Crimes That Shook The World

DISCOVERY CHANNEL – Fridays from 22 January, 7.30pm

A serial killer is someone who murders a number of people over a period of time, normally using the same method again and again. Some will continue their reign of terror for years, whereas others will murder many victims over a relatively short period of time. This series opens the files of infamous crimes and takes a look at the most shocking serial killer stories from around the world. Kicking off the series will be the Chessboard Killer, who charted his crimes on a chessboard, filling in 62 of the 64 squares by the time he was caught. Also examined is the shocking case of the Monster of Florence, who for 17 years preyed on young couples, committing brutal murder on seven occasions in and around the city.

9:30pm – Wednesday, October 14 on TV 3

Have they saved the worst for last? This week sees Crimes That Shook The World conclude its season by exposing the Vienna Strangler on Wednesday, October 14th at 9:30pm on 3.

Jack Unterweger, aka the Vienna Strangler, was Austria’s most notorious serial killer, who went on to become a writer and TV personality before reverting to his murderous ways.

Unterweger had a miserable childhood. He never knew his father, and his mother was a prostitute who abandoned her son at an early age, leaving him in the care of his abusive, alcoholic grandfather. When he was just 16 the rage that had built up during his youth erupted and he was charged with assaulting a prostitute.

His violent behaviour escalated and in 1976 Unterweger was jailed for life for the murder of Margaret Schaefer. The young woman was a prostitute and Unterweger claimed that he had killed her because she reminded him of his mother. The forensic psychologist who examined him at the time, Dr. Klaus Jarosch, pronounced him a sexually sadistic psychopath with narcissistic and histrionic tendencies.

While serving his sentence Unterweger wrote a series of short stories, plays and an autobiography that made him the darling of the Viennese cafe-intellectuals. Hailed as a model for rehabilitation, Unterweger was granted parole in 1990. On his release his writing made him a celebrity with regular appearances on local talk shows and a life style to match.

However, not truly reformed, he kept up with his old habit of strangling prostitutes and he was linked to murders both in Europe and the USA. After being extradited back to Austria from America, Unterweger was found guilty of committing nine murders and sentenced to life, again.

So how did this psychopath’s story finally end? Find out when Crimes That Shook The World concludes its disturbingly fascinating series on Wednesday, October 14th at 9:30pm on 3.

9:30pm – Wednesday, September 9 on TV 3

Serial killers’ 15 minutes of fame are extended this week with the premiere of Crimes That Shook The World, a documentary series that lifts the lid on some of the 20th century’s most shocking crimes. Crimes That Shook The World screens on Wednesday, September 9th at 9:30pm on 3.

Using real police video material, archive news footage and dramatic reconstruction, Crimes That Shook The World tells the stories of world-renowned serial killers such as Australian Ivan Milat.

Milat, also known as the Backpacker Murderer, will feature in this week’s premiere episode. Convicted of the murder of seven backpackers in July 1995, Milat’s killings occurred throughout the early 90s and were invariably of young travellers from all over the world.

Milat’s terrible actions – which earned him life in jail – inspired the grisly horror flick Wolf Creek, cast a permanent pall over the Belanglo State Forest, and scared off thousands of tourist planning to visit Australia.

So what drove this psychotic killer to commit such unthinkable acts, and what effect did they have on Australia? Find out when Crimes That Shook The World premieres on Wednesday, September 9th at 9:30pm on 3.

New Zealand Television Premiere: Crimes That Shook The World

Discovery Channel – Fridays from 1 June, 8.30pm

World-renowned serial killer stories are told using real police video material, archive news footage and dramatic reconstruction in this new series. The premiere episode features the story of Australian Ivan Milat, convicted of murdering several tourists and hitchhikers in the 1990s “backpacker murders”. Each episode delves into the investigation and key techniques used to solve the crimes, featuring interviews from investigating officers, forensic scientists and the victims’ families.