Watch Catching Killers

Catching Killers is a nonfiction television series that encompasses the investigations of serial killers and other famous murder cases. This series highlights the methods used to trace DNA as well as other tools to find the people responsible for grisly murders. The cases included the famous kidnapping of Charles Linderberg’s baby. Other famous cases include the BTK killer, the Green River killer and Gary Ridgeway from Seattle.

This show shows how the advances in DNA and forensic science have improved their methods to track these vicious killers and bring them to justice. Ten years ago the techniques and methods available were not in the stages that would allow for the proper identification of killers as well as missing people. From botany to certain insects that exist on the crime scene these clues lead investigators to track down killers.

Monday 8:00 PM et/pt on Smithsonian Channel
2 Seasons, 19 Episodes
June 17, 2012
Crime, Drama, Family, Mystery
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Catching Killers Full Episode Guide

  • Examining ballistic evidence. Including an investigation that frees a man who was sentenced to death in 1915; the Beltway Sniper Case in 2002.

  • Examining poison. Toxicology might one day be ahead of the crime. Detectives, scientists and criminal historians link the poisonous compounds and indispensable tools of fighting crime.

  • Two murder cases which were years apart seem to have little in common at first. In 2003 a California family were discovered brutally murdered and in 1935 in Scotland two dismembered bodies were found. With closer investigation, they both share the same silent witness: insects. By examining these two landmark cases forensic entomology helped convict a killer. Detectives in Edinburgh use maggots to determine time of death, and the Bakersfield case links the discovery of red-shanked grasshoppers caught in a car radiator grill.

  • Examining forensic anthropology in solving murders. Including the disappearance of Louisa Luetgert in 1897.

  • Details of how fingerprints are used to solve criminal cases. Including an Argentina murder case in 1892 that was the first solely solved with evidence from fingerprint; the "Night Stalker" case in 1985.

  • Searching in an English town for a serial rapist and the hunt for the BTK Killer are included.

  • Forensic botany history began during the trial of Bruno Hauptmann in 1935, he was accused of kidnapping Charles Lindbergh's baby; plant evidence found in a truck convicted a man of murder.

  • Autopsies play an important role in investigations.

  • Trace evidence importance, Forensic techniques development.

  • Examining bloodstain pattern analysis. Includes a prominent doctor's wife who was murdered in 1954.

  • Criminal pro-filers work is looked at. Includes the capture of the "Mad Bomber" in 1957; a serial killer case from 1982.

  • Examining digital forensics evolution. Includes how investigators caught a West German computer hacker in 1986; and details about how the "Craigslist Killer" got captured by the Boston Police Department in 2009.

  • Examining arson investigation advances. Including: a 1990 case in Jacksonville, FL; and a case involving a honors student.

  • A rash of unexplained deaths at a Northport, New York hospital in the 1990s and the suspicious death of a wealthy businessman in the 1840s have one thing in common: poison. These sensational cases, 150 years apart, are landmark moments in the history of forensic toxicology. Revolutionizing crime fighting, then and now, toxicology may one day be ahead of the crime. Join our investigation as scientists, detectives and criminal historians trace the poisonous compounds and indispensable tools of crime fighting.

  • Two grisly murder cases, years apart, appear to have little in common at first glance. A California family found brutally murdered in 2003 and two dismembered bodies discovered in Scotland in 1935. Upon closer investigation, they share the same silent witness: insects. Examine these two landmark cases where forensic entomology helped convict a killer. Detectives in Edinburgh utilize maggots to determine time of death of the victim, and the Bakersfield case hinges on the discovery of red-shanked grasshoppers caught in a suspect's car radiator grill.

  • Illinois has played host to two of the most grisly murder cases of the last century. One involving the Sausage King of Chicago and the other the Killer Clown. Both cases were solved thanks to the victims' bones. Forensic anthropologists can now analyze skeletal remains to determine a person's age, sex, ancestry, stature, unique features and more importantly: cause of death. Revisit history's most shocking homicide cases cases as this forensic tool is put to the test, delivering powerful and undeniable evidence that brings countless killers to justice.

  • One crime baffled a small Argentina town; the other held the entire state of California hostage. The thread that links these two cases occurring 100 years apart: both murderers were done in by their own hand. Specifically, by their fingerprints. Witness the breakthrough moment in 1892 when fingerprinting was first used to track down a child killer and see how the evolving science helped thwart a coldblooded serial killer a century later. Then follow the bloody trail of a serial killer dubbed the Night Stalker and discover how detectives nabbed him with powders, hand-held lasers, and a stroke of luck.

  • DNA profiling has redefined forensics. In this episode, witness two landmark DNA cases that investigate how forensic tools forever changed the way crimes are solved.

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