Woman who strangled her boyfriend to death ‘to see what it would feel like’ now claims that he ASKED her to kill him in Netflix documentary I Am A Killer
- Episode one features Lindsay Haugen, who is serving a 60 year sentence for ‘deliberate homicide’ at Montana State Women’s prison
- Lindsay, now, 36, was convicted of the murder of her boyfriend Robert Glenn Mast, 25, who she strangled to death inside a car at a Montana Walmart in 2015
- During police interrogation Lindsay admitted she had a warped fascination with feeling what it would be like to take a life
- But later on she would claim that it was a ‘mercy killing’ and that Robert asked her to do it so he could escape his crippling depression
- In her captivating interview, Lindsay sticks to this version of events in a moment branded one of the most shocking by producers
- I Am a Killer returns to Crime+Investigation on Tuesday October 22
A woman who strangled her boyfriend to death and said she had a warped fascination with seeing what it would feel like to kill has claimed in the new series of I Am A Killer that he had in fact asked her to kill him.
Lindsey Haugen, now 36, pleaded guilty to strangling her boyfriend of four weeks to death inside a car at a Montana Walmart in 2015.
But in series two of the Netflix hit the female killer who told cops during interrogation that she strangled her lover ‘to see what it would feel like’ now claims on camera that he was depressed and it was a mercy killing.
In an exclusive chat with MailOnline, the producers also reveal just what it entails to take viewers into America’s death row and maximum security prisons- while admitting they themselves are not immune to feeling empathy towards the killers.
Questions: During police interrogation Lindsay chillingly admitted she committed the crime due to a warped fascination with feeling what it would be like to take a life with her bare hands
‘Shocking’: Lindsay, now 36, (left) is serving a 60 year prison sentence for the 2015 murder of her boyfriend Robert Glenn Mast, 25, (right) who she strangled to death inside a car at a Montana Walmart
Episode one goes inside the mind of murderer Haugen, who is serving a 60 year sentence for ‘deliberate homicide’ at Montana State Women’s prison
Softly spoken, articulate and seemingly mild-mannered, her captivating interview is in stark contrast to series one’s debut killer James Robertson, who coldly admitted he took the life of a fellow prisoner just to get onto death row.
But her crime is no less gruesome.
Lindsay, now 36, was convicted for the 2015 murder of her boyfriend Robert Glenn Mast, 25, who she admitted strangling to death inside a car at a Montana Walmart.
She pleaded guilty to the deliberate homicide of Mast during her trial, where a court heard Lindsay put her arm around his neck to choke him before holding his mouth and nose shut for up to 20 minutes.
Yellowstone County District Judge Gregory Todd ordered Haugen to serve 60 years at Montana State Women’s Prison in a 2016 ruling.
During her trial, Haugen addressed the victim’s family, saying: ‘I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I did it. He was such a beautiful soul.’
During police interrogation Lindsay chillingly admitted she committed the crime due to a warped fascination with feeling what it would be like to take a life with her bare hands.
The police believed her crime was pre-meditated, with the lead investigator telling the programme she was jealous over Robby’s feelings towards an ex-girlfriend.
But later on she would claim that it was a ‘mercy killing’ and that Robby asked her to do it so he could escape his crippling depression.
In her episode, Lindsay, who had been with Robby for just four weeks when the crime was committed, sticks to this convincing version of events in a moment branded one of the most shocking by producers Danny Tipping and Ned Parker.
She said he had thoughts of suicide and had asked her to kill him on several occasions before she succumbed.
Though they are seasoned producers and death row experts, Danny admitted Lindsay’s U-turn after her initial harrowing explanation for the killing had taken them aback.
He said: ‘Lindsay is quite shocking – the moment where she admits to wanting to know what it feels like to kill someone with her bare hands, to hear someone actually say that was very unnerving.
‘I hadn’t seen that footage before I’d seen that interview where she presents a very different story very believably. It’s shocking and it’s not what you see in most true crime documentaries.’
The first episode of season two shows Lindsay go into detail about her upbringing, she was the victim of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and also took drugs.
In her adult life she spent time in the military as a gunner on Black Hawks in Kuwait.
