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Due to the graphic nature of this killer's crimes, listener discretion is advised this episode includes discussions of sexual assault, rape, torture, dismemberment and murder that some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under 13.


April 2nd, 1988, the morning was quiet in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Kansas City, another beautiful, peaceful Saturday, an employee from the local water department was walking the street, stopping to check the meters at each house.


It was work, as usual. That is, until he looked up at the sound of a cry for help and saw a man stumbling toward him.


The young man looked terrified and was completely naked. The meter man froze upon closer inspection, he noticed the naked stranger was wearing a dog collar around his neck and his body was covered in bruises, the young man's screams shook the meter man into action and he rushed forward.


Both of them ran to a nearby house and banged on the door, calling desperately for help.


When the homeowner answered, the naked man was limping. It was clear that he was in a great deal of pain and had experienced some horrific trauma. As they waited for emergency services to arrive, the water department worker tried to comfort the frightened young man, but as he soothed him, he couldn't help but wonder just what had happened. Hi, I'm Greg Pulsing, this is Serial Killers, a Spotify original fun podcast. Every episode we dive into the minds and madness of serial killers.


Today, we finish our look at the life of Robert Fadela, otherwise known as the Collector and the Kansas City butcher. I'm here with my co-host, Vanessa Richardson. Hi, everyone.


You can find episodes of Serial Killers and all other Spotify originals from podcast for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.


Last time we discussed Robert Bridezillas need for control and how that manifested in dark fantasies of sexually overpowering people for years, he suppressed those desires until they finally boiled over and Robert murdered a young sex worker and friend.


This week will dive into Robert's sadistic need for control, which drove him to kidnap and torture six more men. We'll also look at his developing methods and his need to experiment with his captives.


We've got all that and more coming up. Stay with us. Greece is the personal untold story of FBI agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field in 1993. Ninety one year after the events of the Silence of the Lambs, she tracks down monsters and madmen while working in a man's world. Now it's her time to speak. The silence is over. New episodes of the CBS original Clarice Thursday, Saturday night, Central or Stream any time on CBS.


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In July 1984, 35 year old Robert Rudolph had claimed his first victim, 19 year old Jerry Hull. It was just like he had always fantasized ever since first watching the film The Collector as a teenager for a brief period, Robert had his own captive, someone who he had complete and utter control over.


Though Jerry died before Robert could finish his fun, the sense of power coursed through him as he dismembered Jerry with a chainsaw and threw the parts into trash bags when the garbage men collected the bags. Robert watched triumphantly. No one suspected a thing.


But then he started to worry. What if he was caught? After all, one of the bags could rip and someone might find the body parts in the landfill. Or maybe a neighbor heard the chainsaw.


Or what about Jerry's father? Paul Howell knew that Robert and his son were friends. Once he realized Jerry was missing, he might come to ask questions or worse, go to the police, according to author Jack Rosewood.


Robert felt not just fear, but also shame. Shame for what he had done, shame for wanting to recapture the thrill of torturing Jerry.


Vanessa is going to take over and the psychology here and throughout the episode. As a note, Vanessa is not a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, but she has done a lot of research for this show.


Thanks, Greg. In the weeks after Jerry's death, Robert reportedly struggled to reconcile who he knew he was supposed to be with who he actually was.


He reviewed the photos he took, reliving the whole thing over each time he pleasured himself as he did, which in turn led him to feel ashamed and angry.


According to moral psychology researcher Dr. Krista K. Thomasin, shame is a tension between our identity and our self conception. It's that gap between pieces of yourself when one thing casts a shadow over who you believe yourself to be. Thomas's research has also shown that the lack of control we experience in shame can make us feel powerless. She suggests that resorting to violence to regain control can be a tempting response to the shame. For Robert, that seems to be what it was.


Yes, he was ashamed, but he was also angry that he felt it in the first place. Shame suggested to him that he had done something he regretted, and that was the exact opposite of how he really felt.


Slowly but surely, Robert realized he needed the feeling of control back. While he reckoned with his developing emotions, he realized one thing was certain. He wanted to take another prisoner, but he had to wait just a little longer for the things outside of his control to calm down.


When it became obvious that his son was missing, Paul Howell urged the cops to investigate Robert while trying to convince them. He told them about the other relationships Robert had with young sex workers. It was suspicious, he thought.


