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Murderers and their Mothers

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Are murderers born or made?

That’s the fundamental question at the root of this unnerving and shocking new series, which sees each episode explore a different killer’s disturbing childhood, their unnatural maternal relationship and the devastating impact of ‘Mother’. Presented by crime journalist Donal MacIntyre and with in-depth comment and analysis from leading psychologists, criminologists and first-hand witnesses, Murderers And Their Mothers investigates some of the most famous serial killers by stepping back into their childhoods to see if their mothers turned them into psychopathic murders – or if there was someone, or something, else to blame. Fred West was sexually molested by his own mother from the age of 12 and his wife Rose was abused by her stepfather – with her mother’s knowledge. How much did these early experiences help turn the Wests into monsters? Dr. Harold Shipman was Britain’s most prolific serial killer with 215 known victims, many killed with overdoes of morphine. His mother was very domineering but when she died a painful death, relieved by morphine, did this sow the seeds of his murderous career? Or what about the infamous Dennis Nilsen, who supposedly killed for company? Did a lonely childhood in an isolated fishing village and his religious mother’s inability to feel any love for him, or to acknowledge his homosexuality, play a role in his murderous future? Criminologist Dr. Elizabeth Yardley joins Donal to test theories, discuss insights, and piece together the evidence to build a disturbing and thought provoking picture of each killer and the role of their mother.

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