What the Killer Sees: Willi Borgsen

Welcome to “What the Killer Sees”, a new fortnightly column for Back to Frank Black. Each instalment will consider one of the antagonists from a Millennium storyline and offer a brief exploration of their psychology. Part profile, part examination of the investigation and wider story told involving that character, it will delve into the disturbing details of the crimes that Frank Black investigates and the very insights into their grisly detail that are his defining gift and curse.

Be sure to check the blog on alternate Fridays from now on for a new profile, and please feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section.

This opening profile is perhaps an apt one for the column’s premiere as we explore the very genesis of a killer...

Killer: Willi Borgsen (Van Quattro)

Episode: “Broken World” (2 May 1997)

Writers: Robert Moresco & Patrick Harbinson

Director: Winrich Kolbe

Quote: “His only source of feeling alive is his urge for sexual pleasure. His paraphilia has now defined it. It intoxicates and terrifies him. He's standing at an abyss and he's hesitating.” --Frank Black

Profile: Willi Borgsen becomes a psychosexually motivated killer before our eyes. We quickly learn that he has killed over twenty horses in the space of two-and-a-half years. It is a well-established pattern that many killers will have abused or killed animals in their formative years; this displays characteristics such as a lack of empathy or remorse that form part of a cluster of traits that define their psychopathology. We will begin to understand, though, that Willi Borgsen’s repeat attacks upon horses hold a far deeper significance.

Borgsen’s assault on Sally Dumont represents an escalation in his activities, since for the first time he has held a person within his power. He chooses not to kill her, but writes “HELP” at the scene in blood, plus semen is found in a nearby stable stall. Frank and Peter Watts explain that he would have been both excited and terrified by this encounter, hence these contrasting reactions. He also takes Sally’s bridle from the scene and Frank surmises that he fantasises using it on her. As such the removal of the bridle represents a souvenir to Borgsen: a reminder of the experience and a signature element of behaviour that hints at his motivation. A souvenir of this kind is distinct from a trophy, which is more of a symbol of true victory or conquest.

It is also noted that this close call will act to expand the sexual fantasy of Borgsen. His first kill, though, is borne more out of necessity to prevent his detection, which then turns to frustration and rage; his victim is of the “wrong” gender and there are no horses involved and hence it does not satisfy him. It is not uncommon for serial killers to refine their methods and explore their own desires in this way through their early kills. The next time, though, Borgsen gets it "right".

His victim is Mary Ann Wright, a local woman known to him. Here he finally gets to act out his fantasy, recognising his paraphilia – a term for an obsessive mode of sexual expression dependent upon a socially unacceptable stimulus – for what it is in the process. Borgsen this time scrawls the words "THANK YOU" on a wall at the scene and goes on to contact Frank Black by phone. He asks him what may happen next, signifying both a growing confidence as a killer and yet a lack of full understanding of quite who he is and of what he is capable.

The link to horses seems to be one of jealousy of the attention that women bestow upon them. The suggestion is that horses are a girl’s “first love” and that they have thus cut him off from sexual intimacy with women, however we never come to know for certain the full details that might explain the genesis of Borgsen’s psychopathology and thus drive his behaviour.

Kills: 2

Investigation: Frank Black first becomes involved in the case due to concern that this criminal has moved from solely hurting animals to injuring a person and will escalate further from there. He sees this as a unique opportunity to prevent the killings before they start. The spate of horse killings are soon linked by their geographical spread and a common modus operandi.

Frank attempts to reach out to Borgsen, hoping that the revulsion that he still feels at this stage towards his own actions and desires will prompt him to make contact. Peter Watts’ fears are borne out, however, since the ensuing phone conversations ultimately serve only to validate and empower Borgsen and he soon kills twice.

From an examination of certain aspects of his modus operandi, Frank determines a likelihood that the killer works in a slaughterhouse and used to live on a farm that bred horses. Cross-referencing the first horse killings with the closure of the Borgsen farm leads the investigation to Willi, narrowly preventing him from killing a third time and an extended career of sadistically motivated murders.