However, the police weren't convinced. They thought Jerry was simply a runaway. But Paul was relentless. So finally, after some badgering, the police brought Robert in for questioning.


Robert was obviously nervous. He worried he had slipped up somehow. But in truth, the cops didn't really suspect him of anything. They were just going through the motions to satisfy Paul Howell.


After some brief questions, they let Robert go. And Jerry Howell was declared a missing person and the case was left to go cold.


Robert was a little shocked. Not only had he gotten away with murder, but the police, through Jerry's case into a drawer like the kid was nothing. According to author Jack Rosewood, he realized that no one really cared, including the police, about a missing gay sex worker.


With that sense of security, Robert revisited his stash of photos he had taken while he had raped and tortured Jerry. All his shame was melting away. Perhaps he felt that if no one else cared about his victim, then why should he?


But the pictures weren't enough. Robert wanted to do it all again. He wanted a new captive, and this time he wanted to make it last longer than 24 hours.


But he took his time choosing his next victim almost a year after his first murder, Robert set his sights on a loose acquaintance, Robert Sheldon. Sheldon was one of the young men Robert took in years earlier. He'd long since moved out. But every once in a while, he showed up drunk and vulnerable on Robert's doorstep. He was the perfect mark, not someone so close to Robert that anyone would think to associate the two, but close enough that Sheldon would have his guard down in early April.


Nineteen eighty five. Thirty six year old Robert invited Sheldon over to his house to drink and get high together. Robert even offered to let us stay with him for a couple of days. As far as Sheldon was concerned, it was a great deal, just like he had done with Jerry. Robert offered his young friend plenty of alcohol and drugs during his stay, only he didn't tell Sheldon just what was in the syringe. Not that Sheldon was likely to care.


He and Robert were friends. Why shouldn't he trust him? The first night together went by in a blur for both men. But Robert didn't make his move. Perhaps he got nervous or wanted to reacquaint himself with Sheldon before he attacked. But the next night he mixed up a concoction of heavy sedatives when he offered this special mixture to Sheldon, the young man happily accepted.


After Sheldon passed out, Robert got to work. He carried his new prisoner up to the bedroom, where he stripped him naked and tied his legs together.


At last, Robert had his second victim. Throughout the rest of the night, Robert repeatedly raped his sedated captive when he was tired, he continued the assault by using other objects to violate Sheldon's body, just as he had done with Jerry Howell.


As the night wore on, Robert wanted to see how much pain he could inflict and not just sexually, though he got immense satisfaction out of forcing himself on to Sheldon. Robert wanted to expand his torture methods.


He wondered what he could do to make Sheldon an even better captive, one who was even more submissive and less inclined to escape. Robert's sadistic curiosity led to a horrific decision. He would blind Sheldon. He left the room to grab some liquid drain cleaner from the bathroom.


When he returned, he saw that Sheldon was coming out of his sedated state.


Panicked, Robert raced over and used a cotton swab to place the drain cleaner directly into Sheldon left eye.


Immediately, Sheldon screamed. Obviously an incredible pain, but his agony only encouraged Robert with each passing. Second, Robert got more and more excited. He wanted to keep going for as long as possible.


But he also knew that the louder Sheldon screamed, the more likely it was that a nosy neighbor would come poking around. So even though he would have preferred his victim to remain conscious, Robert's sedated Sheldon again with Sheldon once again under Robert abandoned his attempt to blind him.


Instead, he moved on to other physical torture, like poking needles under his fingertips. The assault continued for days, according to author Jack Rosewood. As Robert became more and more creative with his torture methods, he began to see a sexual enjoyment and his infliction of pain becoming more parallel. He felt a sense of control, and when he had his victim completely at his mercy, he felt the most satisfied.


Robert would have been happy to keep this up for the foreseeable future. But on April 15th, five days after he took Sheldon captive, there was a problem. Robert came home to find a handyman on his roof. He was there to trim the trees, a long standing appointment. Robert panicked. As far as he saw it, he had two choices. He could go inside and sedate his prisoner and hope that the handyman didn't hear or see anything. Or he could just get rid of Sheldon entirely.


He chose the latter. Robert went upstairs, tied a plastic bag around Sheldon's neck and suffocated him.


