On a special Halloween edition of After Hours AM/The Criminal Code — True Crime Wednesdays 9-11pE with hosts Joel Sturgis, Eric Olsen, and secret weapon, forensic psychologist Dr. Clarissa Cole — Dr. Cole leads us on a dive into the psychology of cinematic serial killers Michael Myers and John “Jigsaw” Kramer at 9pE; at 10pE we look into the bizarre necrophilia case of Carl Tanzler, aka Count Carl Von Cosel.
Horror Icon Michael Myers – Halloween Film Series
A young white male named Michael was born into a comfortable middle-class family on October 19th, 1957 to Ron and Edith. He had one older sister, Judith (11 years his senior) and eventually one younger sister named Laurie. His upbringing was supposedly very quiet and normal in the suburban town of Haddonfield, Illinois.
However, by Michael’s 6th birthday, it was obvious that he was having some adjustment problems. From around April of that year (1963), the young Michael had stopped communicating verbally (selective mutism). This worried his parents and his teachers, but they hadn’t yet referred him for psychological treatment, preferring to think of it as “a phase.”
Then, on the evening of October 31st (Halloween), after participating in his school’s costume contest, Michael went out trick-or-treating with his friends. This proceeded without incident until Michael came to his own house to receive candy from his older sister, who was handing out goodies at the door. Upon seeing that Judith was not alone – as she was intended to be while babysitting their younger sister, Laurie – Michael experienced a very strong negative reaction. He was infuriated that Judith was spending time with her boyfriend and ignoring the needs of their sister, so shortly after Judith’s boyfriend vacated the residence, Michael went to the kitchen and retrieved a large kitchen knife….
Why would he do such a thing? Tune in to the show to find out!
Horror Icon John “Jigsaw” Kramer – Saw Film Series
By all accounts, John Kramer’s childhood was uneventful. He experienced a relatively stable and normative upbringing and there was no abuse or trauma to speak of. As an adult, John became a successful civil engineer and married “the love of [his] life,” Jill Tuck. As recounted by John, he and Jill had a happy marriage, and both were employed outside the home. For her part, Mrs. Tuck-Kramer ran a recovery clinic for drug/alcohol addicts with the motto “Cherish Your Life,” as a philosophy. In time, Jill became pregnant with the couples’ child.
However, during her pregnancy, the reckless actions of one of her patients caused Mrs. Tuck-Kramer to miscarry. This caused significant discord in the marriage, as John had difficulty forgiving and letting go. This led to the couples’ divorce and John’s spiral downward into depression.
John stated that, despite his worsening mood, he tried to ‘return to normal,’ but was soon put off his quest by a surprise diagnosis during a routine medical exam. At the appointment, he was informed that he had an aggressive form of colon cancer and a brain tumor – and, likely, not long to live. This sent John deeper into depression and he attempted suicide shortly thereafter by driving his vehicle off a cliff.
After surviving the attempt, John stated that he could “see more clearly,” and he went about dedicating the rest of his time on earth toward a singular goal: “Healing those who take life for granted…”
That’s one way to look at it.
The bizarre true life story of Carl Tanzler, aka Count Carl Von Cosel, validates the saying that truth is stranger than fiction. This a story that begins with an early vision that would lead to a number of highly disturbing and unnatural behaviors with the corpse of a young Cuban-American woman, Elena “Helen” Milagro de Hoyos. Although his twisted secrets surfaced, he always maintained that all he ever expressed was his deep love and affection for a woman that he was certain he could eventually ‘rejuvenate.’ More than 20 years after the death of Elena, Carl’s pathological obsession still burned brightly when he went to the grave in 1952.