Young Criminologist Bryanna Fox Helps Us Understand Killers' Minds in 'The Lesson Is Murder'

Jamie Lerner - Author

Mar. 23 2023, Published 12:52 p.m. ET

From shows like 20/20 and Dateline to podcasts and streaming docuseries, true crime has infiltrated the hearts and minds of people around the world. Plus, fictionalized series, such as Criminal Minds, make finding a killer and their “modus operandi” look almost easy. So criminologist, former FBI Special Agent, and associate professor Bryanna Fox is showing us how it’s really done on Hulu’s ABC News Studio series, The Lesson Is Murder.

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Throughout the series, Fox and her students dive into the minds of three convicted murderers: Will Davis, Robert Fratta, and Ivié DeMolina. “This idea for this show was inspired by my 2018 forensic psychology class at USF,” Fox said to USF News. “My students ended up breaking open that cold case, and spoiler alert, something similar happens with a case in the first episode of this docuseries!” Read on to learn more about criminologist Bryanna Fox.

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Bryanna Fox is a criminologist who teaches courses in forensic psychology and criminal profiling at the University of South Florida.

A researcher and practitioner in forensic psychology, Fox’s work in criminology has been essential and groundbreaking in the modern-day understanding of how killers work. After earning her Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Cambridge with her thesis, “The Future of Offender Profiling: Using an Evidence-Based Approach to Statistically Develop and Test a Profile of American Burglars,” she went on to work for the FBI.

While working as a research associate for the FBI, Fox began teaching at the University of South Florida (USF) and was promoted to associate professor in 2019. According to Fox’s USF bio, “Her research focuses on the identification of psychological and developmental risk factors for criminal behavior and prolific offending, experimental field research, and evidence-based policing and crime prevention strategies.”

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Throughout her experience, Fox has won several awards and mentions in law enforcement, and she’s published over 40 peer-reviewed articles in the criminology and justice fields. Her goal with The Lesson Is Murder is to give those of us who love analyzing these crimes at home a peek into what profiling is really like.

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“Criminology is not like what you see on Criminal Minds,” she said. “I wanted to do a show where I can show the actual process of how cases are solved: using research and science. I also want the viewers to learn scientific and research-based information from this show so they can identify red flags on their own and report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”

We don't yet know much about Fox's personal life, but we do know that she's dedicated to her work and her students. Through Fox’s fresh perspective, we’re sure to learn even more about true crime than we ever thought we could.

New episodes of The Lesson Is Murder are released Thursdays on Hulu.


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