It was a quiet death and the handyman didn't suspect a thing. When the workmen left, Robert went into cleanup mode, just like he had with Jerry Howell. Robert drained children's blood, then dismembered him. Then he stuffed the body parts in a trash bag. But Robert decided to do one thing differently. This time he realized he wanted a memento, something to remind him of his fun. So he kept Sheldon's head and buried it in his backyard. It's clear that after his first murder went so smoothly, Robert wasn't afraid of the cops showing up on his doorstep.


He knew no one would come looking for Sheldon. He was untouchable. Even better, he felt no shame or regret this time either. Just a deep satisfaction coupled with an unyielding desire to do it again. He was already planning out the horrific things he wanted to do to his next victim. All he had to do now was find him.


Coming up, Robert goes on a killing spree, you discover their practices, seek their advice and let yourself become more vulnerable than ever before, they have the ability to heal.


What doctors can't or so they say. Listeners be sure to check out the special four part series on Miracle Healers airing right now on cults.


Meet figures from around the world who claimed powers and pushed remedies but harbored more sinister intentions. You don't want to miss it. And if you're looking for more episodes on the most radical and deadly people in history, tune into cults every Tuesday as we explore the background and psychology behind the world's most manipulative and mysterious groups. From Jim Jones and the People's Temple to Charles Manson and the Manson family to Katherine area Nexium, you'll cover the unscrupulous methods used to turn bright eyed recruits into diehard believers.


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Contact your local Land Rover retailer today to schedule a test drive Land Rover above and beyond. Now back to the story in mid-April 1985, 36 year old Robert Berdella murdered his second victim, Robert Sheldon, after dismembering the body and keeping Sheldon's head as a trophy. Robert long to find his next captive, unlike his first murder. There was no shame or regret, just a desire to continue.


Luckily for Robert, he didn't have to wait long for the perfect opportunity to present itself. In June nineteen eighty five, just two months after killing Sheldon, Robert hired 20 year old Mark Wallace to do some gardening around the yard of his Kansas City home.


Robert liked to sit in his house and watch Mark work outside. He likely got a sick thrill every time Mark came close to the spot where Sheldon's head was buried for a time watching that was enough to satisfy Robert. That pattern might have repeated indefinitely, but one evening during a summer storm, Robert awoke to the sound of his dogs barking when he went outside to investigate what had them so riled up. He was shocked to find Marc huddled in his toolshed.


Robert didn't know what the young man was doing there, but he decided to take advantage of his vulnerability. He invited Mark inside, insisting that he at least stay the night. Of course, Mark jumped at the chance. Once inside, Robert eased into things with Mark. After cracking open a beer, the two talked through the night. Robert discovered that as young gardener didn't have a steady place to stay and lived with depression, as well as intense anxiety over his seemingly hopeless financial situation.


Robert seized upon what he saw as a perfect situation. He offered to help settle Mark's nerves with a light tranquilizer.


Of course, what Robert actually had in the syringe was much stronger than Mark anticipated. He lost consciousness almost instantly.


Like his two prior victims, Robert tortured and raped Marc long into the night he experimented on the man, finding all sorts of new and cruel ways to inflict unbelievable pain.


But everything was over soon after it started. By the next night, Mark was dead of a situation. Robert couldn't believe it. He was frustrated that his fun was over so soon. In his view, it was so much effort for too small a reward.


After all, as twisted as he was, Robert's main goal wasn't to murder these men. It was to control them. In an ideal world, he wanted to keep them alive for as long as possible, to have them submissive to his every perverted whim. After overcoming his MCB disappointment, Robert disposed of the body in his usual way, and just as he expected, no one came looking for Mark, which meant he was in the clear to look for his next victim.


For the next couple of months, Robert took his time scouting for his next target. In the meantime, he continued to work at his flea market booth as if nothing in his life had changed at some point during this period.


He started dealing drugs to supplement his income as a bonus. This line of work introduced him to more desperate and vulnerable people. In other words, men who were just his type. Robert knew he needed to find someone who wouldn't be missed, like people with drug addictions on housed men or sex workers. Sure, a few loved ones might speak up if these men disappeared, but the cops didn't seem inclined to devote their resources to those types of cases near the end of September, 1985.


