Chris Hansen, Back with an ‘Instinct’

ChrisHansenThat voice! It still rings from that old entrapment entertainment, “To Catch a Predator.”

And now, Chris Hansen is back is back on TV in the new true crime cable series “Killer Instinct with Chris Hansen” (Investigation Discovery, 10 p.m.).

“We take a look at crimes that didn’t get a lot of attention at the time for many reasons, or they’re crimes where people haven’t spoken publicly before,” he explained at the TV Critics Association summer press tour.

“So when I do these, we go out into the field. We really track down the facts of the case. We do the kind of interviews that I like to do where we get inside people’s minds. We take the viewer on a journey of discovery,” he says.

In tonight’s first episode,  “Nightmare on Imperial Avenue,” Hansen says “it’s a case in Cleveland where a guy named Anthony Sowell kidnapped, raped, and killed 11 women, buried them on his property.”

He tracked down one woman who escaped after her kidnap and torture, Vanessa Gay, who tells her harrowing story.

“As she’s going to the bathroom before he lets her go, she sees a headless corpse of a woman wrapped in plastic,” Hansen said. And she takes me through this in a most compelling, emotional way.

“In 30-some years of doing this, it is the most compelling victim interview that I’ve ever done. And each episode is just like that.”

In addition to Gay, he talks to residents who knew Sowell, including the neighbor who tipped off police to a bad smell coming from his house.

Family members of three victims, the prosecuting attorney (whose name is Pinkey Carr), the forensic pathologist and prosecution law clerk are also interviewed, as is Sowell’s half-brother Allan Sowell.

“People often ask me, ‘Why do these people even sit down and talk to you?’” Hansen said. “And it’s because I give them respect, and I get inside their heads and understand the way they think. And if you can understand the way someone like this thinks, you can better protect people.”


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