Harrowing: But later on she would claim that it was a ‘mercy killing’ and that Robby asked her to do it so he could escape his crippling depression – with her version of events shocking producers
Ned said: ‘Lindsay’s background is different. There are drugs and spousal abuse. But she’s not an unsophisticated person, she’s bright and charismatic, very warm, very self-aware, quite disarming from that point of view, very composed.
‘It makes it even more shocking as we get into the story and her version of events. How she now views that story.’
Robby’s mother Dori Greeson and her husband Gene also feature in the programme. Unlike Robby’s biological father and the majority of his friends they believe Lindsay’s version of events.
Unbelievably, they have chosen to forgive her and share weekly phone calls and regular visits with their son’s killer.
They speak of Robby being a ‘free spirit’ with acute alcoholism and a history of depression.
In a marked difference from the first series, season two of IAAK will feature three women in total.
Unbelievable: Robby’s mother Dori Greeson and her husband Gene also feature in the programme. Unlike Robby’s biological father and the majority of his friends they believe Lindsay’s version of events
The two other female killers in series two are Linda Couch – who shot and killed her husband in 1984 and Cavona Flanoy who shot a 19-year-old student in 2010- which marks a concerted effort by the team to feature female prisoners on the show.
Danny said: ‘We’d always wanted to include more stories about women, there’s a much smaller proportion of women convicted of capital murder and an even smaller number on death row.’
Musing on the mass appeal of the show, the producers say the ever evolving story present throughout the interviews captures the viewer’s interest
Danny said: ‘You go in asking questions and by the end of it, you have more questions.’
‘We want the audience to ask those questions as well, ultimately we’re asking more questions than we’re answering and people need to make up their own minds.
Heartbreak: Unbelievably, they have chosen to forgive her and share weekly phone calls and regular visits with their son’s killer
‘We all go on a journey, it’s a team effort so ultimately there are positive thoughts on people, there are people who are less positive towards the people we interview.’
Recounting another standout moment from the new series, the producers said they struggled to take in the distressing details of convicted killer Joseph Murphy’s childhood – in which he could not remember which of his brothers had been sold to a brothel by their father.
He said: ‘He had recounted to us a story about how his father who was an alcoholic had traded him for a bottle of moonshine when he was six years old
‘This was horrible to hear and we struggled listening to it, to quite comprehend this terrible thing he was talking about
‘We met with his brother who said ‘no that’s not true, it was our other brother who our dad sold to a whorehouse.’
Two stories: The producers said: ‘Lindsay is quite shocking – the moment where she admits to wanting to know what it feels like to kill someone with her bare hands, to hear someone actually say that was very unnerving’
‘It was a moment of shock, my individual biggest shock because it was said so matter-of-fact, he’s not saying it’s not true, he’s saying it happened to a different brother. That was a moment when I stopped and recomposed.
‘The abuse was so commonplace, possible that this man was getting confused as it still happened but to someone else in his family.
‘Getting a sense of how matter-of-fact the various forms of abuse they had to endure. so much a part of their everyday lives they were getting confused about who and when it happened.
Killer: Charles Armentrout, who murdered his own grandmother, finally came clean about his crime 17 years into his sentence
Another haunting upcoming case is that of Charles Armentrout, who is serving a life sentence in Missouri for the brutal slaying of his own grandmother in 1995.
For the first 17 years of his sentence he maintained that his friend was reponsible for the murder before owning up to the murder.
When he was released from prison in August 1994 after serving time for armed robbery, he was taken in by his grandmother Inez Notter, 81.
He began ‘scamming her’ for money and taking drugs, before escalating to forging her signature on checks.
When she was alerted to the crime after he attempted to cash another forged check, Inez told the police she did not want to prosecute – and was afraid that Armentrout would kill her if she stopped him taking money from her account.
On March 18, 1995, Armentrout and his friend Rick Lacy went to his grandmother’s house to obtain money for drugs and beat her to death with a souvenir baseball bat.
Her body was then stuffed into a trunk in her basement. In the immediate aftermath of the murder Armentrout also took money from his grandmother’s home to buy drugs, cleaned up the crime scene and attempted to cash yet more forged checks.
Armentrout claimed Lacy beat his grandmother while he put a chair and nightstand on her to hold her down.
