The Fall Follows the Life of the Belfast Strangler

The Fall is really one of my favorite Netflix Originals. I did my forensic psychology presentation on the main character because he just had much to off of.


The series is a British-Irish series set in Ireland that follows the life of bereavement counselor, Paul Spector who lives a double life. Spector is seemingly a counselor, husband and father, but he is also a murderer known as the “Belfast Strangler.” As a child, Paul Spector witnessed his mother’s suicide and as a result, he was placed in foster care where he was sexually abused for years. Despite what he went through as a child he was able to maintain some sort of normalcy in his life specifically by having a family and a job. He seems to be socially competent and loving to towards his children, not necessarily his wife whom he acts distant and disconnected towards.


Secretly, Paul Spector is sadistic and obsessive when it comes to his victims who he stalks and kills by strangulation. Most of his victims are young, white woman with white collar jobs. He stalked one of his victims while out with his daughter.


He also had a notebook and video recordings where he keeps track of all of his victims and stores it in the crawlspace that is above his daughter’s bed.


The little bit of personal life that he did have outside of his family stemmed from his motivation to kill when he stalked his victims or was being manipulative like when he had an inappropriate relationship with his children’s babysitter, Katie Benedetto. Spector took advantage of Katie’s crush on him and used her to impede the police’s investigation on him.


Spector was eventually caught, but the authorities investigation didn’t go the way they expected it to. I feel like they maybe have underestimated Spector’s intelligence, childhood trauma and his ability to manipulate.

While in custody, Spector had to assist the investigators with the search for his ex-girlfriend who he held hostage in the woods before being caught. Paul Spector was shot by a former counseling client’s ex-husband who suspected that they were having an inappropriate relationship. After being shot and coming out of a short coma, Paul Spector claimed to have amnesia and no recollection of anything that occurred in the last ten years, which meant he could not remember any of the crimes he committed which consisted of him killing and harming multiple women including his ex-girlfriend, Rose Stagg, whom he held hostage for talking to the authorities about him. Moreover, Paul Spector had even attacked Detective Superintendent Gibson during an interrogation and afterwards started a riot, killed an inmate and then himself.


This series was so captivating because it followed the life of a serial by showing how intricate their thought processes are. Every move Paul Spector made was calculated. He made himself into a sadistic man who was robotic during the day in order to keep his behavior under wraps and unknown. His character was so mysterious because even when you thought you were beginning to know or understand him you were left in the dark again.

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