REVIEW: Voice of a Serial Killer delves into the dark heart of the police interrogation room
Accounts of crime stories so often leave us wanting more answers: What actually happened? What were the murderer’s real motives? However, brand new CBS Reality series, Voice of a Serial Killer, brings viewers closer to the truth than ever, revealing killers’ first-hand accounts of their deadly, dark craft.
The five-part series uses cutting edge lip-sync technology to bring to life the actual audio confessions of some of the world’s most notorious murderers and serial killers, including Robert Black, Colin Ireland, Kim Edwards, and Ted Bundy. Hosted by leading criminologist David Wilson, the show aims to answer the question ‘what is it like to interview a serial killer?’ as it offers an intimate access into the police interrogation room.
Episode one looks at one of the most feared child murderers and sex offenders the UK has ever known: Robert Black. In 1990, Black was serving a life sentence in Saughton Prison, Scotland, for the attempted abduction of a 9-year-old school girl, but was also suspected of having abducted and murdered other young females. In a bid to reduce Black’s sentence, his defence team sought an expert witness for his appeal, in the form of the country’s leading sex offender profiler, Ray Wyre. Wyre’s method of talking to paedophiles was both ground-breaking and extremely controversial for his time, opting to approach offenders as a non-judgemental listener. And in tonight’s series premiere, we can listen for ourselves how Wyre lures out intimate details from the killer in front of him.
Not only are viewers offered the unique experience of listening to tape recordings of Black which have never been broadcast before, but the advanced lip-sync technology allows us to feel like we are actually in the room with Black and Wyre themselves. As the actors bring to life the voices from the audio recordings, we get a closer look at what it’s like to interview someone so deathly.
The recordings remain amongst the most rare and complete first-person accounts of the modus operandi of a serial killer ever recorded, and are a deeply disturbing reminder as to the banality of evil. As sickening as it is to listen to Black talk through his crimes in such meticulous detail, it is also truly fascinating to gain such an understanding of the mechanisms of a murderer’s mind. And through his descriptions, we learn how killers can so often distort their thinking to justify, minimise or deny what they did.
One of the most chilling revelations to come from the episode is that, even with this access into a killer’s way of thinking, no one can ever really know the complete truth about these horrific murders. Although he attempts to remain in control by withholding certain information, we soon learn that even Black himself cannot have a real grasp on what he’s actually done. However, as Wyre believed, only by listening to paedophile killers themselves can we ever hope to curtail this most horrific form of criminal behaviour.
Voice of a Serial Killer premieres Wednesday 1 November at 10pm on CBS Reality.