tv Mindhunter MSNBC November 6, 2011 9:00am-10:00am PST
he set face-to-face with killers that haunt our nightmares. tapping into their minds to understand what motor voits them to murder. we go into the mind of two killers. >> would you have kept going? >> yeah, i felt comfortable about killing. i mean, killing for me is just like second nature, now. >> joseph condro, a sick obsession. >> she had no idea that would be her last day alive on the
planet. >> donald harvey, hospital caregiver, with a deadly secret. >> you can consider yourself a sociopath? >> that's what most people consider me. >> what do you think? >> i have been rehabilitated and ready to go back to the streets. >> i'm john douglas. for close to 25 years, i worked for and ran the fbi's behavioral science unit. as a
criminal profiler, my job was to help crime investigations across the country, by examining evidence for signs that could help point the way to the killer. the only way to truly understand the criminal mind is to get inside it. i did that by going to prisons around the country, like this one, going head-to-head with the
nation's most violent offenders. in my fbi unit we met with people like john wayne gacy, who killed dozens of teenage boys and buried them in his basement. and joseph paul franklin, a violent drifter who targeted interracial couples. every one of these guys has something to teach us, and what i learned from them has helped put other serial killers away. in just a few moments, you'll meet a man who embodies every parent's worst nightmare.
he preys on friend's children, easy targets he called them. a killer hiding in plain sight, he used his friendship to mount the ultimate betrayal. >> the story of joseph's kondro's arrest begins the same way a lot of murder stories begin, with a mystery. longview, washington, may 15, 1985. 8-year-old rima traxler disappears on her way home from school. >> my daughter was the light of my life.
she was my sunshine. she was my -- she was the air that i breathe. she was a beautiful, happy, loving little girl. >> police spent years chasing leads on the missing child. the investigation turned up nothing solid. for years, it was an open wound for the community. in time, the memory of rima traxler's disappearance began to fade. but residents of the quiet logging town couldn't help but think of rima when a decade later, 12-year-old cara rudd also disappeared in broad daylight. >> 12-year-old girl has been missing from longview, washington. cara was last seen alive while walking to monticello middle school. her disappearance remains a mystery. >> last person cara was seen with was joseph kondro, a friend of the family. he pulled into the parking lot to talk to cara as she went to school that morning. a witness later saw cara walking towards his car. and chillingly police heard
about another time that he picked up cara to skip school, basically a dry run for the crime. police brought him in for questioning. >> initially, i thought that cara ran away. she was a really headstrong person. i didn't think anything. he was my dad, you know. when they started pointing fingers, it wasn't my dad. he couldn't have done it. >> with witness accounts and some suspicious scratches he couldn't explain, they thought they had their man. they lacked anything beyond the circumstantial. >> finding her body was everything to us. i never had a case that there was so much anticipation of being able to find her body so it could tell us -- she could tell us what happened. >> some 80 police and explorer scouts began a search early this morning. after just a couple of hours, they made a critical find. >> we have located what appears
to be the remains of a human body on top mt. solo. >> i believe the crime scene can tell me everything that i need to i.d. the offender. the evidence shows we are dealing with what we call a disorganized killer. he didn't plan on killing her. he saw an opportunity and gave in to his vicious desire. once he had a body to deal with, he just stashed it as quickly as he could, which indicates he was probably under the influence of drugs or alcohol. >> but investigators already had their guy. joseph kondro. he denied his guilt until investigators retrieved his dna from cara's body. as prosecutors shaped their case against kondro, they began to think he could be responsible for other unsolved murders. a decade-old cold case, the disappearance of rima traxler, was too similar to be a mere consequence. once again, kondro was friends with the parents of the missing girl. >> you know, joe kondro and my first husband grew up together.
