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13 Of The Best Crimes Shows that Help Us Understand the Criminal Mind

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Television and movies could be considered merely ways of entertaining ourselves, but to consider them nothing more than entertainment is foolish, as they do have lessons to impart. Regarding so-called “crime shows”, they can teach us a lot about the human brain works and what is going on in the head of law breakers who seek to do harm to others via crimes like murder. Here are 13 shows that could help you understand the worst of what society has to offer.

1. Without a Trace

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Originally airing from 2002 to 2009, CBS television program Without a Trace is about a Missing Person’s Unit based in New York City, New York. Individual episodes focused on the efforts of the team—which was part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (or FBI)—to locate a missing person before it was too late; it also examined the personal the lives of the team members and the insight provided by their personal lives.

While the show was a work of fiction, many of the cases on Without a Trace were based on real-life cases, and the show would frequently air information about real cases at the end of an episode. As a result, at least two missing people—a brother and sister who had been kidnapped—were located.

It should be mentioned that locating a missing person within a few days of him or her going missing is of vital importance; it becomes exponentially more difficult to locate a person after about 72 hours or so.

2. America’s Most Wanted

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America’s Most Wanted aired from 1988 to 2011 on FOX and then again in 2013 on cable. It is notable for several reasons. For one, at times it featured pretty ghastly reenactments; more interesting, however, is the fact that the show’s host, John Walsh, is an anti-crime activist as a result of the murder of his son in 1981. The son, Adam, was abducted from a department store in Hollywood, Florida. He was only six years of age. The boy’s head, which had been severed from his body, was found two weeks after the abduction.

America’s Most Wanted offered insight into the minds of killers, and also did a lot of good for the country; the show had a toll-free number that viewers could call if they had tips about the crimes described on the show. In fact, four days after the program was first broadcast in 1988, a killer was captured as a result of information disseminated via the program.

After the events of September 11, 2001, the show also focused on criminals involved in terrorism. One show featured men working for al-Qaeda.

3. Criminal Justice

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Criminal Justice is a British Broadcasting Company television program that began in 2008 and aired its last episode in October of 2009. The first season was about a young man accused of murder after drinking too much and taking ecstasy one night, and the second was about an abused woman who stabbed her husband. While both seasons were well received and therefore worthy of a watch, the first season—in particular—was critically acclaimed. It won Best Drama Serial in the British Academy Television Awards. The actor who played the young man accused of murder won the Best Actor award.
In addition to being award winning, the show was notable for the fact it was told from the point of view of the main character.

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Written by Kevin Barrett

Kevin Barrett is an award-winning reporter currently residing in one of the many suburbs of Philadelphia. In addition to working in journalism, he was worked in higher education and logistics. He is single, but does have a distracting little dog who keeps him from achieving maximum productivity.

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