Killer Jobs, New St. Charles-Based Podcast, Explores Serial Killers' Day Jobs


Chris Stanfield, host of Killer Jobs. - COURTESY OF CHRIS STANFIELD
  • Chris Stanfield, host of Killer Jobs.
Many, many books and podcasts take a look at the tawdry lives of serial killers. But Chris Stanfield's three-month-old podcast, Killer Jobs, has managed to find a unique angle to these twisted souls: It looks at their day jobs.

Killer Jobs, which launched earlier this summer and is now part of the Network, drops new episodes every Tuesday. In free, 30-minute segments, Stanfield has told the story of everyone from Joseph Mengele to Son of Sam. This week, he'll be examining someone with local ties: Tommy Lynn Sells, the "Coast to Coast Killer," who grew up in Missouri and is suspected to have killed at least 21 people.

Sells' day job? Carnival worker.

"It was a perfect cover," Stanfield says, allowing Sells to move around the country and, for years, confound the authorities.


Stanfield was raised in Effingham, Illinois, and after he moved to the St. Louis area to get his master's degree at Lindenwood University, never left. He now lives in St. Charles.

He says he's long been riveted by true tales of serial killers. "Everyone is kind of interested in them in general," he says. "It's like seeing a real-life monster." But it was only when he realized that their day jobs might be a good way in to telling their stories that he decided to launch his first podcast.

Much like violence was for his subjects, the podcast is strictly a hobby for Stanfield. By day, he's a neurophysiologist, a job that he says gives him the flexibility to pursue his passion. He spends anywhere from five to ten hours researching each killer, then puts together a narrative that uses the killer's day-to-day life to put his crimes in even higher relief.

As just one example, Stanfield offers up Jeffrey Dahmer, who worked at a chocolate factory and would store severed body parts in his locker on site. "People grew up with Willy Wonka, and they think of a chocolate factory as a fun, magical place," he says. "You learn tidbits like this, and it's just crazy."

For more on Killer Jobs, or to catch Tuesday's episode on Sells, check out the podcast on iTunes or its website.

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