joe was kind of a friend of the family. my daughter's uncle joe. >> kondro was facing the death penalty in cara's case, but prosecutors were willing to give him a deal if he admitted to the unsolved killing of rima. kondro confessed and the deal with prosecutors spared his life but got him 55 years in prison. before any interview, my process is always the same. i study the case files and try to get to know what kind of killer i'm dealing with. from kondro's file, i know he is fairly typical of the rapist/murder. sick sexual fantasies lie beneath the surface. what's unusual is he liked to kill people he knew, an uncommon choice for a serial killer. i want kondro to help me understand this particular criminal type. kondro agreed to meet with me and i traveled to the washington state penitentiary in walla walla.
i asked him to tell me about his final victim, cara rudd. >> i knew cara for a while. we played cards together and stuff. >> how would you describe her? as a kid. >> she was very energetic. but she was very defiant, too, when she believed in things, you know. got to admire that in anybody. that morning when i woke up, i knew what i was going to do. i was completely aware of what i wanted to do. i drove to the school and i pulled into the parking lot. cara jumped in my car. >> what's the exchange between you and her and -- >> wasn't much of an exchange. i was just -- i just drove her to the house and talked a little bit. >> happy? she doesn't know she's in danger? >> no, she doesn't know. like i said i was playing on my victim's trust. that's a big thing. you know, when you do these kind of crimes, the person has to trust you. for you to lure them in.
she had no idea that would be her last day alive on this planet. >> you certainly knew right from wrong but couldn't control the urges? >> i knew exactly what i was getting into. exactly. i didn't care. >>t is not easy to hear these guys talk about all the people they kill. but i have to keep my anger and disgust under wraps if i want to get to the truth. why a child? what's the motive behind this? >> i think it is just the convenience of the situation. you know, children are very trusting. and i was very close to their family members. you know, i just -- i played their trust. >> basically it's an easy target? >> it was an easy target at the time, yeah. >> this would be one time when you could commit an act and be in control? >> lot of people in my life was trying to control me. i was an alcoholic and a drug addict. and, you know, i just -- i was abusing everybody around me.
>> had you not been identified, would you have kept going? >> yeah. >> you would have kept killing? >> yeah. i felt real comfortable about killing. i mean, killing for me was just like second nature now. i would have just kept on going. >> i still don't really understand why you would go after people that you knew. >> try do this with a stranger or something like that, you know, they always fight back. i wanted everything to run perfectly. and it did, you know. >> joseph kondro wanted to be in control. that's a common theme with these guys. none of them has control and most of them want it. joe kondro felt powerless in his life. a feeling he tried to drown in drugs and alcohol. and apparently his need to feel powerful took him to the violent extreme. two little girls paid the price. coming up, how fantasy leads to murder.
>> sounds like it was an obsession. >> i just thought about it all the time. i thought about, you know, taking people out and raping them and killing them. and, later, a hospital orderly who took dozens of lives. >> i was being the judge and jury, executioner. what? pay you? hang on. kitchen counselor here. mom, i think what she means is "greasy dishes." cascade complete pacs fight tough greasy messes better than the other tablet. there's only one cascade. love it, or your money back.
your core competency is...competency. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. i'm getting an upgrade. [ male announcer ] as you wish, business pro. as you wish. go national. go like a pro. now through january earn a free day with every two rentals. find out more at nationalcar.com. when you pour chunky beef with country vegetables soup over it... you can do dinner. four minutes, around four bucks. campbell's chunky. it's amazing what soup can do.
joseph kondro raped and killed two young girls 11 years apart. these weren't calculated well-planned murders. kondro saw an opportunity to indulge his sick fantasies and seized upon it. may 15, 1985, the first time he killed, kondro abducted rima on her way home from school. he was friends with rima's parents and exploited that friendship to ask rima's stepfather for a family secret. >> one day we got into this conversation.
