The State Theatre Presents

The Psychology of Serial Killers

Hosted by Dr. Rachel Toles, renowned Clinical Psychologist and criminal expert

There is a 6 ticket purchase limit per customer.


Thu, Apr 4, 2024


8:00 pm


Advanced - $51 (includes fee); Day of Show - $56 (includes fee)

Member Presale:

January 25, 2024 10:00 am

Public Sale:

January 26, 2024 10:00 am


The Friedman Auditorium
130 W. College Ave. State College, PA


Dr. Rachel Toles is a licensed clinical psychologist in both the state of California and the state of Minnesota.  Dr. Toles’ current clinical areas of practice include, but are not limited to: treating relationship, intimacy, and sexual problems, anxiety, trauma, depression, addiction, and poor impulse control.  Dr. Toles also performs psychological fitness for duty evaluations and court evaluations, which include psychological and neuropsychological testing.

With extensive experience in both clinical and forensic evaluation settings, Dr. Toles has dedicated herself to understanding the motivations, behaviors, and patterns of dangerous criminals.  Dr. Toles has also served as an expert witness for court cases, utilizing her criminal forensic expertise and psychological evaluation skills to help bring justice and understanding to these legal proceedings.  Additionally, she has worked intimately with female inmates who suffer from acute mental illnesses at Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, California, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Maloney, a forensic psychologist in the Menendez Brothers case. 

She attained broad-ranging academic and professional training from the University of Southern California, the California School of Professional Psychology (APA accredited doctoral program), and the University of Winnipeg (Canada).  Her clinical training includes individual and group therapy at Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center in Hollywood, California, and individual therapy and psychodiagnostic testing at Airport Marina Counseling Services. In addition, her postdoctoral fellowship involved working with children and administering psychodiagnostic tests at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center.  

Dr. Toles is in high demand as a lecturer and speaker, sharing her knowledge on profiling and understanding the minds of serial offenders.  In her private practice, Dr. Toles approaches each client uniquely, and helps her clients develop coping skills based on their individual needs. Some skills may include cognitive behavioral approaches, as well as mindfulness and meditation techniques. Currently, Dr. Toles is working on a thought-provoking book that challenges our perception of “evil” and encourages us to reconsider our understanding of this concept. 

Learn about serial killers you’ve never heard of before in this acclaimed, sell-out show.

‘The Psychology of Serial Killers’ will give even the most dedicated true crime fan new insights to the phenomenon of serial homicide.

During this talk, you will learn:

Why do some people become serial killers?

Is animal cruelty a red flag for later violence? We will look at the statistics and case studies to explore the answer to this question.

How do we categorize serial killers? We will look at different methods, some which are very popular, and others which (for the most part) have stood up to empirical exploration. By the end of this talk, you will be able to identify the difference between categories of serial killer, the type of crimes each typically engage with and the type of crime scene they are likely to leave behind.

Identifying serial killer myths: what misrepresentations of serial killers do you mistakenly believe? How responsible is the media or Hollywood for such beliefs? What are the real trends which can be observed?

Why is it that can you only name white serial killers? How does press coverage affect what crimes we hear about? What aspects of a crime make it more ‘newsworthy’ than another similar tragedy which goes largely uncovered?

What is the future of catching serial killers? Can statistics provide an advantage to detection? Is the incidence of serial killers in decline or on the rise?

Female serial killers are less common than male, but not as rare as you probably think. What differences are there in the nature of their crimes, the victims they select, and the amount of time they remain at large for before being caught?

Why do some women fall in love with serial killers? The condition of Hybristophilia is a complex one, but we shall explore the different psychological elements at play in the mind of an individual who seeks out a relationship with a known killer. We will also explore the condition Folie a Deux (or ‘madness for two’); another commonly misunderstood phenomenon.

Killer couples or partnered homicide is another fascinating facet of serial homicide. How and why do such partnerships occur and what are the dynamics of such a relationship?

Finally, this talk will conclude with answering one of the most commonly-asked questions: “Why am I so interested in serial killers?” As you will see, an interest in true-crime is far from a new sensation. But why some people so fascinated with the criminal mind? This talk will explain all the factors of such content which have provoked your interest, and you will find that you are not as unusual as you may think.

Please be advised that no crime scene photos are used in any of talks.


The State Theatre needs your help to purchase a new Digital Projection System!

With the purchase and installation of a new projector, The State will have a new 4K, laser projection, and digital cinema sound processing system will give us the ability to screen major movie festival features, as well as independent and major studio live action and animation that is only distributed in the DCP (Digital Cinema Package) format.