Return Home

Murder on the Mind

Friday, January 13, 2012 - 11:30 AM

For our episode The Bad Show, I reported a piece about a psychologist who discovered that 91 percent of men and 84 percent of women have had at least one serious homicidal fantasy. And even though I believed him — he’s a respected scientist at a big university and his finding was based on a survey of 5,000 people — I kinda wondered: Really?

So one morning before work, I took a walk through Spanish Harlem, not far from my apartment, and started asking people: Have you ever seriously thought about killing someone? Don’t worry, I said, this is totally anonymous, nobody will know who you are. Obviously, some people were freaked out by the mic and ran away. Lots of people said no, some more convincingly than others. One woman scurried behind her husband, saying: “Don’t let me get talking into that mic. I might never stop. And I might get myself arrested.” A few people told me vague stories about fleeting thoughts. And one guy told me about how his brother was murdered, and how for weeks he hunted the guy — the cops got to the killer first.

And then there was Vinny, who started telling me about one murder fantasy, and then all of a sudden, he was telling me a second one. So here’s that tape. I think you’ll like the second story, which sounds like it’s straight out of a scene from The Wire.


Vinny's Murder Fantasies


More in:

Comments [5]

BEWendling from Rochester, MI

Astonishing that the main stories of this episode are entirely white-male-centered. No one even wonders whether men of color, let alone women, might behave differently than the exclusively white men reported on in this episode. Really, I had higher hopes for Radio Lab.

Oct. 25 2015 10:01 PM
John Truesdale from USA

Tsukoda spouting more apologia for the Hirohoto dictatorship which mass murdered Nanjing. That was the real crime, not US victory.

Oct. 24 2015 05:39 PM
Toyoko Tsukuda from Richland, WA

What about the US scientist developed atomic bomb. They all were well aware of the bomb to kill massive number of people. They never have been on trial for the crime. They have never been asked about their conscience nor publicly ashamed. If you are on the winner side, their thought and deed are not dark. Too bad that Radiolab didn't cover that.

Oct. 24 2015 01:58 PM
Mark Zagaeski from Lexington, MA

I just heard the segment on Fritz Haber, inventor of the process to create ammonia, (vital for food and bombs) and just have to tell you how affected I am by the story you present of this brilliant but amoral man.

The takeaway: Scientists MUST go about their work not only with scientific skepticism, but with a healthy sense of doubt that what they are doing is right for society and humanity. Very powerful....

Jun. 02 2012 03:54 PM
B. J. Price

Can't help wondering if his brother killed the man.

Jan. 14 2012 04:22 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Supported by