and he told me the password that they had established with rima >> and what was that password? >> unicorn. one day i seen her walking down the street as i went to the store. when i came back, she was still walking down the street. i pulled over. it was an impulse. pulled over and picked her up. >> did you say the password? >> yeah. i said the password. she got into the truck with me. at that time i was committed, you know. i have already made up my -- i already made a decision i was going to kill her, you know, way before she even knew it. she got in my truck. >> what finally was the stressor? you're going to commit a crime and it is going to be this child, rima? >> well, i zeroed in on rima because, first, she trusted me. and, you know, i was attracted to young girls. it was an impulsive reaction. so i just -- you know, i went out and took her down to my
house. and i told her to stay in the pickup. and i went in the house. and i called work. and said i wouldn't be in that day. and drove her out to germany creek, and raped and murdered her. >> it's a little girl. you killed a little girl? >> yeah, that's what i was thinking, too, when i was driving back, you know. i was thinking about that. >> this is how these guys operate. they are able to commit the most despicable acts without thinking. even now he does not show a shred of feeling for his victim. he told me he didn't worry about getting caught. but i think he got away with this murder because he was just plain lucky. >> i wanted to find out when he began to hone in on little girls. were they his preferred victims or the most readily available victims? >> you know, as -- the older i
got, the -- the girls would stay mostly the same age or younger than me. then they started to the separation between ages and getting wider and wider. pretty soon i found myself molesting kids. >> sounds like it was an obsession obsessive thoughts. how were you able to control these obsessive thoughts like if you could at all? >> i just thought about it all the time. i thought about, you know, taking people out and raping them and killing them in seventh grade. >> this is about as dark as it gets in my line of work. living close to that kind of evil takes its toll on me. learning more about how these guys operate can make a difference in ongoing investigations. finally, at what point really tipped you over where you were now -- you began to act out the fantasies? >> 13, maybe 12, 13 years old. one night, there was this girl
that was working at a local neighborhood store, and i went to the store after they shut down at 11:00, and i asked her for a ride. and she said sure. she got me into her car. and, you know, i pulled a knife on her and stuff. she cried and stuff like that. please don't do this. please don't do this. i didn't do it. i didn't go -- didn't go through with it, no. >> so, you stopped because you felt sorry for her? >> yeah. yeah, i did. >> you didn't expect her to cry? you didn't expect her to act that way? it was kind of a turn off? >> yeah. and later, i, you know, overcame those feelings. >> fantasy is an important element for most serial killers. and many killers told me their depraved sexual fantasy started at an early age and became even more graphic in their minds over time. then one day, the urge to make the fantasy real becomes too strong to resist. >> my fantasy was just to rape and murder these -- my victims.
that was the whole fantasy part of it. the police department, the investigations, that was part of it. but my murders, you know, they -- they were like the high point. the fantasy is only a motivation. there's nothing better than the act itself. >> joe, i just -- describe for me the feelings you have during the sexual assault, the raping and the killing. >> power. >> how about control? >> yeah, that's another -- i get really, really high on adrenaline when, you know, you commit a murder like that. >> when you make up your mind you're going to perpetrate this crime or any other crime, it's got to be hard to stop in the middle of your action. >> yeah. i'm pretty much focused. i set out to do what i did to those victims that day and i made the decision that i was
going to kill them even -- actually, even prior before they got into my vehicles. once they got into my vehicles, it was a done, shut deal for me. >> everyone i talked to about joe kondro thinks he's probably responsible for other molestations and murders. and there are some unsolved cases that match his m.o., but he was careful, perhaps because he knows that if he is linked to another murder, his next stop will be death row. every police report where they thought you, joe, were good for maybe 70 victims, molestations, possibly other homicides. >> i can't answer that. >> you don't want to answer that or you just can't? >> i don't want to answer that. >> still, like many other guys i interviewed, he was proud of himself. he couldn't resist telling me about other crimes he had gotten away with.
