But the worst part was the plot development, when Jane goes to visit a blind woman (Alicia Witt) at her home, and learns that she knows Red John, though of course she’s never seen him. (Another cheap gag.) And what do we learn about this mysterious killer, this freak who haunted the whole first season and doubtless will do so in the second?

He loves classical music.


Not all that long ago on another cops show, Criminal Minds, a master serial killer played by Keith Carradine, who thwarts the dedicated FBI profilers, is described as a lover of Beethoven.

What is the deal? Why is elite criminality associated with a love of classical music? Surely it’s just more lazy scriptwriting, in which writers can easily telegraph to the audience that this is a criminal to be reckoned with, simply by summoning up the idea that he listens to string quartets.

In a way, I suppose it’s a complimentary stereotype: If you love classical, you must be a brainiac. That’s certainly not true; classical music is just music — of a different genre than others, but still music.

I read it here.

I saw the episode of The Mentalist that the blogger is writing about. I know what he’s talking about. And now I’m challenging readers:

Name movies and TV shows that have killers that love classical music.

Your prize? Well … um … admiration. Will that do it? But I’m thinking that there is probably a list of these killers who love classical music. And I think part of it is that the writers want to point out that the killer is highly intelligent. And of course highly intelligent people love classical music.

Or maybe I’m just fooling myself! 🙂

But … well wait a minute … I just read about a real life killer and, well it says: “He is said to love classical music, poetry and art. Friends and family described him as gentle, kind and highly intelligent.”

So there you go.

Somehow I’m not finding comfort in this.


  1. The baddie Hannibal Lecter (at least in the books) played harpsichord and the theremin (of all things). In Silence of the Lambs he murders someone while listening to opera, I think…

  2. Oopsie — looks like you might have an open-ended bold or strong HTML tag.

  3. Thanks for mentioning the open-ended bold … indeed, I had made an “oopsie”!

    I thought Lecter was a classical music guy. I couldn’t remember for sure, though. (I read Silence of the Lambs while playing Sweeney Todd one year. Not a good combo!)

  4. Oh — and in one of the books Lector actually gets so perturbed by one of the flautists in the Baltimore Orchestra, that he serves the poor guy (disguised as a fancy gourmet dish) to the Board in an event at his house.

    How does flautist taste I wonder? Light and airy?

    Just kidding…

  5. I can only say that I, personally, haven’t killed anyone in weeks, at least.

  6. Just never kill your oboe instructor, Tim. Pretty please?! 🙂

  7. the crooked DEA agent “Stan” (no relation) from “the Professional”: a murderous fan of Beethoven

    Who was the main character in “A Clockwork Orange” called? He prefered “a bit of the old Ludwig van” when preparing for his atrocities.

    In the recently remade “Get Smart”, the bad guy bent on world domination is an amateur violinist who is seen playing the Ode to Joy theme throughout the film.

    The list goes on. I suspect a preponderance of Beethoven fans cast as killers.

  8. I’ve not seen (read? is it a book or movie …?) The Professional … thanks for that info! I read A Clockwork Orange so long ago, but of course can’t help but remember the clips of Beethoven from the film. Haven’t seen Get Smart … perhaps I’m too dumb?! 😉

    What is it about Beethoven?

  9. RE: Clockwork Orange.

    What irony that after being “re-programmed’ Alec gets violently ill whenever he hears Beethoven!

  10. Was The Professional the movie with a young (around 12, I think) Natalie Portman playing a character who is taken in by a neighbor (who happens to be a hitman)? I remember a crooked law enforcement character talking about various composers in that one…

    Kinda violent, as I recall.

  11. Well, if it was a violent movie it was one I probably didn’t see … I’m not good with those. Scary movies are even harder for me. I’m wimpy that way.