5 Lessons We Learned From Candice DeLong & 'Deadly Women'

She said she feels confident she and the production team will never run out of cases to feature on the series.

June 17, 2021
By: Catherine Townsend


ID addicts often refer to former FBI profiler Candice DeLong as "a real-life Clarice Starling." But the host of Deadly Women has faced off with far more serial killers than her fictional counterpart.

During her 20-year career with the FBI, DeLong has helped catch child molesters, gotten cooking tips from the Unabomber, and posed as a madam to help bust a call-girl ring. She wrote about many of these experiences in her book "Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI."

Watch every season of Deadly Women on discovery+ now!

From black widows to the thrill killers, DeLong continues to be fascinated by the twisted motives of the women featured on "Deadly Women."

After multiple seasons of the series, here are five things we've learned from DeLong through her work on the series.

DeLong Has Long Challenged The Myth That "There Is No Such Thing As A Female Serial Killer"

DeLong told Investigation Discovery that when she was starting out at the FBI, many people believed that serial killers were extremely rare — but over the years, she has seen many examples.

She said she and the production team for "Deadly Women" come across many stories of female serial killers and her favorite cases are often historical.

"One day an instructor came in, looked at the class of 60 profilers in training and said, 'People keep asking why we're only talking about men ... there's no such thing as a female serial killer.' All I tell you is he obviously didn't have my research team," she told Investigation Discovery. "Because there [are] plenty of them."

Information Is Power

DeLong, who grew up in Chicago, started her career as a psychiatric nurse.

During this time, she worked in a maximum-security ward. Her work there exposed her to many violent patients, including killers. These incidents helped shape her future career path.

“Psychiatric nurses have to be good at talking and listening. You’re dealing with people at their worst, helping them find answers, and periodically dealing with unexpected events, sometimes violence,” DeLong told The Bulletin. “That’s like being a cop or a detective. So it wasn’t that much of a stretch for me.”

DeLong continues to promote this philosophy through her work on "Deadly Women."

When It Comes To Murder, Men & Women Often Have Different Motives & Methods

While men often kill out of anger, according to DeLong, women's motives can be much more complicated.

One of the major life events that can propel a woman toward murder, DeLong said, is a prospective divorce.

"Divorce is messy, dirty, and embarrassing for some people," DeLong told Fox News. "And, in some cases, divorce is simply a sin in the eyes of God. Murder just solves a lot of those problems. Of course, when they come to this decision, they always expect to get away with it."

From the woman who ran her husband's business into the ground before having an affair and hiring a hitman to the wife who staged a murder to cash in on life insurance, "Deadly Women" covers several instances of women who hatched elaborate premeditated plans to kill their spouses.

She told Fox News she feels confident she and the production team will never run out of cases to feature on the series.

She Thinks Most People Are Not "Born Evil"

Despite their near-constant presence in popular culture, DeLong points out most people who murder are not serial killers. She also said the majority of people who kill believe they have a compelling reason.

"Very, very few people are born evil," she told Fox News.

"Somebody can become evil and do bad things because of circumstances, treatment as a child, and experiences, which can lead them to become a killer," DeLong continued. "The vast majority of people serving time for murder in the United States were normal people like you and me who, for whatever reason, whatever situation they were in, ended up with them killing someone. That was, for them, the best way to deal with the problem. Of course, it didn't work out. They got caught."

But there are some exceptions, according to an interview DeLong gave The Bulletin. She said that, while many sociopaths suffered physical neglect or abuse as children, psychopaths, in her opinion, "lost the DNA dice-toss."

"They're born with a gene where they have no empathy for others," she said. "If they can get away with something they will. They'd rather be crooked than straight. These are the people that will see a wallet sitting on the table, snatch it, and they've already got $500 in their pocket. They're born that way."

DeLong's Research Puts Her In A Unique Position To Offer Useful Dating Tips

DeLong told PopCulture.com that she believes that many female ID viewers watch her shows in part so that they can learn how to identify potential red flags.

“You want the true story of someone who did something you’d never even consider," DeLong told the website. "You want to know you could spot a con woman or a con man when they're standing right in front of you."

"I've been this way since I've been a young girl — the more knowledge, the more education I had about people who could hurt me, the better off I am," she said.

In an interview on AshleyPapa.com, she recommends doing a pre-date Google search to verify the information a potential love interest gives you. She also suggests meeting in a public place.

"Remember, everyone's nice on the first date — even psychopaths," DeLong said.

Next Up

6 Things To Know About Aileen Wuornos

Wuornos, a former sex worker, claimed that her victims had either raped or attempted to rape her, and her serial killings were committed in self-defense.

Tejano Music Queen Selena Was Shot To Death By The President Of Her Fan Club

As Selena ran from the room, Yolanda Saldivar shot her in the back. Selena died in a hospital due to a loss of blood and cardiac arrest, two weeks before her 24th birthday.

These Five Brave Women Survived Serial Killers

These brave women beat the odds against murderers Bobby Joe Long, Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez and Richard Speck.

"We Can Now Be At Peace": Victims' Families React To “Grim Sleeper” Lonnie Franklin's Death

He may have murdered dozens of women in Los Angeles over two decades.

Video: Serial Killer Ted Bundy In His Own Words

Hearing Ted Bundy's own voice describe his deranged serial killings is chilling.

The Long Criminal History Of The 'Death House Landlady'

Gray-haired landlady, Dorothea Puente, made headlines as one of the most shocking serial killers in Sacramento history.

Prolific Serial Killer Nurse Charles Cullen May Have Killed As Many As 400 Patients

The murderer’s 16-year medical career in New Jersey and Pennsylvania ended after he was arrested in 2003.

A Texas Serial Killer Left His Victims Without Their Eyes

From 1990 to 1991, the city of Dallas, Texas was gripped with fear after authorities linked two brutal and bizarre homicide cases.

UPDATE: Suspected Stockton Serial Killer Arrested

Since April 2021, six men were fatally shot and one woman was shot and wounded in central California.

Bobby Joe Long, 'The Classified Ad Rapist,' Caused Tampa's Murder Rate To Skyrocket

Bobby Joe Long, who some reports claim is a distant cousin of Henry Lee Lucas, had a troubled childhood prior to his life as a violent offender.