregg. I do find Holden interesting, but my interest isn't seeing him becoming more like the people he profiles, I'm more interested in the evolution of the process.

Gregg ... the snitch they are ostracising? Your take is interesting. Gregg barely exists for me, and I keep wondering why Gunn doesn't transfer him (I thought he was going to do that in the ep where Gunn agrees the basement is crowded, but instead he gave them more space).

Trench is indeed an interesting character. But in terms of the point of the show, Holden is the origin of the behavioral science approach and also the reason Trench, and anyone else, evolves. Lately Holden's wonder-boy status has been taking some hits, and it feels a little bit by design by the show to ensure that the other characters aren't left behind. That, and I keep expecting to see more evidence that Holden is so good because he is much like his serial killer subjects.

I struggle with the evolution of the process because they seem to take a while to arrive at things that are obvious today. The show is of a time, I get it. But completely outside of law enforcement work, who among us hasn't wondered at the behavior of an odd individual by asking what their home life is like, what kind of family they came from and what they get from acting that way? One of my biggest surprises in this series is how clueless cops seemed to be about that line of thought, as depicted on the show. 

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6 hours ago, Ottis said:

Gregg ... the snitch they are ostracising? Your take is interesting. Gregg barely exists for me, and I keep wondering why Gunn doesn't transfer him (I thought he was going to do that in the ep where Gunn agrees the basement is crowded, but instead he gave them more space).

Trench is indeed an interesting character. But in terms of the point of the show, Holden is the origin of the behavioral science approach and also the reason Trench, and anyone else, evolves. Lately Holden's wonder-boy status has been taking some hits, and it feels a little bit by design by the show to ensure that the other characters aren't left behind. That, and I keep expecting to see more evidence that Holden is so good because he is much like his serial killer subjects.

I struggle with the evolution of the process because they seem to take a while to arrive at things that are obvious today. The show is of a time, I get it. But completely outside of law enforcement work, who among us hasn't wondered at the behavior of an odd individual by asking what their home life is like, what kind of family they came from and what they get from acting that way? One of my biggest surprises in this series is how clueless cops seemed to be about that line of thought, as depicted on the show. 

Oops, my bad - I used the wrong name. I'm terrible at names. I meant Tench. Holden may be a catalyst, but I still find Tench more interesting.

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