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Murder Made Me Famous

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The unnerving psychology behind murder has long been source material for television, books and movies but why do certain killers capture the attention of millions? Each episode, author and PEOPLE crime reporter Steve Helling presents dramatic recreations of the crimes using archival material and insightful commentary from those connected to the case to help unravel the twisted personalities that were thrust into the spotlight.

The unnerving psychology behind murder has long been source material for television, books and movies but why do certain killers capture the attention of millions? Each episode, author and PEOPLE crime reporter Steve Helling presents dramatic recreations of the crimes using archival material and insightful commentary from those connected to the case to help unravel the twisted personalities that were thrust into the spotlight.
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United States

Description:

The unnerving psychology behind murder has long been source material for television, books and movies but why do certain killers capture the attention of millions? Each episode, author and PEOPLE crime reporter Steve Helling presents dramatic recreations of the crimes using archival material and insightful commentary from those connected to the case to help unravel the twisted personalities that were thrust into the spotlight.

Language:

English


Episodes

Pamela Smart One-On-One Interview

9/11/2018
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An exclusive prison interview with convicted murderess Pamela Smart, who recounts her affair with a 15 year-old student and the events that led to the brutal murder of her husband as well as a national media frenzy and the Nicole Kidman movie “To Die For."

Duration:00:51:18

Yolanda Saldivar

9/4/2018
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On one tragic afternoon in 1995, the Queen of Tejano Music, Selena Quintanilla, was inexplicably shot down by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, in a Corpus Christi hotel. Not only did Saldivar receive a life sentence in prison, but she was also cemented as the most hated woman in the Latin American community for taking the life of one of the most celebrated and influential Latin artists of all-time, selling over 60 million albums worldwide.

Duration:00:50:11

Susan Smith

8/28/2018
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Blinded by her obsession for a man who wasn’t interested in women with children, Susan Smith did the unthinkable; pushing her car into a lake, killing her two young sons. Smith’s case first garnered national attention when – for 9 days – she made public emotional pleas for the safe return of her children, claiming her vehicle had been carjacked by a black man who drove away with her sons still in the car. Smith eventually plead guilty to killing her sons and was sentenced to life in prison.

Duration:00:51:28

David Koresh

8/21/2018
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As the leader of the Branch Davidians religious cult, David Koresh became highly known for leading his “Army of God” in a 51-day standoff against the Federal Government that resulted in the deaths of four ATF agents and over 80 Davidians. After stockpiling massive amounts of weapons in preparation for the apocalypse and alleged sex with minor cult members, the ATF raided their holy compound and burned down the center after their bloody standoff. Koresh was found dead from a self-inflicted...

Duration:00:52:58

The "Dating Game Killer"

8/14/2018
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With estimates that run as high as 130 murders, Rodney Alcala’s ruthless spree of murder, rape, and sexual assault throughout the 1970’s has been widely compared to that of Ted Bundy’s. During this time, Alcala took sexually explicit photos of hundreds of young men and women as a self-proclaimed professional photographer. Alcala was a contestant on the TV show, The Dating Game in 1978 - despite being a convicted rapist, registered sex offender, and being investigated for multiple murders....

Duration:00:50:30

John Gotti

8/7/2018
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Known as the Teflon Don because charges against him would never stick, John Gotti was the invincible crime boss that ruled the streets of New York as head of the notorious Gambino family from 1985 to 2002. Following a four-year prison sentence for murdering a rival gang member, Gotti quickly rose to prominence in the Gambino family by leading his crew of mafia mobsters towards violent hijackings, illegal gambling, and selling drugs on the streets. Gotti was eventually hunted down by the FBI...

Duration:00:51:20

The "Night Stalker"

7/31/2018
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In the span of only two years, Richard Ramirez became known as the “Night Stalker” for breaking into the homes of over 13 people in Los Angeles and viciously raping, torturing and often times, performing Satanic rituals on many of his victims as he brutally murdered them. During his trial, the courtroom famously included female fans of the serial killer. In 1989, Ramirez received 19 death sentences and died 23 years later from sickness while on death row.

Duration:00:51:13

The "Playmate Killer"

7/24/2018
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The “Playmate Killer,” Paul Snider, was the ex-husband of Playboy Model Dorothy Stratten. Snider was one of the creators of Chippendales, the male strip club chain, but he is most remembered as the killer of Stratten. Their marriage lasted barely a year. When Stratten developed a romantic relationship with acclaimed film director Peter Bogdanovich, Snider’s jealousy led to murder-suicide. Stratten was killed by Snider in the Los Angeles apartment they had once shared. On the same day,...

Duration:00:51:44

Jim Jones

7/17/2018
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Jim Jones was the cult leader and founder of the People’s Temple. Known for his extreme beliefs on Christianity, socialist politics, and racial equality, Jones is infamous for the mass murder-suicide he led of over 900 of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana. Urging his church’s members to drink a cyanide-laced punch as a sign of loyalty, the 1978 event resulted in the greatest single loss of American lives before 9/11. Thank you to today's...