>> let's get one thing straight, there were victims in between these. there molestations that were never reported, you know. so -- >> there were other cases and many unreported -- >> yeah, a lot of unreported cases. >> kondro was the father of six children. he says that he never molested them. why wouldn't you molest your own children? >> because they are my kids. loved ones. >> your flesh and blood? >> yeah, my flesh and blood. i love them. you know. >> what would you do if someone went after your children, if someone molested one of your children? >> kill them. >> these guys often have a me against the world mentality and kondro sees his own kids as part of himself. but anyone else, even his friends' children, are objects, things he could use as he pleased, and throw away. >> he never tried to explain to me what he did. i will ask him questions.
why did you do this? did you think about us? did you think about your family? and he never responds. i don't know if he knows the answers. >> any regrets for anything you've done? >> no. i have a regret i should have been a better father to my children. but i have no regrets, no. >> no regrets back to 1985, with your first victim? any regrets there? >> no. >> how about 1996? any regrets there? >> no. >> but kondro tried to tell me there was one other thing he felt bad about. >> they should have gave me the death penalty. i believe i should have died for these crimes. and i don't know. i just feel there's just -- my
victims didn't get any justice. they're dead. i'm alive. >> i had a hard time believing that was what kondro really thought. so i tested him. anything you would have done differently? >> yeah. i would have -- i would have took her out to a different spot. >> so she wouldn't have been found? >> well, that was the idea. that was the intention. >> that sounds more like the truth. joseph kondro doesn't seem to have any remorse. he's not going to cry for the two little girls he killed. i think he regrets only that he's not on the outside, where he would be free to kill again. coming up, so-called angel of death who killed hospital patients for almost two decades. >> by my calculation, i believe donald harvey killed 68 people. >> i used cyanide, arsenic. i wanted the quickest method of death. the employee of the month is...
spark card from capital one. spark cash gives me the most rewards of any small business credit card. it's hard for my crew to keep up with 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. 2% cash back. that's setting the bar pretty high. thanks to spark, owning my own business has never been more rewarding. [ male announcer ] introducing spark the small business credit cards from capital one. get more by choosing unlimited double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. what's in your wallet? this guy's amazing. what's in your wallet? ♪
now i'll introduce you to an entirely different type of serial killer. on the surface, donald harvey seems like a calm, soft-spoken gentleman. but dig a little deeper and you will find one of america's most prolific serial murderers, a man who targeted the hospital patients he was supposed to help. cincinnati, ohio, march 7, 1987. 44-year-old john powell dies after a long hospitalization. a routine autopsy reveals he had been poisoned with cyanide. police hone in on a mild-mannered orderly named donald harvey. under questioning, he admits to poisoning powell by pouring cyanide into his feeding tube. harvey calls it a mercy killing. the patient reminded him of his father. attorney william whalen was appointed to defend harvey. whalen thought he was dealing with a single mercy killing. but rumors of other murders began to circulate.
>> i went to the justice center and sat down with donald. and i said have you killed more than one person? and i fully expected him to say no. and he answered yes. i asked him to tell me how many people he killed. he said i can't. i got irritated with him and said i just told you, you have to be honest with me. and he said you don't understand. i can only estimate. i told him to, in his mind, pick a number that he knew it could not possibly go beyond. he said 70. we talked for 45 minutes more. and i could never tell you what we talked about. i mean, my mind, all i could see was a red neon sign blinking the number 70. >> whalen offered the prosecutor's office a deal, a full confession of all harvey's murders in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table. the gamble succeeded and harvey began to detail his 17-year killing spree. prosecutors were stunned by what they heard. >> next patient is virgil. >> correct.
