Some of the world’s most notorious murders are the subject of “It Takes a Killer,” which investigates the crimes from the perspective of the killers, trying to get inside their minds and determine their motives. Leading homicide investigators and experts from such agencies as the FBI and Scotland Yard take a look at the evidence pulled from crime scenes and profile the killer’s behavior to try to piece together the details of each murder, explaining when, why and how each criminal committed the crime. For the wannabe detectives watching the show, the experts also reveal how the crime was solved — which often requires authorities to think like a killer.
When one bodybuilder wants what another bodybuilder has, the end result is a murder-for-hire. The mastermind resurfaces for nearly a decade late, half a world away only to kill a police officer before law enforcement brings him to justice.
A long-haul trucker with a lust for killing crisscrosses the country looking for his next victim. Police don't connect any of this serial murderer's crimes until he slips up and takes out someone from his inner circle.
A scorned mistress exacts the ultimate revenge, hiring a group of derelicts to kill the wife of her lover. When the heat comes, she plays the victim and denies any involvement.
An evil seductress targets two Georgia police, bleeding them dry, then killing them for their life insurance benefits. This black widow gets away with murder for years before law enforcement untangles her web of seduction.
A state employee wreaks havoc on Southwestern New Mexico, abducting women then keep them captive in his homemade torture chamber, the toy box.
A loving father vanishes without a trace in central California, setting off a feverish missing person's investigation. Cops follow the trail of clues and discover that their missing person isn't missing at all.
A serial killer lays siege to Jacksonville, Florida, strangling young African-American women to death then callously discarding of their bodies.
A British landlord offers free rent to a female "enforcer" if she'll take care of his troublesome tenants. The only problem is she ends up murdering a tenant and the landlord himself.
A self-taught serial killer crisscrosses the country at random, murdering victims with tools he calls “kill kits.” Law enforcement is clueless to the madman’s actions until he breaks his own rule and targets a victim close to home.
A homicide investigation ensues after a surgeon's wife goes missing, and remains unsolved after 15 years.
When a banker's soon-to-be ex-wife dies, it is passed off as an accidental fall, but after months of investigation it becomes clear that she was murdered.
A street preacher and his teenage protégé run an Internet scam to rob unsuspecting men, steal their identities, then dump their dead bodies in the woods. The scheme works multiple times until one of the marks escapes.
A criminal terrorizes central Florida, robbing middle aged men, executing them and disposing of their dead bodies. The homicides continue for two years until a bloody handprint leads to the serial killer who happens to be a woman.
A mentally unstable man goes on a two-hour shooting spree, killing one man and wounding two others. Cops have no suspects, until the shooter resurfaces to rob a tanning salon and ends up face-to-face with a iron-willed customer.
A gunman attempts to take out an entire family one by one as they enter their house. It takes law enforcement nearly two years to crack the code behind the murders only to find out they were masterminded by someone too close for comfort.
The murder of a husband and his pregnant wife leaving a child birthing class leaves police thinking it was a random shooting until they find the real perpetrator weeks later.
After three members of an affluent family are mowed down inside their home, law enforcement locks in on a primary person of interest.
When a woman is gunned down in the parking lot of her therapist's office building, it looks like a random act of violence. But security footage and eyewitnesses quickly reveal that the murder is part of a larger scheme.
Law enforcement discovers the man who had been killing prostitutes in upstate New York for two years was living amongst the dead bodies of his victims that were stashed in his home.
The search a local business woman who vanished quickly morphs into a homicide investigation after police discover microscopic evidence inside the woman's home and car. But with no body or eyewitnesses, can law enforcement bring the killer to justice?
A merciless killer terrorizes South Los Angeles during the 1980s then appears to go dormant for 14 years only to resurface in the most hideous way possible. But through technological advances law enforcement is able to bring the madman to justice.
A woman's clairvoyant dream leads cops to the body of a dead woman hidden in the bushes on a pristine beach. As investigators peel back the layers, they soon find out the victim had been marked for death by someone she used to love and trust.
A serial killer crisscrosses California, leaving a trail of dead bodies in random locations. Law enforcement is nowhere near catching the dangerous sociopath, until he shows up at a Sheriff's Department with a victim's body part in his jacket.
A serial predator targets men at gay bars, leaving a trail of dead bodies along the southeastern United States.
The disappearance of a wealthy retiree in South Florida quickly turns from a missing person's case to a full blown homicide investigation focused around an unexpected perpetrator and her convoluted plan to get away with murder.
The murder of a man inside his suburban Los Angeles home sets off a chain reaction of murder, conspiracy and furious cover-ups, which ultimately point back to a mastermind who's in it for the money.
Law enforcement investigates a series of unsolved murders in the state of Colorado over the course of a year, only to realize all the seemingly isolated incidents all point back to a single FBI informant.