BacktoFrankBlack Worldwide Fan Project begins!

We've been putting out feelers this week and the response has been very strong. This idea is inspired, in fact suggested, by Avi and Tiffany at XFilesnews.com -- and we think it would be great for Millennium.

We want to do a video depicting Millennium fans from across the world coming together to be seen in one piece of footage, highlighting the diversity of fans, the sheer scope of the show's following -- even a decade on -- and giving the fans a rather unique way to be heard.

So what do we want from you?

We want short clips of you guys, whoever you are, wherever you are. We want you saying a simple catchphrase:

"This Is Who We Are"

If you can do the clip in front of a landmark or something, that's really cool. If you live in London, Big Ben would be awesome, or the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It's not a mandatory requirement, but anything that gives the viewer an idea of where you come from would be awesome.

You don't have to say it in English. If you wish to say it in your native tongue, that could be cool. Essentially we want faces and voices to represent Millennium and the people who believe The Time Is Now for it to return.

These clips will be put together by Joselyn's nimble digital fingers.

  • Video files should be in avi or mpeg formats.
  • Clip should be no longer than 20 seconds.
  • Submissions will remain open until November 14th 2010.
  • "This Is Who We Are" is what we want you to say on film.
  • Ensure you add a name and location for us to credit you if your submission is used.
This project is as vital to the campaign as it is fun. This montage of voices can be used to show that we've not just got fans behind Frank Black's return but fans who are interested enough in the character to take the time to do something special. That's worth far more than any petition. And yes, this video will be used in conjunction with the campaign's approach to Fox. If you want to help bring Frank Black back, this is the way!

This is important stuff and we need as many submissions as possible! So spread the word! Any questions, throw them on the comments and we'll reply as soon as we can. Let's get to work!

Please note we cannot guarantee that all submissions sent to us will be used in the final product.

Ezekiel Editorial: TIWWAAW

This editorial is a little bit of a minefield. Little silver disks in a muddy field with "backslapper" stuck on them. I don't want this to be about backslappage, more about who we are. TIWWAAW to be precise: This Is Who We Are And Why.

The team, as you may have noticed, has expanded - which was a nerve racking thing to do, given if you're used to a certain dynamic, there's always a fear of spoiling that said dynamic. There has been no evidence of such, which is very encouraging.

For the most part of this year (and a hard personal year it has been, I have to say), myself and Troy have worked pretty much alone with the occasional input from some very dear contributors like DiRT, MR Sellars and Alison Nastasi. So this was quite a shake up.

Now we have a team which is working very professionally and I'm rather thrilled about it. One of the most exciting things for me personally is to have both godfathers of Millennium fandom involved in different ways. Millennial Abyss creator Brian Dixon is a great consultant. He has worked hard brainstorming and putting together the poster campaign. Brian is bright, open to ideas and from my experience always very positive in his approach to problem solving. The second godfather, so to speak, is Graham Smith of TIWWA is more of a silent supporter, but his support and contribution should never go unheeded. He supports the website financially and asks for nothing in return, but is never forgotten. If there is a technical issue, he's the first person to turn to and always has an idea to solve any problem. So having these two people who inspired my interest in Millennium helping us is very exciting. You'll see links to their respective sites down the side of this page. Please visit.

We also have Adam Chamberlain from Fourth Horseman Press - Brian's cohort, who has again being working as a direct consultant and helping on the blog. Both have a regular series planned for the blog too. Watch this space. Adam is very British. Calm, well mannered - easy to rib and very easy to talk to. Personally I prefer ribbing him than talking to him. There I go again. Can't stop teasing the chap.

Joselyn Rojas is a very talented video editor who has stunned Lance, Mark Snow and Tom Wright by her work. She's integral to the upcoming projects and the provider of those wonderful Movie Poster videos. A talented and dedicated individual who is enthused and smart. She's bubbly to the point of exploding. If she likes an idea, you'll know straight away.