i gave him rat poisoning in his dessert. >> what kind of dessert? >> it was a green, pistachio pudding. i was surprised the rat poisoning had worked so fast. but he turned blue within five, ten minutes. >> why mr. wells? >> well, he was dying. and i liked the old man. he was a nice old man. >> as harvey described killing one patient after another, the portrait of a serial killer emerged. he was convicted of murdering 34 patients. his confession detailed a murderous life, spanning nearly two decades and three different hospitals in two states. donald harvey developed a variety of ways to take lives. he smothered with a pillow, turned off oxygen tanks, mixed arsenic into hospital meals. his favorite seemed to be cyanide, which found its way into gastric feeding tubes and iv drip lines and even apple juice. >> there are more. donald's killed more than the
people i just talked about. some of them, they would not charge him with, because they couldn't prove he did it. by my calculation, i believe donald harvey killed 68 people. >> after harvey's arrest, i was called in to coach fbi agents who were going to interrogate him. so i had seen him talk about his murders before and i'm going to use that to my advantage. i expect harvey to tell the truth about 90% of the time. possibly 95% of the time. but i'm going to be trying to tap into that 5%. i'm going try to get to the rest of that story. to this day, harvey still calls himself a mercy killer. but i want to know how he can justify murdering so many people and still call it compassion. i went to interview harvey at the southern ohio correctional facility. i look at harvey as somewhat of a chameleon. he's able to blend in a his environment very, very easily.
again, i find myself hiding my real feelings and budding up to a serial killer. if i want to find the truth, i have to give harvey the chance to explain himself. he starts by presenting himself as a good samaritan. >> you would consider that mercy, mercy killings? >> some of them had been in comas for many, many years. well, semi comas in and out. didn't know nothing. what i was doing i thought was right. and the patients i took care of, i like to think i made their passing easy. they didn't give me permission, no. but some of the patients didn't have no one to give permission for them. they didn't have a choice. and sometimes there was no family to make the choice for them. i made it for them. i was being the judge and jury and executioner. >> and then he got caught. your downfall was with powell. >> yeah.
>> that's why -- that's what got you here. >> my downfall was not leaving that day. >> yeah. take me back to that day. what happened? >> i was in a hurry. and i put it through his g tube. he started smelling something that was like bitter almonds and he started running tests. >> how did you feel then? when they started conducting this investigation. >> keep pushing, keep pushing. let me put it this way. the day everything was going on, i didn't know which way to go. and murphy's law has a way of things happen for a reason. >> do you consider yourself a sociopath, psychopath? >> that's what most people consider me. >> what do you think? >> i haven't changed a bit. i have been rehabilitated. i'm ready to go back to the street. >> coming up, a creative killer. [ male announcer ] an lg smart tv, lg optimus cell phone and...an apology card.
this is ridiculous. yeah, and it's got apps. nice. got pandora, twitter, facebook. no honey, not facebook. ♪ honey, you think my sweater's horrendous? cats don't skate. i think it kicks butt. [ male announcer ] get low prices on the gifts they love, like lg tvs with the latest technology. now eligible for our christmas layaway. save money. live better. walmart. what? pay you? hang on. kitchen counselor here. mom, i think what she means is "greasy dishes." cascade complete pacs fight tough greasy messes better than the other tablet. there's only one cascade. love it, or your money back. [ male announcer ] if you're gonna build a fuel-efficient car, the first thing you got to do is make a car that's worth building, that has all the luxury you'd expect. then you put in an 8-speed transmission that gets 31 miles per gallon. that combination of luxury and efficiency only comes from one place in the world.
hey, everybody. here is what is happening. people in oklahoma are surveying the damage after the strongest earthquake in the state's history. more than ten aftershocks have been reported since the tremor struck late last night. and talks may lead to the resignation of the greek prime minister. they are discussing forming a coalition government to help the country avoid going into bankruptcy. donald harvey used his position as a hospital orderly to kill dozens of patients at three hospitals over 17 years. over the years, he has continued to call himself a mercy killer. the way he tells it, he was doing his victims a favor. >> the patients may have had a month to six months to live. and they were mostly put there
just to die. the families, instead of sending them to a nursing home, they put them there. or they had no family. the county or whatever put them there. those are a lot of the type patient that is i terminated. >> you didn't stay with one specific method of hastening the deaths of these patients. >> i was like a macguyver. well, you see, there's one way -- you take a patient that has heart disease. you can take the spinal fluid and drain enough of the spinal fluid to cause him to have a heart attack. with the cyanide, that was a quick death. i was careful with my dosage. i didn't want no feedback coming towards me. >> harvey selected hospital patients who were expected to die. pretty convenient for someone who wants to call himself a mercy killer. that also made his murders practically invisible.