Cops investigate the apparent carjacking of a husband and wife in East Los Angeles, California only to discover that the ambush was a ruse, carried out by cousins, to kill the husband for insurance money.
A triple homicide in small town Maine rocks a community and destroys a family. It doesn't take police long to piece together the elements of the crime, and its ruthless cover-up, which point back to a perpetrator close to home.
A disgruntled man snaps and goes on killing spree, terrorizing the entire borough of Brooklyn, New York. Cops track the killer's trail of victims for more than 24 hours before they finally hunt him down across the city.
A central California community is rocked when a pregnant wife vanishes without a trace on Christmas Eve. After months of tireless investigation, cops make two grisly discoveries that confirm the expectant mom had been targeted for murder.
A bloodbath inside a Beverly Hills mansion sparks a high publicized investigation; after months working the case, law enforcement uncovers the secrets of a family so deep in turmoil that a cold-blooded murder plot was hatched to bring it down.
The discovery of a burned body on the side of the road in suburban Dallas kick starts a furious race to find a killer. With surveillance footage and a string of eyewitnesses, it takes local police less than 72 hours to identify the perpetrator.
A mother disappears, leaving behind three kids and a husband she planned to divorce. Law enforcement determines she's been the victim of a homicide but it takes them nearly two decades to unravel the mystery, and bring her killer to justice.
A homicide at the intersection of a teenage daughter and her boyfriend who can't get out from underneath a mother's overbearing eye. Cops uncover the shocking truth behind a premeditated murder plot.
The random murder of a woman in Central Montana sends law enforcement on the hunt for a killer; using a network of informants and good old fashioned methods the authorities track down the mentally unstable man behind the motiveless crime.
When a Southern California high school teacher suddenly dies, it appears his death was due to natural causes. But once law enforcement starts looking into his widow, they uncover her treacherous past and her preference for using poison to kill.
A heartbroken millionaire marries a much younger woman, ending with a shotgun blast to the stomach and a lethal dose of poison.
When a chef's wife goes missing from Southern California, it initially appears she may have left voluntarily, yet, after months of investigation, detectives uncover she was the victim of a ruthless homicide and an even more savage cover up.
A vicious custody battle ends when one of the parents vanishes without a trace. Law enforcement investigates the usual suspects only to uncover a seemingly premeditated murder and a sickening attempt to cover it up.
A controversial family of atheists walks away from their life's work without warning. When law enforcement stops investigating the disappearances, an intrepid journalist picks up the torch and hunts down a mastermind hell-bent on revenge.
Cops in Fort Worth, Texas investigate a brutal killing at a construction site. After months of interviews, extensive forensic analysis, and process of elimination, homicide detectives track down a suspect who they've been eyeing from the beginning.
A deranged man, with an unforgettable nickname, terrorizes New York City in the late 1970s, leaving a trail of dead and wounded in his wake. This killer operates with impunity for nearly 13 months until a parking ticket lead to his capture.
Police in Minnesota investigate the murder of a woman whose dead body was dumped. After years of investigation, and with the help of some unlikely informants, they narrow down the suspect pool to a perpetrator who was overlooked at the outset.
A husband and wife are savagely attacked in their upstate New York home. When the wife survives, but loses her memory of the attack, police must rely on the evidence to see if her pre-amnesia identification of the killer proves true.
A serial killer uses Louisiana's capital city as his private hunting ground, leaving a trail of dead women over a three-year span; cops struggle to stop him, until he leaves a survivor who picks him out of lineup and brings him to justice.
A soccer mom moonlighting as an escort disappears from Western Colorado, and it takes homicide detectives nearly seven years to unravel what proves to be a cold-blooded murder and a horrific cover up.
A recent widower is brutally murdered inside his North Dakota home; law enforcement quickly uncover evidence that reveals the homicide is part of a desperate plan from a person almost too close for suspicion.
When women in a working class Rhode Island town begin mysteriously disappearing, cops investigate and discover the dark obsession of a serial killer nobody suspected.
A damaged man turns Cleveland, Ohio into a hunting ground as part of a twisted plan to exact revenge on the women who hurt him.
A serial predator terrorizes Southeastern Louisiana, strangling men to death and disposing of their bodies like trash for nearly a decade until a potential victim escapes his clutches, and then leads police right to the killer's doorstep.
Police follow the trail of a young Southern California woman who vanishes without a trace for years until a random encounter turns them onto a chilling discovery and an even colder criminal.
The discovery of a Jane Doe underneath a New Jersey bridge kick starts an intensive investigation to figure out who she is and how she died.
The murder of a respected college professor sends shockwaves through suburban Richmond, Virginia; cops investigate the homicide nonstop until evidence reveals a cold-blooded killer's premeditated plot.
A church-going mother with no known enemies suddenly disappears from Northeastern Texas; as cops investigate, they uncover a serial predator from the shadows and rush to stop him before he kills again.