Peter Vronsky

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Peter Vronsky
Peter Vronsky, Ph.d..jpg
Born Toronto, Ontario
Occupation Author, historian, film director, professor
Nationality Canadian
Education PhD in espionage in international relations and criminal justice history
Alma mater University of Toronto
Genre True crime, military history
Subject Serial killers, history, international relations
Notable works Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters (2004), Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters (2004), Ridgeway: The American-Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle that made Canada (2011)

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Peter Vronsky (born 1956) is a Canadian author, filmmaker and investigative historian. He holds a PhD in criminal justice history and espionage in international relations from the University of Toronto. He is the author of a bestseller true crime history Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters (2004)and Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters and the director of several feature films, including Bad Company (1980) and Mondo Moscow (1992). He is the creator of a substantial body of formal video and electronic art works and new media.[1] He has also worked professionally in the motion picture and television industry as a producer and cinematographer in the field of documentary production and news broadcasting with CNN, CTV, CBC, RAI and other global television networks in North America and overseas.[2] Vronsky's most recent book was published in 2011, Ridgeway: The American Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle That Made Canada, a controversial new history of Canada's first modern battle - the Battle of Ridgeway fought against Irish American Fenian insurgents who invaded across the border from the United States on the eve of Canadian Confederation shortly after the American Civil War. He currently lectures at Ryerson University History Department in the history of international relations, terrorism, American Civil War, Third Reich, and new military history.


Film writer for magazine Cinema Canada and University of Toronto's The Varsity; Member of Toronto Filmmakers Coop; University of Toronto Film Board (Hart House); studied with Canadian film directors Don Shebib, Clarke Mackey, and Peter Pearson; dropped out of University of Toronto at the end of his second year to pursue filmmaking full-time; wrote and directed two thirty-minute short drama films starring Paul Young from the Cardboard Brains: American Nights (1976) and The Sheep-Eaters (1977); Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council Grants; directed and produced thirty-minute music documentary special on punk rock for CBC television Crash'n'Burn (Dada's Boys) (1977) with the Viletones, Teenage Head, Dishes, The Ramones and The Deadboys, filmed at CBGB in New York and the New Yorker Theater and Crash'n’Burn in Toronto.[3] (Not to be confused with Ross McLaren's independent Crash 'n' Burn made the same year on the same subject. Produced and directed feature film, Bad Company (1980). Assistant-Director on Canadian feature films: Nothing Personal (1979), The Last Chase (1979) and Screwballs (1981). Vronsky frequently collaborated with documentary filmmaker Peter Lynch (director) on Video Culture International projects and with horror film director Tibor Takacs who before he left for Hollywood worked as a D.O.P. and Art Director on several Vronsky films.[4]


Created numerous videoart tapes and formal video installations exhibited in Canada and internationally in Tokyo, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, New York and London.[1] Artist-in-residence with Sony Corporation at Video/Culture International, 1983. Undercover video specialist – field producer with CBC's The Fifth Estate and CTV's W5. Head of Interactive Laser Optical Software Development, Sony Corporation-Video/Culture, 1984-1985. Project Director, Berlin Wall Videodisc, Sony Canada-Image Over Time, 1985. Field Producer/Cameraman, CNN International, Rome Bureau, 1986-1990. Producer-director, Russian Rock Underground, a thirty-minute special on rock music in the Soviet Union, 1988.


Writer-producer-director, Mondo Moscow, feature length documentary on Stalinism and underground culture in the USSR, 1991. In 1991 investigates Lee Harvey Oswald's activities in the USSR in 1959-1962—first Westerner ever to interview Oswald's friends, lovers and acquaintances in Russia. Cameraman-line producer, The Hunt for Red Mercury, investigative one-hour documentary (Discovery Channel - CTV) on nuclear weapons material smuggling in Chechnya, 1992. Writer-director, The Uncanadians, NFB feature documentary 1994-1995. (Withdraws own name from director's credit when censored by National Film Board.) Head of English Language Production, Panavideo, Venice Italy – service producer for Italy's national television network, RAI, 1997-1999.


Queens Park/Toronto Bureau Chief, E-Press, Canada's first online news streaming service, 2000. Broadband Content Specialist,, financial news streaming service, 2000-2001. Director of Photography, feature length music documentaries, Life Could Be A Dream (Bravo Television, 2002) and I'll Fly Away Home (Bravo Television, 2004). Author of Serial Killers The Method and Madness of Monsters (Berkley-Penguin Books, 2004) and Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters (Berkley-Penguin Books, 2007).

  • University of Toronto, Trinity College, Honours BA, 2003.
  • University of Toronto, Graduate School, M.A. (History) 2004.
  • University of Toronto, Graduate School, Ph.d. (History), 2010.


Peter Vronsky currently lectures at Ryerson University History Department in international relations, American Civil War, Third Reich, and the history of terrorism. His most recent book, Ridgeway: The American-Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle that made Canada was published in November 2011. He is currently working on the third volume in his history of serial homicide, a global macro history or Big History of serial murder, Serial Killer Chronicles: A New History of Serial Murder Today for the Penguin Random House Berkley imprint.[5] A chapter from this new history "Serial Killer Zombie Apocalypse and the Dawn of the Less Dead" was recently published as the prologue to the Serial Killer True Crime Anthology 2014. In it Vronsky compares the brain functions of a serial killer with that of a fictional zombie, arguing that the capacity for serial murder, rape, and cannibalism, originates with primitive survival instincts rooted in an older "reptilian" sector of the human triune brain that “misfires” for a complexity of reasons, ranging from familial, environmental, social, cultural, to perhaps even bio-chemical or genetic.[6]

Peter Vronsky is fluent in English, Russian and Italian and resides in Toronto, Canada and Venice, Italy.


  1. ^ a b Vanguard Magazine, November 1983, p. 47; Art London Review, Vol IV No. 3, 15 March 1984; John Bentley Mays, "Peter Wronski presents a garage sale of a show, Toronto Globe & Mail, January 21, 1982, p. E3; Lisa Balfour Bowen, "Even Sadat's death becomes stuff of wry comedy for innovative video artist", Toronto Star, January 16, 1982, p. F5; Susan Mackay, "Confession booth among video wizardry", Globe & Mail, August 15, 1984, p. M9; Dan Proudfoot, "The Video Art Vortex", Toronto Sun, October 28, 1984, p. S3; Christina Ritchie and Allan Blaine, Signal Approach, Catalogue to accompany the video series Signal Approach, held at The Funnel Experimental Film Theatre, Toronto, January 9 - March 13, 1985, The Funnel, 1984:;
  2. ^ "Danger Man: The Underground Adventures of Peter Wronski", Metropolis Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 4, June 9, 1988; Enrico Sorrentino, "Due Marine per Lee", L'Espresso, 23 February 1993, p.61.
  3. ^
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  6. ^ Katherine Ramsland, "A Murder of Pros", Psychology, April 18. 2014 (

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