In 1998 he was sentenced to death before this was reduced to life in prison.
Ned said: ‘He put the blame on a friend of his. He at some point had a change of heart and then admitted full responsibility and he said over those 17 years he believed it himself.
‘He told himself the same story he told the prosecutor, to the point where he believed it himself
‘His final line ‘if there is any way to move on, you have to own it, and own your actions’, which is one of the most powerful moments in the series.
‘He does not expect anything out of it at all. I am very fond of that moment.’
I Am A Killer marks the culmination of years of hard research and communication with the prisoners, to bring the final 10 stories to TV screens.
Behind bars: Leo Little, who kidnapped and killed before he was 18, says he would like to reconcile with the people he has hurt the most
The team behind the hit show will write to thousands of prisoners to get to the final 10 for the series, often corresponding with them for years.
Discussing their first contact with the prisoners, Ned says: ‘When we contact them,, we know the bare bones of the story but this is the first time we speak to them.
‘The letters range from brilliantly written and articulate, to barely legible half thoughts,’
‘James Robertson’s handwriting was beautiful and dainty, studious like a 12 year old girl with lovely circles , not how you’d imagine at all.
‘He has had a lot of time to practice.’
In a field saturated by death row documentaries, the team behind I Am A Killer have marked out their own place.
Remorseful: Leo says he often thinks about reconciliation with the family of the man he murdered, Christopher Chavez
The producers, backed by a dedicated crew and research team, endeavour to interview killers who are not well known
But pressure on them is tight – they usually have just one hour to conduct an interview, followed by a second interview which usually takes place three of four months later.
Danny said: ‘The pressure is on, we only get this one chance to ask what we need to ask.’
Giving an insight into the filming process, Ned said: ‘When we start filming the interview, there is one person asking questions, and the rest of the crew take different positions.
‘We have found the person who maintains eye contact with the individual at all times is feeling much more empathetic towards them than the others are.’
Admitting that the crew have all had to ‘check themselves at times’ when dealing with affable criminals, they said: ‘ Some are charismatic, likable characters, you do have to remind yourself of what they’ve done
‘They are just human beings. we all get an idea of what a killer would look like and what makes somebody different. after a short time you realise you are just talking to a person. It’s easy to forget.
Partner in crime: Little’s friend Jose Zavala was also convicted in the murder of an innocent 22-year-old man
‘There are moments when I’m starting to think I know what this character is all about and it turns out I really didn’t.’
The producers admitted that they have at times empathised with the killers they interview when they have heard their backgrounds.
Danny said: ‘Yes, (sympathising) or empathising or reaching a level of understanding is expected.
‘When we review the cuts in the editing room, that’s the conversation we’re having ‘do I believe them?’ and what we’re trying to do is establish an even version of events.
‘The background, the events which led them to the point where they do commit murder and everyone’s reactions after. It gives you a interesting perspective.
‘There are some characters where I have been much more sympathetic come the end of the film to the plight of the killer than I have expected to, not that that in any way excuses their actions.
‘All 20 of them fully admit their crime but are really discussing their background, motivations and feelings about it afterwards so nobody is trying to clear themselves.’
Discussing the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the series, the pair said: ‘When we started, we hadn’t imagined that to be the case. We all knew we were making a series we were very proud of and it would find an audience
‘The stories are told with unflinching honesty and with quite a direct approach and we had hoped a global audience would come to it. It’s fair to say we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the responses we’ve had.
‘You never stop being surprised or wrong footed by these harrowing accounts. There’s an openness and the way these people have shared their stories, sometimes for the first time, it can take you aback.
‘I’m proud we’ve delivered again on interesting and challenging films, we have been working in this field for 20 years and the response has been quite unlike anything we have ever done.
‘These are not campaigning or condemning films, what’s surprising is the level of frankness that these people have when they speak to us, that’s surprising, they often don’t have anything to lose. They are always held to account.’
I Am a Killer returns to Crime+Investigation on Tuesday October 22.
Acclaimed: Series one’s debut killer James Robertson, coldly admitted he took the life of a fellow prisoner just to get onto death row – in a moment which sent shockwaves around the world
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