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Killing Eve true story: How realistic is Killing Eve? | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

Category: Entertainment,Gossip

Killing Eve has gained critical acclaim internationally since its initial release on BBC America in March and its subsequent UK premiere last month.

Telling the story of the unorthodox cat and mouse chase between a highly skilled female assassin and the M16 agent tasked with catching her, the series has been hailed for its use of humour thanks to the sardonic wit of screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Fleabag fame.

English actress Jodie Comer plays Russian assassin Villanelle in the series which is adapted from the Luke Jennings novels.

Comer has fascinated viewers for her portrayal of the multi-lingual, sadistic, psychopathic killer with a twisted sense of humour and complete lack of empathy.

So does the story of this female assassin who professionally murders for a living have any basis in reality?

How realistic is Killing Eve?

Express.co.uk spoke to a criminologist to find out.

Professor and Criminologist Dr Alberto Testa from the School of Law and Criminology at the University of West London explained that serial killers, even female serial killers have always existed.


“Even if the term serial killer is rather recent, the phenomenon is dating back in time: serial killers have always existed.

“One example of a woman serial killer is the Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who, at the beginning of the 16th century, was convicted of killing about 650 young women for the purpose of bathing in their blood.

“More recently and in the UK we have Joanna Dennehy, a 31-year-old English woman with two children, who killed three men and seriously injured two others.”

However, Dr Testa said that while there are less female serial killers than men, they tend to be more “astute” than their male counterparts.


“Their motivations and way of killing are diverse more complex; this makes their homicides more difficult to discover and they tend to be unpunished and unsuspected for longer.”

He added: “Their way of actions are more methodical, cold, calculated and well organised.”

When asked how realistic Villanelle’s methods of killing in the series are, Dr Testa said that the series is "dramatises reality" of course.

He added: "It is wrong to think that these are women who are eccentric or are seen as strange or bad by their social networks”.


“They tend to be ordinary women and mothers who apparently, they perform the jobs that make them practically beyond suspicion.

“The behaviour of these women tends (not always there are exceptions) to be the result of a history of traumatic experiences begun in the most tender age and continued over the years. It is around the trauma that is built the psyche of the future killer.”

Killing Eve is currently streaming on the BBC iPlayer

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