I Am a Killer is back on Netflix and Crime+Investigation UK. The season 2 premiere looks at Lindsay Haugen, a killer forgiven by the victim’s parents.
Season 1 of I Am a Killer supplied us with some interesting cases. However, let’s face it, it lacked that certain female touch. It may have fed the stereotype that, because women are statistically less likely to murder, we have no reason to ever fear women. Well, the I Am a Killer season 2 premiere quickly complicates that impression by focusing on Lindsay Haugen. Haugen is in prison for the 2015 murder of Robby Mast, and the circumstances are somewhat open to interpretation (as is most often the case). The episode begins with Haugen admitting she made the choice to take Robby’s life.
Though she’s incarcerated in Billings, Montana, Lindsay Haugen grew up in Portland, Oregon. She was originally a Christian type but became “rebellious” around 15, running away from home and living with a rough crowd. In so many words she depicts marijuana as a gateway drug that led her to use meth and heroin. She says she was addicted by the age of 16 but quit when she became pregnant at 17. She went back to her family in 2003 and joined the National Guard.
She tells I Am a Killer that, sometime in 2013, her boyfriend (who was not Robby) became jealous and violent on a regular basis, hitting her, broke her hand, raping and choking her frequently. He was eventually jailed and she left the National Guard. She started drinking all day and met Robby Mast at a house party in 2015. Robby was apparently a hitchhiking, train-hopping traveler, and Lindsay says he was suicidal.
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Before Lindsay strangled him in a Walmart parking lot, Lindsay says he frequently expressed a desire to die. She says he often pretended to shoot himself in the head with his fingers. Then, one fateful day, she says she put her arms around his neck and carried out his alleged wish. She claims that, by the time she attempted CPR, a cop knocked on her window and busted her.
I Am a Killer also interviews Robby’s mom, Dori Greeson, and his stepfather, Gene, who both live in Clearwater, Florida. Their forgiving attitude toward Lindsay clashes with Detective Steve Hallam.
Hallam is quick to note how rare it is for someone to ask others to kill them. I Am a Killer shows some of the interrogation footage of Lindsay Haugen — some of which makes her look less like a mercy killer and more of a murderer. Hallam suggests her story doesn’t quite add up. For example, if Robby was unconscious, he couldn’t have grabbed her hand to put it back over his mouth. Most damning of all, however, is when (in interrogation footage) she flat out says, “I kind of just wanted to kill somebody with my bare hands, honestly.”
She also states that he (Hallam) should be scared of her, painting the impression that she wanted to do to Robby what her ex did to her. This is why Hallam calls her a “deliberate homicidal killer.” To be fair, it’s theoretically possible to ask someone to assist in a suicide, especially if someone’s simply too squeamish to commit the deed his/her self. However, these additional revelations from Haugen weaken that case substantially. Another interesting point, of course, is that she by no means had to incriminate herself in the interview/interrogation. She may have even still been imprisoned had she remained quieter, but it would have been better for her credibility had she not come off almost boastful.
Back in Clearwater, Dory and Gene say they have been ministering in prisons for 14 years, which indicates their strong compassion. In fact, they talk to Lindsay in this very episode. She even sings for them! Dori also invites her to call them anytime. While not everyone would understand it, they say that forgiving Lindsay has brought them joy. They’re not the only people to have emotionally forgiven murderers. In fact, one of the most amazing, tear-jerking moments one can find online is when Robert Rule forgave Gary Ridgeway — one of America’s worst serial killers — during Ridgeway’s trial. How forgiving are Dory and Gene? Gene says he’d have forgiven her even if there was premeditation.
I Am a Killer gives us some additional food for thought. Lindsay knew Robby for less than a month before killing him, which obviously means she hadn’t known him her entire life. Also, an unknown woman in a police interview says that Robby often talked about his ex, Kate, which she claims annoyed Lindsay and made her jealous. It’s even theorized that, on the trip during which Robby died, he may have been using Lindsay as a ride to meet up with Kate. Near the end of the episode, Lindsay herself even admits to being jealous of Kate (which, like so many other things, she didn’t have to say).
We see her listen to the interrogation, including the line about killing someone with her bare hands. She says she’s shocked and embarrassed by her “flippant” attitude but insists she just told the officer what he wanted to hear as he treated her like a “liar.” It is, of course, debatable what Hallam treated her like, as that involves people’s mental states and interpretations. However, some of her incriminating words may seem unprovoked, whether there was premeditation to Robby’s death or not. Despite a 60 year sentence, Lindsay could legally be freed in 2030 for her positive relationship with Robby’s parents.
What are your thoughts on this episode of I Am a Killer? Let us know in the comments!