he's an entirely different kind of killer from joseph kondro, who left his victims' bodies where they could easily be found. harvey is what we call an organized killer. he carefully planned his murders in order to avoid detection. harvey began killing at the age of 18. and in his first year as an orderly, he killed more people than most serial killers do in a lifetime. >> there was 15 deaths when i was 18. >> there's already been 15? >> no, when i went to work in the hospital. the year between -- i was 18 to a was 19, there were 15 deaths. >> you mentioned one time, the pillowcase. what are the others? >> started using morphine. it wasn't controlled that much in kentucky, especially in small hospitals in the 1970s. i unplugged a couple of ventilators. i used cyanide, arsenic, plastic bags, too. >> were you experimenting or -- >> i wanted the quickest method of death.
a funeral director and i became lovers. and he showed me how to use the plastic bag. what the marks of a pillow would leave a certain mark as opposed to a bag if you held the bag down. or put it in the mouth and nose of a comatose patient. cyanide on a black person will not show, but it will show on a white person if you give it by shot. if you put it in an iv, no. i used it in their feeding tubes. that's what got me busted. i was in a hurry. >> do you consider them victims, by the way, the patients? >> no, i don't consider it -- they were my patients. i never looked at it as murder until i was actually arrested. i always looked at it, you know, as mercy. today, you know, they have the hospice units and that's assisted suicide but that's with the person's -- >> making a choice. >> yeah, making a choice. >> right.
these people never had a choice. harvey relished this ability to decide when people will die. he seemed to never have a second thought. >> will donald harvey have nightmares? >> no, because i have put it to rest. i have had months and years to live with it. >> serial murder is really about power, control and domination. donald harvey wanted to play god. but he was still trying to convince me he was motivated by compassion. >> if i was laying -- okay, look at you today, you weighed 90 pounds a year from now and you don't know nothing, do you still want to be hanging on? >> good question. because in 1983 on a case, i was in a coma for a week. i collapsed and as far as they knew, i had no brain wave activity, my digestive system shut down. i felt tremendous pain. i'm pretty sure harvey would have had no problem taking me out. what if the tables were turned? would you like somebody to treat
you like yourself? >> if they wanted to come and go ahead. don't get caught. damn, don't get caught. them little cells and bathrooms you live in ain't all that. >> harvey worked pretty hard to convince me he was a mercy killer. there are plenty of cases where he was anything but merciful. but they weren't all mercy? >> no, they weren't all. >> all mercies? >> first death occurred 18 years of age with you. can you tell me about that, how that happened? >> just one guy, he had had a stroke. and he had an iv in. and he got the iv out and the sister told me to go and clean up the bed and change the iv, take it out because it was empty. when i went back to pull back the sheet, he covered me in stool with his hands and i smothered him to death. >> how did you do that? >> with the pillow. i wasn't going to take any more.
i mean, i had enough. and when he put the stool in my face was the breaking point. >> do you believe that's what happened? >> it started me on the roller coaster, which i couldn't get off. >> a gentleman had hit donald with a urinal and donald says he was knocked out. i don't know whether he was or not. he went to catheterize him later that day, and he took a wire clothes hanger and opened it up and jammed it inside the catheter and it ended up republic churing his stomach. >> you straightened out the coat hangar and rammed that right through there, right into -- two feet, intestine. it gave him peri -- >> peritonitis. >> he died a couple of days later? >> i shouldn't have done that. i should never been allowed around that patient again. that was poor security on the hospital's part.
