Jan 9, 2012

Why are bad guys bad?

When we talk about badness and human nature, we keep smacking into a persistent problem: how do you explain cruelty? James Shapiro, professor of English at Columbia University, zeroes in on the drama of this question with a maddening insight from Shakespeare, by way of the villainous Iago.

And that leaves us wondering, would a real-life bad guy give us the same answer? Reporter Aaron Scott helps us find out by introducing us to Jeff Jensen, who wrote a graphic novel about one of the most prolific serial killers in US history. Jeff’s father Tom Jensen spent 17 years as a lead detective searching for the man known as the Green River Killer. And when they finally caught him 2001, it was Tom’s job to get Garry Ridgway to divulge all the details of his crimes--including the question that had haunted Tom for decades: why?


Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case, Green River Killer: A True Detective Story

THE LAB sticker

Unlock member-only exclusives and support the show

Exclusive Podcast Extras
Entire Podcast Archive
Listen Ad-Free
Behind-the-Scenes Content
Video Extras
Original Music & Playlists