One such person waltzed right in to Robert's Web. A 25 year old man named Walter James Ferris called him to invite him for a drink at a local gay bar. James was a regular drug user Robert had sold to in the past, so he fit his preferred victim profile to a T..


Whether Robert had considered James a potential target before that night is unclear, but he happily went along to meet his young customer at the bar.


It's possible the two men could have shared a drink and gone their separate ways, except that James apparently asked if he could stay with Robert for just a few days when presented with such a plum opportunity. Robert just couldn't resist. As soon as he got James back to his house, Robert kicked into gear. He had his methods down. By this point, he knew exactly what to do, drug his victim, bind him to the bed, and then he was free to begin the assault.


James was sedated, but in his moments of clarity, it's possible he wondered how a friend could do such terrible things to him.


But Robert had been friends with all of his victims thus far, and yet he had no problem torturing them, not once he had them helpless before him, according to criminologist Jack Levin and James Alan Fox. Robert didn't necessarily hold a dehumanized view of his victims until he transformed them into sex toys. At that point, they lost their humanity in his eyes.


Once they were at his mercy, the men in Robert's home became little more than playthings.


Just like the animals he experimented on as a teenager, Robert's curiosity seemed to overrule any humanity he might have had, and that allowed him to do truly horrific things. It also meant he often got carried away.


He was always careful when choosing his next victim and what he wanted to do.


But once he got into the thick of things, his twisted sexual desires, a need for control took over.


That was the case with James, who he brutally assaulted through the night. Despite wanting to keep his victims alive, Robert had no self-control by the next day.


James had died of some combination of overdose and asphyxiation, and once again, Robert found himself getting rid of a body and cursing his bloody eagerness. In the aftermath of this latest murder, Robert knew he needed to improve his methods, he didn't want someone for just one night.


He wanted someone captive in his house for weeks on end months if he could manage it.


So he waited and planned. But finding another mark who fit his criteria was difficult.


Word had spread through the sex worker community that Robert was someone to be wary of. They warned each other to avoid him, that under no circumstances should anyone get into a car with him.


Their fear was based only on rumors, but they were right to be afraid. Many of them had known Jerry Howell and people were sure that Robert was the last person to see him alive. Some even rightly suspected that Robert was involved in Jerry's disappearance.


But eventually Robert found a young sex worker who hadn't heard the rumors.


It took almost a year, but Robert's eyes fell on 25 year old Todd Stoops.


Todd and Robert had known each other for a few years, but weren't close. Perhaps that's how Todd missed the warnings from his fellow sex workers. So when Robert invited him back to his house in June 1986, Todd didn't think anything of it. Robert was careful with Todd. He didn't let him die.


After the first day, using his diary and old Polaroids for reference, Robert measured out the violent torment to keep his latest captive alive as long as possible.


Robert drugged, tortured and assaulted his latest victim for two whole weeks. In the end, though, Todd died of complications from Robert's brutal, sustained sexual assault.


And although Robert found himself disposing of another body, he was pleased with how long he made the torture last. Now he had a roadmap for next time.


Another year passed before Roberts settled on his next victim, 20 year old Larry Pierson. Robert and Larry were only casual friends, but in the summer of nineteen eighty seven, Larry called to ask if Robert could bail him out of jail. Seeing an opportunity, Robert paid the bail that insisted that Larry come stay with him for a while. Like all the men who had come before him, Larry happily accepted the generous offer. For whatever reason, Robert decided to leave Larry alone for a few weeks, perhaps he knew about the 20 year old was too closely connected to him.


After all, there was a paper trail. If he up and vanished, it would be only too easy to trace his movements right to Robert's door. But by the end of June 1987, he couldn't resist. It was just too tempting. So he drugged Larry and went down the same path he had with all his previous captives. He kept Larry captive for weeks.


With his ability to keep his victims alive longer, Roberts desires began to shift a bit now. He wanted a captive who wasn't bound and gagged. He wanted to be obeyed without sedatives. So he experimented on Larry.


Robert promised Larry that if he followed the rules he set out for him, he'd be rewarded. And sure enough, Larry agreed to be obedient. For starters, he didn't fight back when Robert assaulted him. Then he started calling his captor Master Bob. Things progressed to the point where the two even ate meals together. For the first time, Robert stopped worrying so much about his captive trying to escape. He was pleased that Larry had finally submitted to his will.


