Catching Killers

Watch Catching Killers

  • 2012
  • 2 Seasons

Catching Killers is a thrilling crime documentary series produced by Smithsonian Channel, featuring seasoned criminal investigator Erik Thompson. The show explores major criminal investigations that have made headlines, revealing the complex forensics involved in catching some of the most notorious killers of our time.

The series is divided into hour-long episodes, each of which delves into a different criminal case that has perplexed law enforcement officials. Through expert interviews, live-action reenactments, and forensic science breakthroughs, Erik Thompson walks viewers through each step of these fascinating and often disturbing cases.

One of the standout features of Catching Killers is its commitment to accuracy and scientific rigor. Thompson, who himself has over 25 years of experience working in law enforcement, leaves no stone unturned as he pieces together the evidence to uncover what really happened. The show utilizes advanced technology and meticulous analysis, including DNA testing, fingerprinting, and ballistics analysis, to explain the intricate details of each investigation.

Throughout the series, viewers are introduced to a wide range of criminals, from calculating serial killers to opportunistic murderers who acted on impulse. For example, one episode focuses on the case of a young woman who disappeared and was later found murdered in a remote area, seemingly without motive. Another episode examines the chilling case of a serial killer who terrorized a community over a span of decades, eluding law enforcement until modern forensic techniques finally led to his capture.

In telling these stories, Catching Killers exposes the gritty, often messy work that goes into solving these crimes. We see firsthand the long hours and emotional toll that detectives and forensic teams endure to bring justice to the victims and their families. The series also delves into the intricacies of the criminal justice system, highlighting the challenges of prosecuting criminals and the ongoing debate over the death penalty.

Erik Thompson's expertise and engaging storytelling make Catching Killers a standout in the crowded true crime documentary genre. In each episode, he distills complex forensic evidence and criminal investigations into digestible narratives that keep viewers on the edge of their seats. With its non-stop suspense and informative approach, Catching Killers is must-watch TV for anyone interested in the finer points of criminology and forensic science.

In conclusion, Catching Killers is a gripping and informative show worth watching. With fascinating cases, expert analysis, and engaging storytelling, it provides a window into the world of crime investigation that is both educational and entertaining. Whether you're a true crime buff, a fan of forensic science, or just looking for a thrilling ride, Catching Killers is sure to satisfy.

Catching Killers is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (23 episodes). The series first aired on June 17, 2012.

Catching Killers
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Smoking Guns
13. Smoking Guns
July 29, 2013
Examining ballistic evidence. Including an investigation that frees a man who was sentenced to death in 1915; the Beltway Sniper Case in 2002.
Proving Poison
12. Proving Poison
July 22, 2013
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.
Insect Evidence
11. Insect Evidence
July 15, 2013
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.
Skeletal Secrets
10. Skeletal Secrets
July 8, 2013
Examining forensic anthropology in solving murders. Including the disappearance of Louisa Luetgert in 1897.
9. Fingerprints
July 1, 2013
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.
DNA Profiling
8. DNA Profiling
June 24, 2013
Searching in an English town for a serial rapist and the hunt for the BTK Killer are included.
Plant Evidence
7. Plant Evidence
June 16, 2013
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.
Cause of Death
6. Cause of Death
June 9, 2013
Autopsies play an important role in investigations.
Trace Evidence
5. Trace Evidence
June 2, 2013
Trace evidence importance, Forensic techniques development.
Blood Spatter
4. Blood Spatter
May 26, 2013
Examining bloodstain pattern analysis. Includes a prominent doctor's wife who was murdered in 1954.
Criminal Profiling
3. Criminal Profiling
May 19, 2013
Criminal pro-filers work is looked at. Includes the capture of the "Mad Bomber" in 1957; a serial killer case from 1982.
Cyber Forensics
2. Cyber Forensics
May 12, 2013
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.
Fire Investigation
1. Fire Investigation
May 5, 2013
Examining arson investigation advances. Including: a 1990 case in Jacksonville, FL; and a case involving a honors student.
Where to Watch Catching Killers
Catching Killers is available for streaming on the Smithsonian Channel website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Catching Killers on demand at Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Philo, Amazon, Vudu, FuboTV, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    June 17, 2012