‘Catch Me A Killer’ Ending Explained & Series Recap: Did Micki Catch The Saloon Killer?

True crime stories are in vogue, and there is no dearth of shows, movies, and documentaries in this genre. Such stories allow the human mind to understand how the psyche of a killer works and what could be the motivation behind the crimes he or she committed. There are also stories of serial killers such as Charles Sobhraj and Ted Bundy, who committed many murders and remained elusive for many years until they were caught. There was a psychology behind why men like them committed crimes and how they camouflaged themselves for a long time before law and order caught up to them. Catch Me a Killer is a show about a female criminal profiler who went on to be successful at her job of catching criminals.


Spoilers Ahead

Why Was Micki Chosen To Catch The Station Strangler?

Catch Me a Killer began in 1994 in the city of Pretoria, which was rocked by serial killer, “The Station Strangler.” The serial killer had been active in the late 1980s and was back again with the old modus operandi. “The Station Strangler” abducted young kids and strangulated them to death. The town was in a rage, and the local police were clueless about how to nab the killer, who left little to no clues around at the site where the bodies of the kids were found. The police hired criminal psychologist and professor Micki Pistorius, who would be working as a criminal profiler and using human psychology to locate and arrest the killer.


Micki was quick to figure out the killer’s childhood by tracing the pattern left by them. She also spoke to a kid, who was the only eyewitness. Micki utilized an unorthodox method of being patient with the kid, as her aim was to understand the killer, which would help her and the police more than fixating on the arrest. Micki figured the killer was a soft-hearted person that young kids would trust. This detail guided them towards a teacher at a local school, and the eyewitness recognized the teacher as the killer. “The Station Strangler” turned out to be someone with a traumatic childhood. This was a theory put forward by Micki before the arrest, and the police were impressed with her skills, which helped them nab a killer who had been at large for almost a decade. 

Was Micki’s Work Taken Seriously?

Micki’s work initially during the investigation to locate “The Station Strangler” was not taken seriously. The show is set in the 1990s through the 2000s, and many people from Micki’s field were not taken seriously. The police wanted to arrest the criminal and were seeking manpower and funding to expand the investigation. They were not interested in understanding the psychology of the criminal, and many considered the pursuit to be a waste of time. Only a handful of police officers figured Micki’s approach had some merit, and that it may lead them to a proper conclusion. There was also a fear of a shift in power dynamics, as the existing investigation team lead was afraid that he would be considered obsolete if Micki’s method of nabbing the criminal was a success. 


Every episode is dedicated to Micki Pistorius and the South African police trying to get a hold of the criminals. Eleven episodes of the show spanned a decade of Micki dedicating her life to understanding how the criminal mind works, and she lived through many professional wins and setbacks over the course of it.

What Were The Other Cases Handed Over To Micki To Solve?

After the success of the “Station Strangler” investigation, Micki and the police took up the case of a young man who subscribed to a far-right ideology, and he murdered only black women. He claimed to have multiple personality disorder due to childhood trauma, and said his other identity committed the murder. Micki proved all his claims wrong, and he was proven guilty in court. Another crime involved women being raped and murdered by a man under the pretext of meeting them and offering a job. He confessed to his crimes and claimed to have been abandoned by his mother at a young age, which made him hate women. 


Micki later became involved in a crime in the town of Donnybrook when the perpetrator refused to cooperate with the local police. Micki’s questioning revealed that the man expected his sister to set him up with a woman of his choice but she failed to do so, leaving the town. The abandonment by his sister triggered him to murder several women he loved.

In the town of Cape Town, a man on a murder spree killed several prostitutes, and upon interrogation by Micki, he reveals himself to have been emotionally traumatized by his nagging ex-wife. He only killed women who did not obey him, and the justification was enough to establish that trauma caused him to commit murders. Most of the victims were women. Micki’s questioning and revelation pointed towards the fact that serial killers are not born killers, but people become that way because of traumatic circumstances. Murder was a response to the love or affection men believed they never received. 


Who Allowed Micki To Start Her Team?

Micki and the police officers from across the country were happy with the method adopted by her. Criminal profiling was a hard and tedious task, but the result helped in nabbing many criminals. The success rate was going up, and there was a significant change in the crime statistics, which was a positive sign. Witnessing this change of pace in the investigation, Brigadier Brink came up with the good news they were starting a team led by Micki that would train team members on how to study the mind of a criminal. Micki was happy that her years of expertise and knowledge on this subject had finally garnered results.

