Atlanta Reporter Describes Anatomy of a Murder Story


Jane Hansen, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter, played a key role in bringing to justice Lynn Turner, who has been convicted of the poisoning murders of her husband and a boyfriend. The murders were cold cases until Hansen began making inquiries about them after getting a trip from a police source. Hansen says, “Whether it’s a sick fascination or one that was bred into me, I admit to an unusual interest in the criminal mind. Part of it is my belief that each of us is capable of doing terrible things, of crossing some invisible line. My favorite saying is, ‘There but for the grace of God …’

“I’m particularly fascinated by criminals who on the surface don’t seem like criminals. Sex offenders, for instance. I’ve interviewed them, written about them. As a class of criminals, they’re generally smarter than other criminals. The thing that always shocks people is how normal they often seem…Serial killers are not necessarily psychopaths; they may not even be sociopaths, although a killer’s behavior is certainly sociopathic. They’re often very smart. But something’s different. I just want to find out what it is. That’s what stirs my curiosity.”


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