28 episodes

A look into the life and crimes of the world’s most infamous serial killers. Featuring interviews with family members, forensic experts, law enforcement, and witnesses.

From John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer to the “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez and the Butcher of Plainfield, Ed Gein–What Makes a Killer explores how they became killers.

What Makes a Killer audioBoom

    • True Crime
    • 4.6 • 584 Ratings

A look into the life and crimes of the world’s most infamous serial killers. Featuring interviews with family members, forensic experts, law enforcement, and witnesses.

From John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer to the “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez and the Butcher of Plainfield, Ed Gein–What Makes a Killer explores how they became killers.

    Mick Philpott

    Mick Philpott

    On May 10, 2012, a blazing fire engulfed a family home in Allentown, Derby. The parents, Mick and Mairead Philpott, were able to get out alive, but there were six children trapped inside. All six perished in the tragedy . . . but it was not an accident. It came as a shock to his neighbors - but not to the authorities - that Mick Philpott was involved in orchestrating the fire in a complicated scheme for power and revenge. 

    This episode is sponsored by: 

    Better Help (https://rayconglobal.com/pages/what?utm_source=podcast&utm_medium=influencer&utm_campaign=what)

    Original music by Ben Krejci (https://soundcloud.com/ben-krejci) ,  Kai Engel (https://www.kai-engel.com/) , Daniel Birch (https://www.danielbirchmusic.com/) , and Lee Rosevere (https://leerosevere.bandcamp.com/) .

    SFX by ramston (https://freesound.org/people/Ramston/sounds/156950/) , vedas (https://freesound.org/people/vedas/sounds/66402/) , kwahmah_02 (https://freesound.org/people/kwahmah_02/sounds/250775/) , IESP (https://freesound.org/people/IESP/sounds/340020/) , miastodzwiekow (https://freesound.org/people/miastodzwiekow/sounds/127182/) , Puniho (https://freesound.org/people/Puniho/sounds/231298/) , MAJ061785 (https://freesound.org/people/MAJ061785/sounds/85560/) , and Almusic34 (https://freesound.org/people/Almusic34/sounds/181031/) .

    • 44 min
    Edmund Kemper, The Co-Ed Killer

    Edmund Kemper, The Co-Ed Killer

    In April 1973, in Santa Cruz California, a 24 year old man is on the run for the violent murder of his mother and her best friend. The only problem? Authorities have no idea that the crime has been committed. After three days of driving, and with no media coverage of his crime, the man makes a surprising call...to the police. And that's not the only twist, he is responsible for multiple other murders that are being investigated by the police, and he confesses to all of them in graphic detail.

    This episode is sponsored by: Unjust and Unsolved (https://audioboom.com/channels/5028306) , & SimpliSafe (https://simplisafe.com/what)

    Original music by Ben Krejci (https://soundcloud.com/ben-krejci) , Kai Engel (https://www.kai-engel.com/) , Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com/) , Sergey Cheremisinov (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Sergey_Cheremisinov) , Chris Zabriskie (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Chris_Zabriskie/20120125203216346) , and Daniel Birch (https://www.danielbirchmusic.com/) .

    • 48 min
    Stuart Hazell

    Stuart Hazell

    On August 2nd, 2012, twelve year old Tia Sharp went missing after supposedly  traveling by train to meet up with some friends for the day. She is due back home in the evening evening, but she never arrived. What followed her disappearance was one of the most publicized search campaigns in British history. But on August 10th, it all came to an abrupt end, with a twist that shocked both the public, and Tia’s family. Tia’s body, and her killer, had been right in front of the cameras the entire time.

    This episode is sponsored by: Better Help (https://www.betterhelp.com/start/?go=true&transaction_id=10235fe047e19b4a99f9524d9b354f&utm_source=podcast&utm_campaign=1378&utm_medium=Desktop&utm_content=&utm_term=what&not_found=1&gor=start) , & Green Chef (https://www.greenchef.com/sign-up/welcome?ct=what80&utm_source=podcast&utm_medium=cpm&utm_campaign=30202010&utm_content=what80)  

    Original music by Ben Krejci (https://soundcloud.com/ben-krejci) , Kai Engel (https://www.kai-engel.com/) , Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com/) , Sergey Cheremisinov (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Sergey_Cheremisinov) , and Daniel Birch (https://www.danielbirchmusic.com/) .

    • 47 min
    Rodney Alcala, The Dating Game Killer

    Rodney Alcala, The Dating Game Killer

    On June 20, 1970, the hunt was underway for a missing 12-year-old girl named Robin Samsoe. She had last been seen with her friend talking to an older man with a camera. When the man's description was circulated, he was immediately recognized by his parole officer . . . but also recognized for having appeared on a television show - The Dating Game.

    This episode is sponsored by:
    Spycast Podcast  (https://www.spymuseum.org/exhibition-experiences/online-exhibits/agent-storm/listen-to-the-audio/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5N6lgebF6wIV5QiICR3ndglmEAAYASAAEgLskPD_BwE)

    Original music by Ben Krejci (https://soundcloud.com/ben-krejci) , Daniel Birch (https://www.danielbirchmusic.com/) , Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com/) , Kai Engel (https://www.kai-engel.com/) , Nctrnm (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Nctrnm) , and Lee Rosevere (https://leerosevere.bandcamp.com/) .