As part of his duties, Larry performed oral sex on Robert Daly. During the act, Robert let his guard down and focused only on his own satisfaction, even though he was in a very vulnerable position. But vulnerability comes with consequences. One night in early August, Larry couldn't take it any longer. He'd been Robert's prisoner for over a month by that stage, so while he was performing oral sex, he bit down hard. Robert cried out in excruciating pain, he grabbed a large wooden stick and beat Larry senseless, he wasn't just furious that his capture that injured him.


He was annoyed that he had lost control of the situation. With Larry unconscious on the floor, Robert raced to the hospital. The doctor stitched his wounds and ordered Robert to stay at the hospital overnight.


But Robert knew he couldn't leave Larry alone for an entire night. So he said he had to go home to check on his dog and promised to return to the hospital when Robert got home. Larry was slowly coming to but Robert was done with him. He was no longer the submissive subject he desired. There was no further use for him like he had done with Sheldon. Robert took a plastic bag and suffocated Larry. That's what he got for disobeying him.


As soon as it was done, Robert went back to the hospital as if everything were perfectly normal. Two days later, Robert returned home to deal with Larry's body in the process of disposing of him. He decided that he wanted another memento, so he kept the hat. That afternoon, he went out into the backyard and dug up Robert Sheldon's head. It had been two years since he buried it and time had worn it down to just a skull.


He replaced it with Larry's freshly decapitated head, then filled in the hole with dirt.


Meanwhile, he moved Sheldon's skull to a much more prominent place, a closet he referred to as his gallery area.


It speaks volumes that Robert felt comfortable displaying such an audacious trophy. But by this point, his confidence level was through the roof. He thought he would be free to continue this way forever, and he had good reason to believe that he had now kidnapped, tortured and killed six men and he had gotten away with it.


So he put the skull up on display, the first of what he hoped would become a growing collection. You see, Robert had no intention of slowing down.


He thought he was just getting started, but his time was running out. Up next, Robert makes a crucial mistake. This episode is brought to you by 3M, 3M has always been driven to improve lives with science and innovation. It's this forward thinking mindset that led 3M to invent household items you've come to know and love, like Post-it notes and command talks. But 3M believes they have a responsibility to use their science to improve lives in even more ways.


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Erupts the lotion on his skin or else he gets those again in nineteen ninety three, one year after the events of the Silence of the Lambs, FBI agent Clarice Starling returns to the field to pursue serial killers and sexual predators while navigating the high stakes political world of Washington, D.C.. Her complex psychological makeup empowers her to begin to find her voice and track the darkest psychological forces that prey upon the innocent. Now it's her time to speak. The silence is over.


New episodes of the CBS original Clarice Thursdays at 10:00, 9:00 Central or Stream any time on CBS. Now back to the story between 1984 and 1988, Robert Berdella took six different men captive in his Kansas City home. Each time he drugged them with tranquilizers before brutally torturing and killing them. And thus far, he had gotten away with all of it.


By spring 1988, 39 year old Robert was growing overconfident in his abilities and no longer felt any need to be patient. He wanted to find his next victim now, so he went out of the town searching for his next conquest when he came across 22 year old occasional sex worker Chris Bryson. He knew he'd found him. He'd look to be the perfect mark, someone no one would miss. Like his previous victims, Robert lured Chris to his house by pretending to be a John who just wanted sex.


Chris went back to Robert's place to have some fun, get paid and maybe do whatever drugs he was offered.


But once inside Robert's home, things took the same dark turn. They always did. After hitting Chris over the head with an iron pipe, Robert injected him with tranquilizers and watched them take hold. As soon as Chris was unconscious, Roberts stripped him naked, bound him to the bed and assaulted him.


At some point in the next few days, during a break between torture sessions, Chris asked Robert to tie him up in a different position. He complained of his arms hurting from being bound above his head in a rare display of concern for his captive, Robert obliged, tying krisis hands and feet in front of him instead.


In this new position, Chris figured it would be easier for him to wiggle out of his restraints. But at first he was too afraid to try anything, so he bided his time. But after nearly five days of horror, Chris couldn't take it any longer. On April 2nd, as soon as Robert left for work at the flea market, the 22 year old started to shimmy out of his restraints.