i mean, you beat me up today and then i'm take k care of you tomorrow? i don't think so. >> that's called projection. well, the hospital shouldn't have put me with this guy. they probably shouldn't have done it but you blame more of the hospital. >> i got a knot this big on my head. my ribs are bruised. he poured urine on me and kicked me several times. he cold cocked me. i should never have been allowed around the patient. >> they're responsibility? >> no, they're not responsible for the death part. they're responsible for his security. >> the patient is the one who is dead, but harvey is still talking about what the patient did to him. it is a common theme with serial killers. most of these guys are narcissists. but harvey was unique in another way. serial killers are predators who enjoy the hunt for a victim. harvey, on the other hand, didn't need to hunt for his prey. like fish in a barrel, potential victims were always within easy reach. coming up, a childhood
confession. >> i took him out into the woods and slit their throat. that was the only thing i did as far as animals. >> that's quite a bit. it's more than what a lot of people do. the employee of the month isss... the new spark card from capital one. spark miles gives me the most rewards of any small business credit card. the spark card earns double miles... so we really had to up our game. with spark, the boss earns double miles on every purchase, every day. that's setting the bar pretty high. owning my own business has never been more rewarding. coming through! [ male announcer ] introducing spark the small business credit cards from capital one. get more by choosing unlimited double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. what's in your wallet?
at some point in an interview with a killer, i will go back to the guy's childhood. i want to know when the homicidal urge first appeared. more often than not, i find that these evil impulses show up very early on. adolescence is a pretty common time for a future violent offender to start forming his sick fantasies. it also comes as no surprise that a lot of these guys had terrible childhoods, broken
homes and abusive parents are common. people ask me, is it nature or nurture? you know what i'm talking about? is someone born bad? >> you're basically saying is someone born a bad seed? >> right. >> well, no. i think it's circumstances. >> harvey says people close to him began molesting him at age 4. you remember still the specifics of that? >> he said this was a thing that boys did, and not to tell grandma. he used the orphanage. he says i'll kill your mommy and daddy and you'll have to go to the orphanage. >> so you held this in and kept quiet? was there some anger there? >> there was some anger. >> physical or sexual abuse can have an impact on the victim for the rest of his life. not everyone who has been abused turns into a killer. i believe that's a choice the offender makes. i wanted to find out how much
harvey felt these events changed him. would you say you were angry? >> i learned how to manipulate. >> but there is another adolescent criminal signature that harvey shares with most other serial murderers. what about the business with the animals? >> i killed my bird. my mom told me i had to take it back because it wouldn't survive. it was just a little, tiny thing. and i refused to give it up so i killed it with a hoe. >> what was the message there? >> i didn't want it to go back. the hen would peck it to death, i might as well put it to death. i knew how to wring its neck. i knew the -- the outcome would be if i just wring its neck. but i use add hoe. >> must have shocked the hell out of her. >> my mom said what did you do that for? that was it. nothing was ever -- i didn't get a spanking or nothing. i also took the neighbor man's two cows later on. i was about 16. no, it was right before i graduated from high school.
i took them out into the woods and slit their throats. that was the only thing i ever did as far as animals. >> that's quite a bit. >> well -- >> that's more than what a lot of people do. at the behavioral sciences unit, we looked into violent offenders' background and found three childhood activities that could be seen as warning signs, cruelty to animals, setting fire, and bed wetting. we call these the homicidal triangle. in my experience cruelty to animals is the number one predictor of future violent behavior. coming up, no ordinary killer. >> what about carl? what did you do to him? >> i gave him arsenic for 3 1/2 years. >> why, though? >> i didn't want to kill him. giocta] s havaseers
serial killers get -- zet get off on living a double life. on the outside, he was a father, a husband, boy scout leader and president of his church. but deep inside lurked a sexual psychopath. donald harvey hid his need to kill behind the gentle face of a caregiver. >> he went for over 18 years, getting away with it. so there wasn't any reason to believe that he would quit except for the fact that he was found out. >> like child killer joseph kondro, donald harvey enjoyed the feelings of control and domination over his victims. avoiding detection for years on end made harvey cocky, so cocky, in fact, he eventually took his deadly work home with him and used his lethal art to settle personal scores, neighbors, friends, even lovers.