    SFX by Dynamicell (https://freesound.org/people/Dynamicell/sounds/17552/) , alexbird (https://freesound.org/people/alexbird/sounds/241917/) , qubodup (https://freesound.org/people/qubodup/sounds/238958/) , 1Kaylin_Dickson (https://freesound.org/people/1Kaylin_Dickson/sounds/407493/) , DBKEEBLER (https://freesound.org/people/DBKEEBLER/sounds/403676/) , MWLANDI (https://freesound.org/people/MWLANDI/sounds/85815/) , adamlhumphreys (https://freesound.org/people/adamlhumphreys/sounds/115387/) , klankbeeld, (https://freesound.org/people/klankbeeld/sounds/169972/) lawnjelly (https://freesound.org/people/lawnjelly/sounds/156890/) , and odditonic (https://freesound.org/people/odditonic/sounds/187706/) . 

    • 46 min
    Pawel Tuchlin, The Scorpion

    Pawel Tuchlin, The Scorpion

    On May 31st, 1983, Polish police were dispatched to check out a supposed robbery. A neighbor had called when he realized his pig cooker was stolen . . .but police were well aware that the accused man, Pawel Tuchlin, was guilty of things that were far more sinister. For years, the man had been stalking women around Poland and attacking them with a hammer . . . and for years, police had done nothing to apprehend him. 

    This episode is sponsored by:
    Something Was Wrong (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/something-was-wrong/id1447286743) Podcast

    Better Help (https://rayconglobal.com/pages/what?utm_source=podcast&utm_medium=influencer&utm_campaign=what)

    Original music by Ben Krejci (https://soundcloud.com/ben-krejci) ,  Kai Engel (https://www.kai-engel.com/) , Daniel Birch (https://www.danielbirchmusic.com/) , Lee Rosevere (https://leerosevere.bandcamp.com/) , and Nctrnm (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Nctrnm) .

    SFX by TypOnNegatywny (https://freesound.org/people/TypOnNegatywny/sounds/128522/) , mwilkinsss (https://freesound.org/people/mwilkinsss/sounds/452785/) , InspectorJ (https://freesound.org/people/InspectorJ/sounds/336598/) , harrybates01 (https://freesound.org/people/harrybates01/sounds/254366/) , pfranzen (https://freesound.org/people/pfranzen/sounds/423216/) , CheneWessels_170017 (https://freesound.org/people/CheneWessels_170017/sounds/407603/) , MAJ061785 (https://freesound.org/people/MAJ061785/sounds/85560/) , pcaeldries (https://freesound.org/people/pcaeldries/sounds/65813/) , daveincamas (https://freesound.org/people/daveincamas/sounds/65247/) , Leafs67 (https://freesound.org/people/Leafs67/sounds/155589/) , bennychico11 (https://freesound.org/people/bennychico11/sounds/44407/) , kwahmah_02 (https://freesound.org/people/kwahmah_02/sounds/250775/) , drotzruhn (https://freesound.org/people/drotzruhn/sounds/405203/) , nextmaking (https://freesound.org/people/nextmaking/sounds/86044/) , Glaneur-de-sons (https://freesound.org/people/Glaneur%20de%20sons/sounds/24511/) , manychefsbroth (https://freesound.org/people/manychefsbroth/sounds/151876/) , FedeFrede (https://freesound.org/people/FedeFrede/sounds/324138/) , and Almusic34 (https://freesound.org/people/Almusic34/sounds/181031/) . Additional sfx from freesfx.co.uk (https://freesfx.co.uk/) . Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) .

    • 49 min
    Danilo Restivo

    Danilo Restivo

    On November 12th, 2002 police received a call from a terrified 14 year old boy and his 11-year-old sister. They had returned home from school to find their mother, Heather Barnett, brutally murdered. Police arrive at the scene to find the victim’s children being comforted by a neighbor. Neither police nor the children realize they are being consoled by the very man who murdered their mother. And it would take another 8 years, and the discovery of another body 14 hundred miles away, to finally bring Heather Barnett’s killer to justice.

    This episode is sponsored by: SimpliSafe (https://simplisafe.com/what)

    Check out Killer Queens (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/killer-queens-a-true-crime-podcast/id1268919812) for more true crime and a lot of 90's references.

    Original music by Ben Krejci (https://soundcloud.com/ben-krejci) , Lee Rosevere (https://leerosevere.bandcamp.com/) , Kai Engel (https://www.kai-engel.com/) , Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com/) ,  Scott Holmes (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Holmes) , Sergey Cheremisinov (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Sergey_Cheremisinov) , Chris Zabriskie (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Chris_Zabriskie/20120125203216346) , and Daniel Birch (https://www.danielbirchmusic.com/) .

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
584 Ratings

584 Ratings

mlong85 ,

Favorite podcast!

This is my new favorite podcast. I love the fact you talk about the physiological part of the killers. Please continue making.

Shhreyaa ,

Can’t Get Enough!

After finishing Crime Junkie, I’ve been trying to find a true crime podcast that can match up to it. Going through dozens of podcasts, I finally found What Makes A Killer and can’t get enough of it! Great story telling and I love how people who actually are related to the case talk about their experiences too!

exhaustedandunderpaid ,

One of the best!

Great story telling and very informative. One of my favs thats I wait for weekly! I know it’s supposed to be a limited 12 part series but please do another season!! WE WANT SEASON 2!! PLEASE COME BACK!!

*UPDATE*
Back with season 2 which is just as good as season 1!

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