He managed to get his arms out of the ropes, but couldn't undo the ties around his ankles. They were too tight and proved impossible to undo. Luckily, he found a match and carefully burned through the rope until finally he was free.


Chris scrambled up naked, except for the demeaning dog collar around his neck. He went straight for the window, pushed it open and leapt from the second story. He hit the ground and ran straight for a neighbor's house. A passing motormen heard Chris scream for help and rushed to a side. Together, the men got the attention of one of Robert's neighbors, who frantically called nine one one.


Later that morning, Robert arrived home to find the police waiting for him. At first, he refused to let them in to search his house. But when they returned with a search warrant, he had no choice.


Inside, investigators were shocked at what they found. They uncovered over 200 Polaroid photos, as well as Roberts detailed diary that documented every sadistic act he performed on his captives. It was like the horrific log of a torture dungeon. Over the next few days, the cops tore the house apart. In the process, they discovered Sheldon's skull on display in the house and Larry's head buried in the backyard. Despite all the evidence seized from his home. Authorities didn't charge Robert with murder, at least not right away.


The two uncovered skulls were certainly suspicious, but someone decided that they were only circumstantial evidence.


So when Robert was arrested, he was only charged with sodomy, felonious restraint and first degree assault. Fortunately, it was enough to convince a judge that Robert should stay behind bars while the police dug up more evidence.


Robert stayed in prison until July 1988 when he finally faced a grand jury. They indicted him for the murder of Larry Pearson, whose head police had found buried in Robert's backyard. A couple weeks later, Robert announced that he would cooperate with authorities to avoid the death penalty. He pled guilty to Larry's murder. However, in September 1988, a grand jury indicted Robert again, this time for the murder of Robert Sheldon. By then, police had identified his skull from Robert's shelf, confronted with the death penalty.


Once again, Robert was running out of cards to play.


Still, he wasn't ready to cede control just yet. He instructed his attorney to cut a deal in exchange for a sentence of life in prison. He'd give a full confession to all of his crimes.


Not surprisingly, Robert enjoyed his confession. It seems that reliving his actions, the moments he drugged his captives, tied them up, tortured them, was almost as satisfying as the acts themselves. And just like before, he was the one calling the shots, doling out information at the pace he chose.


For Robert, control seems to have always been the central motivation behind his crimes.


Some researchers, like Dr. Wade Myers, argue that a need for control and power is usually secondary to sexual gratification.


But in Robert's case, it seems that it was actually the other way around. The sadistic pleasure he gained from capturing and assaulting his victims was all in service of attaining that control that he had always sought.


The next best way to achieve that feeling, again, was to go into great detail of his heinous acts. It was like looking at his Polaroids or reading through his diary. After his confession, Robert was sent to the state penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri, to start serving his life sentence. But Robert just couldn't let go. Not completely.


As time went on, Robert grew more and more obsessed with his image. For some reason, he didn't want people to think poorly of him. He hated that the media had painted him in a horrible light, giving him nicknames like The Collector and the Kansas City Butcher.


He sensed that the narrative of his own life was slipping from his grasp, and he couldn't stand that thought. So in January of 1989, 39 year old Robert gave an interview to a local TV channel in an attempt to rehabilitate his image. He ranted that the police and the media had treated him unfairly, purposely misunderstanding his crimes. No one cared. By that stage. The monster was contained, controlled at last. With no power left to him, Robert faded into obscurity, forgotten in a world in which he was submissive to a system that dictated every part of his day, he spent the last four years of his life trapped, unable to escape the fate his choices brought him to.


Then in October of 1992, the sadistic killer found one final thing he had no control over his own body. He died of a heart attack at the age of 43.


Thanks again for tuning into serial killers will be back soon with a new episode, you can find more episodes of serial killers and all other Spotify originals from our cast for free on Spotify.


We'll see you next time. Have a killer week. Serial Killers is a Spotify original from podcast, executive producers include Max and Ron Cuddler Sound, designed by Michael Motian with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Bruce Kaktovik. This episode of Serial Killers was written by Alex Burns with writing assistants by Joe Guera and Joel Kaplan, fact checking by Annibale and research by Brian Peteris and Chelsea Wood. Serial Killers stars Greg Polson and Vanessa Richardson.