no one was safe. >> what about carl, your lover? what did you do to him? >> i gave him arsenic for 3 1/2 years. >> why? >> i didn't want to kill him. i just wanted to keep him sick enough to keep his penis in his pants and stay out of the parks and stuff. >> you knew how much to give him just to make him sick enough where he's not going to go out and meet anybody? >> yeah. >> he also took revenge on another friend. her crime? >> she always was telling stories on me. >> what did you do to her? >> i gave her aids serum. she got hepatitis. >> hepatitis b? >> yeah. >> she never got hiv, though? >> no. as far as i know she never did. >> she lived? >> yeah, she's alive. >> how about helen metzger, the neighbor? >> she was a very nice lady. >> harvey treated this nice lady
to arsenic leftovers, even poisoning pie. not surprisingly, she eventually succumbed to the poison. of course, he still volunteered to be a pall bearer at her funeral. >> james paluzzo? >> he was a friend of mine when i was roughly 16. and he told me, he said, if he ever got disabled to go on, he wanted me to take him out. >> all of harvey's victims, friend and stranger alike, were just play things in a deadly game. people like donald harvey kill because of a deep, overwhelming sense of inadequacy. killing the one thing that makes this guy feel important. after being convicted of killing 37 people in two states, donald harvey was sentenced to three life terms.
he won't be eligible for parole until 2043. he will be 91 years old. harvey seems to me to be surprisingly comfortable here in prison. >> it's no different. this place is really no different than any -- you have that barbed wire and guns. you got your pedophile area, gang area and all this, they're all in there. >> when you're in bed at nighttime or you're alone, what kind of things do you think of? do you ever think of the crimes that got you here? >> no. >> any of them? what kind of things do you think of? >> i'm building a log house right now. i've built it two or three different ways. i'm on four bedrooms but only have three baths. >> you're doing it in your mind? >> yeah. sometimes i write down stuff and maybe next year it will be a different -- a church or something different. >> harvey says he doesn't think about his crimes, but i want to know if he regrets them. does he have any remorse for taking so many lives?
>> would there have been any changes along the way, how you responded to certain events in your life? or is your primary change or concern was you would have done things differently with powell, the patient that got you here? >> well, i never would have gave him the cyanide. i would have cleaned out the g tube better, but no you can't go back and second guess yourself. if i did, i would just go, oh, i've just got too much there. and i don't try to second guess myself anymore. >> if you ask me, harvey is just like most other serial killers now behind bars. his biggest regret is that he made a mistake and got caught. one thing about these guys, most serial killers think the world revolves around them. remorse for their victims? forget about it. >> if you were -- something happened here, you were released earlier, what do you think? you think, number one, you would
kill again? >> no, no. there would be no reason. i wouldn't be working in the hospitals. i wouldn't be near none of that stuff. >> i believe harvey would kill again. i haven't met a serial killer yet who is capable of rehabilitation. the best we can do is catch them and put them where they can't hurt anyone else ever again. >> the thing about you, you are so different than other types of people i've interviewed over the years. how are you able to get away with this for such a long, long period of time? how did you do it? >> you got people that sit back and just watch everything. when you go into a hospital to work, you look at the people, okay? those people, like me, they don't have a care in the world. but they do. those are the kind you sometimes have to watch. i mean, who is to say you're not a serial killer? >> that's right. >> i mean, you have a fascination with going to talk to them, stuff like that. you might be like hannibal
lecter, we don't know. but, i mean, it's -- you don't know. >> people always ask me, how many serial killers are there in the united states? a conservative estimate is that there are between 30 and 50 active serial killers out there at any given time. by meeting with and understanding more about guys like donald harvey and joseph kondro, i believe we have a better chance of recognizing the criminal signatures of other active serial murderers. these interviews can ultimately help investigators create better profiles, to identify and capture the serial killers who are still among us. from eastern state penitentiary in philadelphia, i'm john douglas.
IN COLLECTIONSMSNBC West Television Archive Television Archive News Search Service
Uploaded by TV Archive on