'Invisible Monsters' Pulls Back the Lens on the Golden Age of Serial Killers (Exclusive)

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Invisible Monster: Serial Killers in America is the latest true-crime docuseries to examine the crimes and lives of BTK, Green River Killer, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy. Ahead of its premiere on Sunday, Aug. 15, ET has an exclusive preview from the first night of the A&E special recounting the heinous nature of BTK’s murders. 

While the stories of “The Five” have been told countless times -- for instance, BTK’s story was depicted in season 2 of Mindhunter --what sets this docuseries apart is how it pulls back the lens on what has become known as the “Golden Age of Serial Killing.”  

“This is the first time we’re seeing these particular five serial killers together in one narrative,” says Dr. Robert Schug, a neurocriminology and clinical psychologist specializing in the criminal mind, who is one of the experts featured in the series. 

In fact, Invisible Monsters shows how the 1970s and 1980s were a perfect storm of culture, media, law enforcement and technology that allowed these men to kill hundreds of people around the country. 

“They were all sort of operating at the same time in history, and that’s a piece that often gets lost,” Dr. Schug says, noting how, “in some respects, they even played off of each other during that critical time period.”

Invisible Monsters
A&E

What also links The Five is how they were essentially able to hide in plain sight. “These were ordinary looking folks who were able to go out into the community and perpetrate all of this violence,” Dr. Schug continues. 

But as the American public's attention surrounding these killers and their acts of violence grew, so did their lore and celebrity. “They were fetishized and glorified in a lot of ways,” Dr. Schug says, adding that nowadays, “the names of these five gentlemen have become cool names on t-shirts... And that’s unfortunate. They should not become our heroes.”


Invisible Monsters: Serial Killers in America, a three-night event, begins Sunday, Aug. 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.

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