JCS – Criminal Psychology: Fascinating True Crime Series

JCS - Criminal Psychology
Armbands are essential for this series.

For many ardent YouTubers, the JCS – Criminal Psychology account came out of the blue in June 2021.

The YouTube algorithm gave it a favourable ranking and it catapulted the channel to stardom overnight. “What pretending to be crazy looks like” now has over 42 million views.

But the channel has run since 2017, offering a detailed analysis of criminal psychology as certain individuals face police interrogations.

Bloody fascinating? Yes, it is. If dark and disturbing, with the channel shedding light on the manipulative and deranged world of personality disorders.

JCS and its Criminal Psychology Analysis

JCS – Criminal Psychology has 18 episodes at present, all in the form of a documentary film.

In case you’re wondering, the JCS bit stands for Jim Can’t Swim. That was the previous name of the channel, which is run by documentarian Matt Orchard.

Take the above short episode: Guilty until proven innocent (it plays out like Kafka’s The Trial). It follows Michael Dixon who, in Ontario, Canada, 2003 was falsely arrested for robbing a jewellery store.

An introvert, Dixon was able to compose himself, but behave in an atypical manner in doing so. Thankfully, he was eventually cleared of his crime and received a big settlement.

In some jurisdictions, the police release interrogation footage to the public domain. And in the case of JCS, this is excellent material for some modern psychological examination.

That’s forensic psychology, social, and behavioural sciences.

Most episodes play out in incredibly tense fashion. Viewers are left to observe skilled detectives picking apart an individual’s confidence.

That’s either to the point they burst into tears or (and it sure does take a long, long time with some cases) the police get a confession.

Stephen McDaniel is one example. His behaviour went all over the place during his initial interrogations in 2011.

To begin with, he was helpful with detectives. At least in the first interview. But then, later on the same day, he lapsed into a near catatonic state.

We have to presume this was a tactic to baffle detectives and put them on edge. And, well… it worked big time!

But despite his best efforts to avoid incarceration, he’s now serving a lifelong prison sentence for murder.

What’s clear from most JCS documentaries is the guilty party labours under a personality disorder.

Usually one of the following (or a disconcerting hybrid of the lot):

Watching all of the episodes, you’ll soon see narcissistic personality disorder dominates proceedings.

In capitalist society, these individuals often get catapulted into lofty positions due to their manipulative behaviour. Their “success” then means everyone around them must suffer through their appalling behaviour.

This disorder has fascinated us for some time. And the JCS series is an incredible portrayal of the manipulative characteristics in action.

NPD is like dealing with someone who has the physical and cognitive functions of an adult, but they have the emotional capacity of a five year old.

Their moods vary wildly between barely controlled anger to quite overt manipulation tactics, although they seem convinced no one can tell they’re doing this.

And that’s usually as they consider themselves vastly more intelligent than everyone else.

As we echo from one of the many user comments on these videos, the above disorders really should be taught in school.

Doing so would teach people how to spot tell-tale signs (red flag behaviour) of those around them with these highly destructive conditions.

But as for the JCS series… it’s really quite something.

JCS provides breakdowns on interrogations, featuring many renowned techniques in policework. This includes the likes of:

  • Direct confrontation.
  • Mutt and Jeff (Good Cop/Bad Cop).
  • False flag.
  • We know all.
  • Emotional fear-down.
  • The Reid technique.

It’s fascinating to see the detectives go about their duties with the above.

They’re often having to deal with terrible individuals mere hours after they’ve done something horrendous. And yet they can strike up rapport and be quite personable and familiar.

And with JCS’ annotations over the top, viewers can gain essential insights on how to get guilty people to confess.

We’re not experts on criminal psychology and whether or not the series is offering foolproof insights we weren’t 100% sure. However, criminal lawyers such as Bruce Rivers have provided YouTube breakdowns of JCS videos and highly rate the work.

But the main thing is the documentary series is just utterly compelling. In a quite morbid, soul destroying, endlessly alarming kind of way.

And as we mentioned with our LEMMiNo documentary review, JCS does provide first class productions.

They feature analytical wit, black humour, and an exposé of how criminal minds operate.

Essential viewing on an educational level, no doubt. Just be aware they also document some truly heinous crimes in distressing detail.

Examining The Wrath of Jodi

By far the most fascinating account for us is the case of Jodi Arias, since 2013 serving a life sentence for murder.

On June 4th 2008, she brutally murdered her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander (33) in Arizona, US. If you watch the above two hour documentary, what’s obvious is the utterly confounding, disturbing, and bizarre extent of Arias’ lying.

It later emerged Arias believed she had the same IQ as Albert Einstein and would simply be able to outsmart law enforcement officials.

A state of mind that fails to realise even if she did have an IQ that high, she still would have gone to prison. Such was the insurmountable evidence against her.

However, her manipulation tactic was to use a sickly sweet, pious, and amiable persona during police interrogations to create some semblance of innocence.

Arias represents a reminder of why it’s important to consider the whole of a person, rather than just their physical appearance. An attractive woman, she can dazzle with her looks—but her personality flaws are more than evident.

At least to most people. Unfortunately, Mr. Alexander continued with her (beyond his better judgement) as she tired to manipulate him into marriage.

Her behaviour hints at sociopathy, borderline personality disorder, or possibly narcissistic personality disorder.

Another great YouTube channel, mental health specialist Dr. Todd Grande, provides an overview of what may be going on with Arias.

If you watch the JCS episode, you’ll note Arias’ sickly sweet persona (which most people seem to find intensely irritating) partially drops by the time she’s in court defending herself.

She was able to dig herself so far into a hole with her lying and inconsistences, she made it very difficult for her legal defense team to create a case for her.

Arias is now into her early 40s and will spend the rest of her life in prison.

The one thing she was successful at was convincing the jury not to give her the death penalty.

In 2015, her defense attorney Kirk Nurmi released the book Trapped with Ms. Arias.

He apparently knew it violated attorney/client privileges and would get him disbarred, but he released it anyway. Why?

As he came to utterly despise Arias for her lying, how impossibly irritating she is, and for how terrible a human being she is.

Welcome to the world of criminal psychology, everyone! It’ll teach you important life lessons.

What’s Going On With JCS – Criminal Psychology?!

Right… we’ve had to revisit this feature throughout the first two weeks of January 2022. This is because a bunch of JCS’ videos have disappeared.

Jim Can’t Swim has updated fans on Twitter, with YouTube taking down the channel’s videos for two reasons.

This appears to mean JCS – Criminal Psychology will be leaving YouTube.

All we can add is we hope it shifts successfully to another platform, or whatever else, to continue the quality educational and entertainment videos. All the best, JCS.

Update: Just to note, as of February 2023 (a whole year on from the above issues) normal order seems to be back. There have been two new JCS videos recently and, yes, they’re fantastically macabre. 


  1. Fantastic channel – I found him randomly back when he was still called Jim Can’t Swim lol, and he had a LOT more videos. Ultimately Youtube kept striking him for some reason (I believe it was the subject matter) so most of those videos are limited to his Patreon.

    I highly recommend subbing for the Patreon videos alone, it’s really terrific content.

    Liked by 1 person

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