Duration:00:49:16

The "Hillside Strangler"

7/10/2018
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“The Hillside Strangler,” Kenneth Bianchi, was a serial killer that terrorized Los Angeles between October 1977 and February 1978. But what cops didn’t know was that he had a killing accomplice – his own cousin! During this time, Kenneth and his cousin Anthony went on a spree of kidnappings, rapes, and murders in the area and claimed the lives of 10 innocent people. Because the bodies of the victims were usually found on hillsides, the infamous “Hillside Strangler” name was born. When...

Duration:00:49:13

“Angry Betty” Broderick

7/3/2018
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“Angry Betty” Broderick is the former suburban housewife who skyrocketed to fame when she murdered her ex-husband and his new, much younger, wife in their bed in 1989. The ultimate crime-of-passion story included explicit recorded phone calls during her contentious divorce and dramatic courtroom testimonies that captivated the country. Was she a woman wronged or just a jealous ex-wife hell-bent on revenge? Thank you to today's sponsors:

Duration:00:52:39

Robert Durst

6/26/2018
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Robert Durst is the former, high-profile real estate tycoon and star of HBO’s The Jinx. He first gained the media’s attention with the disappearance of his wife in 1982. Although Durst was investigated, his wife’s body was never found and all charges were dropped against him. In 2001, he was convicted, and later acquitted, of the dismemberment of his neighbor’s body and dumping it into the Galveston bay. Deranged and still up to no good, Durst was later arrested in 2015 for the 2000 murder...

Duration:00:49:46

The "Craigslist Killer"

6/19/2018
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The “Craigslist Killer” also known as Philip Markoff, was 23 when he was preparing for a promising future as a doctor and a life of happiness with his fiancée, Megan McAllister. He seemed destined for greatness as one of Boston University’s brightest med students, but Markoff had a dirty little secret. He would set up appointments with women offering erotic services on Craigslist to rob them, and one encounter ended in murder. His unsuspecting fiancée stood by his side until the evidence was...

Duration:00:48:13

Jean Harris

6/12/2018
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The 1980 murder of Scarsdale diet doctor, Herman Tarnower, shocks the nation. His lover and headmistress of a prestigious girls’ school is arrested and convicted in a sensational trial in the suburbs of New York City. Jean Harris claims the shooting was accidental when the doctor struggled for her handgun to prevent her attempt at suicide. This true story of wealth, fame and jealousy garners sympathy for Harris as a long-time girlfriend rejected by Tarnower and replaced with a younger...

Duration:00:48:37

Billionaire Boys Club

6/5/2018
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Con man Joe Hunt forms an investment club with wealthy young men who trust him with their families’ money. The Ponzi scheme leads to murder when Hunt gets involved with Ron Levin, a notorious con man, himself. Set in Beverly Hills with fancy cars and expensive designer suits, this story about upper class young men with bright futures turns into a bizarre tale of greed, deception, violence, missing bodies and eventually, life in prison.

Duration:00:46:08

The "Preppy Killer"

5/29/2018
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The partially clothed body of pretty, 18-year-old Jennifer Levin is discovered on the Upper East Side of Manhattan’s Central Park. The chief suspect is handsome 19-year-old Robert Chambers, who claims Jennifer wanted “rough sex” and blames her for her own death. The sensational 1986 tabloid story of affluent teens from New York City’s private prep schools becomes known as the “preppie murder.” And even the jury doesn’t believe Chambers is a cold-blooded killer.

Duration:00:46:11

Steven Avery

5/22/2018
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The 2005 murder of young photographer Teresa Halbach shocks the central Wisconsin community of Manitowoc County. A grisly crime scene of her burned bones is discovered at the family auto salvage business of Steven Avery, recently released from prison after serving 18 years for a rape he didn’t commit. Two years earlier, DNA evidence exonerated him. But now arrested, charged and convicted of the photographer’s murder, Avery’s case becomes the subject of the popular documentary “Making a...

Duration:00:46:14

Charles Manson

5/15/2018
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In 1969, nine people are killed by a notorious cult leader with mostly female followers living in a commune. Among the brutally murdered is pregnant actress Sharon Tate. The two-night murder spree terrorizes Los Angeles and uncovers a bizarre revenge and connection to musical legend Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys and actress Doris Day’s son, Terry Melcher, a producer who failed to promote the musical ambitions of Charles Manson.

Duration:00:46:03

Pamela Smart

5/8/2018
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The horrific murder of 24 year-old Gregg Smart becomes a national media event when his attractive young wife is found to be having an affair with the 15 year-old killer, a case that inspired the Nicole Kidman movie "To Die For."

Duration:00:46:38

Joran van der Sloot

5/1/2018
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When beautiful, 18 year-old Natalee Holloway vanishes while on a graduation trip to Aruba in 2005, the international media converges on young Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot, who was the last person seen with her on the Caribbean island.

Duration:00:46:11