Did Micki And Her Team Feel Mentally Affected By The Detailed Investigations?

Micki had to work with police officers from around the country on several homicide cases. South Africa was the second-worst country in terms of murders and homicide cases. Nobody was proud of this statistic, which is why the police were hell-bent on curbing crime. South Africa had just left apartheid behind, and the country was only just recovering from a social upheaval. This could have been the reason behind the increase in homicide cases, because murders and kidnappings were finally being reported. 


Micki and the police officers were hell-bent on locating the killers. Micki’s passion and love for her work had turned into an obsession, not realizing it was affecting her mentally as well. Micki was initially unperturbed by the sight of dead bodies. The dreadful dreams, sleeplessness, and flashes of the crime became a common phenomenon amongst the police officers, including Micki, and they were unable to deal with it. The mortal remains of the victims that were found, along with the disturbed pasts of the criminals had a dire effect on the physical and mental health of everyone involved in the investigating team. The show was about understanding the psyche of a criminal. Micki and all the police officers did not pay any heed to their own mental health. There were instances of the police officers being unable to make time for their families because their jobs demanded they be alert twenty-four-seven.

Why Did Micki And Mark Break Up?

Micki, years after being divorced and immersed in work with the police, finally found herself in love with Mark, a vineyard owner. Micki spent a good amount of time at his vineyard to keep herself away from the horrors of the cases that were becoming a burden on her. Micki was happy spending time with Mark, but she soon began to miss her work. 


Mark initially understood the demands of her job, as it required her to be on her toes. Micki’s job began to affect her relationship with Mark as her nightmares were on the rise. Studying the criminal’s mind regularly began to affect how she perceived herself and affected her daily conversations with Mark. Micki’s constant obsession with her work began to bother him, and they eventually broke up. Mark was not concerned about the work, but Micki’s need to delve into the psyche of the criminal bothered him. Micki, allowing herself to go down the rabbit hole, scared Mark, and he decided to call it quits. 

Was Micki And The Police Able To Locate The Saloon Killer?

“The Saloon Killer” was killing multiple people at a time in public places with his sniper rifle. The shootings at local bars had happened twice, and the police were assigned the task of nabbing the culprit. Nabbing the killer as usual was taking time because there was not much evidence left by the perpetrator. The growing scare amongst people about the killer at large increased. The pressure on Micki and the police to close the case was mounting.


Micki not only began to lose weight but also started having bouts of panic and anxiety attacks. Her work involved being exposed to dead bodies that had been mutilated, which was bound to have psychological side effects. The irony remains that she was willing to understand the mindset of the killer but refused to give her mind some quiet time. Micki ended up having an angry meltdown at her workplace. 

The police officers working on the investigation were also exhausted because they never got a break. The lack of manpower in the South African police force was the focus of the show. The lack of empathy towards the investigating team facing the heat from the public as well as superiors began to cause frequent meltdowns. Finding “The Saloon Killer” was not a hard task because Micki quickly picked up on the perpetrator’s anger issues, and it was clear he was triggered by something or someone. The police were able to locate the gunman using the ballistic matches received from the forensic team. 


Matters escalated upon them reaching the spot to arrest the gunman, whose name was not yet revealed. The gunman was spotted by Micki, and he was on the brink of shooting her dead. The gunman had no option but to eliminate people who were on the verge of arresting him. As the police officers caught up to him, he shot Micki, and was subsequently arrested. The gunman’s panic was obvious, which led to his eventual arrest. Micki was hit, but she quickly recovered from the injury. She questioned the man in prison to understand his motives. Micki was particularly interested to know if her theory about this gunman was right. 

The gunman revealed he was triggered by people laughing, and the sniper rifle was a source of power. This could have been an indication of how accessible firearms were in South Africa. The fact that laughter could trigger anyone was a disturbing idea, and the gunman felt powerless without a gun, and Micki agreed with him. Micki probably admitted it to get the gunman talking and understand his past. This was the only criminal whose past was not discussed during the interrogation. Catch Me a Killer ended with credits that put out facts about Micki, and the police continued curbing crime using criminal profiling, and the results were positive.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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