Currently, while not team members, Avi and Tiffany from X-Files News.com are also major players in the future for BacktoFrankBlack. With such close connections between the shows and their extensive understanding of campaigns, it would be insane for both groups not to have common ground. These two are fun girls but serious when it comes to business. Never to be under-estimated!

And then there's Lance. He'd be upset if I said he's vital to the campaign, but his support cannot go unnoticed. He drives ideas, pushes the team and challenges what would normally be considered impossible. We're all a unique bunch, be we staff or fans, and that's a point he always stresses - that he is no more important than anyone else who cares about Millennium, but he does have a very active role and interest in the campaign, the concept and the fans - as those who have joined his Facebook page will know - and that page truly fascinates him. He loves seeing what the fans think and do. This guy flares up with an idea and then he'll not stop until its realised. It's his gift. It's his cur- well, no, just a gift really.

Finally, Troy, who never runs out of juice. Always there to join up the dots and push the envelope. But you all know that by now. Essentially he is the anti-me. And that works somehow. Easily amused, rarely tired and always, unswervingly a believer.

But that's the people involved right now. Brian, Adam, Lance, Joselyn, Troy and myself - with Avi and Tiffany throwing in some exciting ideas and Graham there holding us up so we can do this stuff. Our regular contributors are there too - DiRT, Murv, Alison.. all in the wings. All working in different ways but all working together.

Each year comes and I wonder how we'll top the previous year. I think we're topping like we've never topped before. Was this backslappage? I hope not. I'd like to think I can tell you what we're currently about, who we are about and why without it turning into a "aren't we great!!" post. We are all just fans - and I like to think by occasionally letting you guys know how we're working gives you an insight into what's happening and perhaps humanises the campaign somewhat, gives you an idea of who these people are.

And who am I? Well just like Zaphod Beeblebrox, I'm just some guy, you know?

XFN News Hits iTunes

Some great news today from our sisters in Ten Thirteen fandom over at X-Files News, with The XFN Studio - their excellent series of podcasts - now available on iTunes! Episodes from their first and second seasons will be released over the coming weeks, and there will be a brand new podcast - featuring an interview with Vince Gilligan - available in early October.

Be sure to check out Tiffany and Avi's own announcement in full and you can find a listing of the available podcasts on iTunes here if you're in the US, or here in the UK. Subscribe today, and enjoy!

The Event: US Premiere Tonight!

Just a reminder that The Event premieres tonight in the US on NBC. An "emotional, high-octane conspiracy thriller" with a huge cover-up and mystery at its heart, it features recent Back to Frank Black podcast interviewee James Wong as Co-Executive Producer and also includes Millennium alumnus Bill Smitrovich amongst its ensemble cast.

Set to be one of the most exciting new shows this season, be sure to check out the opening instalment tonight on NBC at 8/9C. It will be simulcast on Citytv in Canada, with international premieres set to follow in a number of other countries, including on Channel 4 in the UK next month.

"What will you believe?"

James Wong speaks to BacktoFrankBlack!

If you cannot see or use the flash player, click to download/play here
or follow the RSS feed: http://backtofrankblack.libsyn.com/rss
Available soon in the US ITUNES store for Free.

Millennium Movie Poster Project: Winners Announcement Coming Soon!

We're planning a very special announcement for the winners of the Millennium Movie Poster Project, in the form of a podcast no less, featuring our judges Lance Henriksen, Klea Scott and Mark Snow revealing their choices. Schedules allowing, that should happen over the next week or so, and we'll post it here just as soon as we can thereafter.

Do rest assured that the results are in, the prizes signed and ready to be shipped and that we're just keeping you in suspense for a little while longer for the sake of what will be an exciting revelation of all the winners. So watch out for that special podcast right here at Back to Frank Black very, very soon.