VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
These disturbing interviews with criminals will send a chill down your spine. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we'll be looking at the most troubling interviews given by criminals either before or after their conviction. Our countdown of disturbing interviews with criminals includes Dennis Rader, Charles Manson, Issei Sagawa, and more!
Disturbing Interviews with Criminals
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be looking at the most troubling interviews given by criminals either before or after their conviction.
It’s always creepy watching a killer play innocent. In the early morning of April 20, 2012, an Australian man named Gerard Baden-Clay reported his wife Allison missing. A few days later, he appeared in this television interview with 9News. Baden-Clay fights back tears as he speaks with the reporter about his missing wife. It’s a decent performance with the crocodile tears, but a performance nonetheless. It wasn’t long after this interview was given that a canoeist found the body of Allison lying on the bank of a creek. Baden-Clay was questioned by police and later charged with his wife’s murder and the disposal of her remains. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
Two girls named Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman disappeared on the evening of August 4, 2002. They had left a family barbecue to buy some candy but never returned home, prompting a widespread search and much media attention. One interview was given with a man named Ian Huntley, who claimed to have seen the girls walking by the evening they disappeared. However, police weren’t buying his story and he was quietly made a suspect. The girls’ bodies were found on the afternoon of August 17 and Huntley was arrested for their deaths. It was later discovered that he had lured the girls inside of his house, where he ended their lives before dumping their bodies in an irrigation ditch.
The story of Issei Sagawa is both a difficult and controversial one. Sagawa was studying literature at the Sorbonne University in Paris when he befriended a classmate named Renée Hartevelt. In June of 1981, Sagawa invited Hartevelt to his apartment, where he tragically murdered her and committed unspeakable acts on her body. He was arrested while disposing of her remains, but only spent a brief period in a mental institution after being found unfit to stand trial. Later in life, Sagawa gave numerous interviews in which he spoke freely on his encounter with Hartevelt, including a prolonged piece with Vice titled “Interview with a Cannibal.” Needless to say, the contents - and the calm demeanor of Sagawa himself - are incredibly disturbing.
In this seemingly heartbreaking interview, we see a distraught mother desperately pleading for the safe return of her daughter. This is Kristi Abrahams, who can barely squeak out a single word about her missing child, Kiesha. Rather, she hides behind sunglasses and a tissue, periodically unleashing sounds of pain and grief. Unfortunately, Kiesha was already dead, and it was her mother, Kristi, who had taken her life. Later investigations proved that Kiesha had endured horrible treatment from Kristi and that she had died after getting kicked and hitting her head on a bed. Her body was then torched. Abrahams was eventually convicted of the crime and sentenced to at least sixteen years in prison.
There’s something incredibly eerie about watching a serial killer so calmly discuss their crimes, as if they were recalling an old childhood memory. This elderly man is Edward Edwards, a serial killer who at one time was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. After serving time in prison for robbing gas stations, Edwards killed at least five individuals, including his adult foster son. In this chilling interview, Edwards is clad in prison orange and recounts his crime spree with eerie precision and detachment. Following his arrest in 2009, one of his neighbors called Edwards “a real soft, pleasant guy.” Judging by this interview, we can see how easy it was to be fooled.
The Gladbeck Hostage Crisis
There are few criminal events as bizarre as the Gladbeck hostage crisis. On the morning of August 16, 1988, German men Hans-Jürgen Rösner and Dieter Degowski robbed a bank and took two employees hostage. They proceeded to hijack a public bus, with a total of 27 people onboard. Three individuals died in the ordeal, and the criminals were finally apprehended during an attempted escape in a getaway car. This hostage crisis became a live media circus, with reporters directly engaging with the abductors during the ordeal, providing them with warnings and directions. The media’s conduct was widely criticized afterwards, resulting in the enactment of a law which prevented future reporters from speaking to hostage takers.
You never truly know who you’re talking to. That man on the street could very well be a serial killer. Maybe one of the most infamous serial killers of all time. Dennis Rader is better known by his self-imposed nickname BTK, which stands for ‘bind, torture, kill,’ his signature method. Rader murdered ten people between 1974 and 1991, and would often taunt the police and media with threatening letters. Later in life, he found work as a compliance officer and gave an interview with a local Kansas station about animal attacks. Little did everyone know that they were speaking to a despicable criminal. It wasn’t until 2005 that Rader was apprehended and given ten life sentences.
John Wayne Gacy
And speaking of serial killers, it doesn’t get more notorious than John Wayne Gacy. Gacy’s name is synonymous with American crime, as he killed at least 33 males throughout the late ‘60s and ‘70s. In May of 1992, Gacy sat down with CBS reporter Walter Jacobson for a prolonged interview about his crimes. What resulted is one of the most infamous and confounding interviews ever given by an American criminal. Gacy continuously deflects blame and insists that he never killed anyone, despite having already admitted to doing so. His motives for lying remain unclear, but the interview depicts a conniving killer working hard to clear his name. It just goes to show how he got away with it for so long.
You know that feeling when your stomach drops and you realize that you’re in serious trouble? It is perfectly visualized in this interview with Stephen McDaniel. McDaniel killed his former classmate and neighbor, Lauren Giddings, and disposed of a body part in their apartment dumpster. He gave an interview with WGXA a few days later and pretended to be concerned about the missing Giddings. But when the reporter mentions that her discarded remains had been found, McDaniel completely shuts down. He may still be playing the concerned friend to some degree, but he’s also realizing that his perfect crime wasn’t so perfect after all. McDaniel was later nailed for her murder and is now serving life in prison.
There are few, if any, American criminals as mythical as Charles Manson. The infamous leader of the Manson Family spoke to “Today’s” Heidi Schulman in 1987 while inside San Quentin State Prison. It’s a fascinating interview, as Manson alternates between unhinged comic book villain and charming intellectual capable of swaying a legion of followers. The interview includes moments of pure terror, like when Manson threatens Schulman with violence. There are also times when he talks literal gibberish, and moments when he just laughs, relaxes on the table and jokes about his incompetence. We don’t know which “side” is the true Manson, and despite its intention, the interview only added to the mythical nature of his character.
Did any of these videos chill your blood? Let us know in the comments below!