Could a pill prescribed by your doctor turn you into a killer? Canadians are among the world's biggest users of antidepressants, with about 9% of the population on one depression-fighting drug or another, according to a recent study. Many of these antidepressants are SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. For the vast majority of people these drugs are very helpful, but A Prescription for Murder? reveals the devastating side effects on a tiny minority that can lead to psychosis, violence, possibly even murder.

Patients should not change or stop taking their medication without first seeking medical advice.

With unique access to psychiatric reports, court footage and drug company data, reporter Shelley Jofre investigates the mass killings at the 2012 midnight premiere of a Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado. A 24-year-old PhD student, James Holmes, who had no record of violence or gun ownership, murdered 12 and injured 70 people. Did the SSRI antidepressant he had been prescribed play a part in the killings? A Prescription for Murder? also uncovers other cases of murder and extreme violence which developed after people took SSRIs - including a Canadian father who strangled his 11-year-old son.

Credits (Click to expand)


James Holmes – Eric Sigmundsson

Dr William Reid – Morgan Deare


Shelley Jofre


Denver 7/KMGH

Associated Press


Maxine Collins

Stephen Foote

John Cummings


Boyd Nagle

Dubbing Mixer

Andrew Sears

Dubbing Editors

Matthew Ennis

Paul Mallett

Post Production Supervisor

Chris Stott

Film Research

Kate Redman

Suzanne Gray

Production Assistant

Jack Willis

Production Co-ordinator

Lucy Stevens

Production Manager

Sarah Reddi

Unit Manager

Jess Cudlipp

Development Research

Katinka Blackford Newman

Assistant Producers

Adrian Polglase

Alex Lee

Additional Editing

Joao Nunes

Edit Producer

Howard Bradburn

Executive Producer

Diana Martin

Deputy Editor

Karen Wightman

Film Editor

Simon Thorne

Producer & Director

Andy Bell

Executive Editor

Jim Gray