Segments in this Video

Clinical Career Path (09:08)


Psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis starts a practice with Clinical Psychologist Catherine Yeager at the Bellevue Hospital Forensic Wards, seeing homicidal children. They find disturbed youth often sustain brain injuries and, coupled with predisposition to psychosis and early, ongoing abuse, could become dangerous.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (07:18)

Lewis evaluated Marie Moore, finding that when Moore tortured and killed a 13-year-old girl, she disassociated as Billy. Moore endured sexual abuse during childhood. Tormented children create violent alternate personalities as a defense mechanism.

Alternate Personalities (04:32)

Disassociation is a continuum. Lewis runs a clinic for children with Dissociative Identity Disorder and finds that the condition begins early in life. Lewis reflects on evaluating Nancy.

Murderer Arthur Shawcross (10:05)

Shawcross's MRIs show brain damage that impact self-control. While Shawcross is under hypnosis, he experiences dissociative states, hearing his mother, who abused him.

Disproving Palpability (09:08)

Lewis describes her experience as a court expert at Shawcross’s trial; prosecutors concentrated on aggressive traits rather than brain damage. Forensic Psychologist Park Dietz accused Lewis of leading the killer under hypnosis. Shawcross was found guilty.

Defining Crazy (03:15)

Modern law rejects the idea of madness being its own punishment, ignoring the genetics of brain disorders. Lewis argues that to be found competent for execution, one must understand their crimes and punishment.

Violence and Multiple Personality Disorder (10:12)

Lewis reflects on condemning individuals like Max who was tortured by his mother during childhood. Max's intelligence and insight aid their conversations. When asked to write a letter stating he was no longer dangerous, Lewis refused.

Lewis' Life Trajectory (03:50)

Lewis visits her husband’s grave; they met at Yale Medical School and married quickly. Her career path changed after studying homicidal children and she is now cited in Supreme Court decisions.

Murderer Johnny Frank Garrett (09:51)

Garret is diagnosed as schizophrenic with brain damage and a history of seizures; he killed a nun and was sentenced to death.; Lewis states he is the sickest of all death row inmates. A clemency board votes to carry out his execution.

Culture of Punishment (04:27)

Until 1976, juries were encouraged to have compassion during sentencing and consider aggravating and mitigating circumstances; prisons had rehabilitative models. More recently, politicians push capitol punishment despite evidence that executions do not deter homicides.

Murderer David Wilson (06:31)

Lewis studies Wilson, diagnosing him with dissociative personality. During a switch, one entity describes the sexual and physical abuse Wilson endured as a child. Lewis testifies at his appeal, getting his death penalty revoked.

Killing Killers (06:58)

During her search for a true sociopath, Lewis interviews executioner Sam Jones. She finds he has no empathy for any he put to death. Lewis discovers his violent past and coping mechanisms.

Murder Ted Bundy (11:25)

Bundy mutilated and killed at least 30 women. He perpetuated the perception that he had a normal childhood and was simply evil. After their last interview where Bundy describes sexual encounters with his sister, Lewis reevaluates her previous conclusions, finding him incompetent to face execution.

Bundy's Violent Upbringing (11:56)

Special Agent Bill Hagmaier and Lewis discuss how Bundy refused to speak negatively about his family. After his execution, they discover Bundy was abused and rejected during childhood. After studying his writings, Lewis believes he had multiple personality disorder.

Empathizing with Killers (04:41)

Lewis believes Bundy should have been studied, not executed. She laments the reinstatement of the federal death penalty, feeling it targets the most mentally ill citizens. She argues that murderers are made, not born.

Credits: Crazy, Not Insane (01:07)

Credits: Crazy, Not Insane

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Crazy, Not Insane

3-Year Streaming Price: $249.95



A provocative look at the minds of serial killers through the lens of renowned psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis, who has dedicated her career to the study of murderers and seeking answers to the question of why we kill. Directed and produced by acclaimed filmmaker Alex Gibney (Agents of Chaos, The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley), this provocative documentary explores the lifelong attempts of Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis – an esteemed psychiatrist who has studied several of the most notorious serial killers, including Ted Bundy, Arthur Shawcross, and Joel Rifkin – to look beyond the grisly details of homicides and into the hearts and minds of the killers themselves. Using an eclectic mix of cinema verité, videotapes of psychiatric evaluations, hand-drawn animation, and home movies to uncover the complexities of the human mind, Crazy, Not Insane also exposes the legal system’s conflict with the world of medical science in defining grave mental illness and how Dr. Lewis’ insights and forensic skills helped change the laws and the approach of death penalty lawyers. With Emmy®- and Oscar®-winning actress Laura Dern (HBO’s Big Little Lies) providing Dr. Lewis’ literary voice, the film ultimately spotlights a woman of limitless curiosity willing to reach inside the deep, dark, and complex places of the brain that countless others before her have been otherwise unable.

Length: 119 minutes

Item#: BVL237628

Copyright date: ©2020

Closed Captioned

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