The Killer Within Macky Alston

Bob Bechtel was a highly intelligent but ordinary guy in his early ’70s, with a nice cushy job at a university, a loving wife and two daughters, and an upstanding citizen in his community. And then one day Bob admitted that he was a murderer. Back in 1955, while attending Swarthmore College, Bob shot and killed dorm mate Holmes Strozier, claiming it was in retaliation for all of the brutal bullying he was facing. For the crime he plead not guilty by reason of insanity, faced no trial, was ordered to serve a life sentence locked up in Fairview State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, and served less than five years before being released into the free world. It’s a remarkable confession that movies are made for, and the fact that Bechtel attracted a film crew to follow his journey is brilliantly opportune. Preceding Columbine’s tragedy by 40 years, The Killer Within presents a man and his past crime, but instead of dwelling so much on what happened, director Alston examines the individuals affected by Bob’s actions. The man himself shows little remorse and openly admits how and why he did it. His family though, suffers immensely; his stepdaughter questions her relationship with a man she trusted as a father; his wife is supportive but cannot conceal her shock; and Bob’s biological daughter goes in search of answers, interviewing former classmates who were there when it happened and could shed some light on the victim. Strozier’s own brother works as a character witness for his slain brother and shows disgust for the fact that his innocent sibling was painted as a tormentor. The viewer is given many expert opinions on Bob’s actions, leaving you to decide just what Bob Bechtel is: a monster or a rehabilitated man. The Killer Within is an effective examination that will test you on where your morals lie and keep you thinking long after it ends. (Discovery Docs)