Muted: Is Ana Dussuel Inspired by an Actual Psychiatrist?

Image Credit: Lander Larrañaga/Netflix

Netflix’s ‘Muted’ follows the story of a boy named Sergio Ciscar, who brutally kills his parents and then goes silent for the next eight years. He never talks about the reasons behind his actions, nor does he ever speak in his defense. While the cops recreate the crime scene and theorize about what might have happened, they don’t get confirmation from Sergio. This sparks the curiosity of a psychiatrist named Ana Dussuel.

Ana starts monitoring Sergio and becomes so deeply involved in his life and figuring out his mental state that she loses herself in the process. Over time, we discover the reason behind Ana’s obsession, which only makes things more convoluted for the people around her. Her obsession with a killer mirrors what is often seen with serial killers. If you are wondering whether Ana’s character is inspired by a real-life woman who became fascinated with a killer, then here’s what you should know. SPOILERS AHEAD

Ana is Not Based on a Real Psychiatrist


No, Ana Dussuel in ‘Muted’ is not based on a real psychiatrist. She is an original character created by writer-director Aitor Gabilondo, who wanted to explore the psyche of a person who gets so obsessed with a killer that they forget everything else in their own life. Ana’s condition is explained as hybristophilia, a term used for the attraction and sexual interest that people develop in those who have committed violent crimes. This has been witnessed in the cases of serial killers like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, who received fan mails while serving a sentence for their terrible crimes. In Bundy’s case, he married and had a child with one such fan.

It is difficult to imagine why someone would become so deeply infatuated with a criminal who has done terrifying things and is considered unacceptable by others. Katherine Ramsland in Psychology Today attributes it to several reasons. It could be that the women think they can change these criminals or that they see the younger version of these men and the innocence they used to have. In Ana’s case, there is the idea of finding someone to connect to.

Ana closely monitors everything in Sergio’s life through cameras installed in his home and CCTV footage from public places. She begins her investigation under the pretense of proving or disproving that Sergio is a psychopath. Soon, however, it becomes clear that her reasons are much more than just studying him. She reveals that she felt lonely and misunderstood in her teenage years, which attracts her to Sergio, who she thinks has also been lonely and misunderstood. Ana convinces herself that Sergio is the victim in this situation, and this sympathy blinds her to the truth right in front of her. She pushes away the people who really care for her and believes that only someone like Sergio can understand her. This leads to devastating consequences in her life.

While Ana is not based on a real person, through her story, the show’s creators wanted to highlight the dark path that a person can turn to in the hopes of understanding a darker mind. It is not based on a specific person. Still, Ana’s character is an attempt to understand why people become so obsessed with criminals and serial killers, making her a reflection of a true crime-obsessed society.

Read More: Muted: Is Sergio Ciscar a Real Killer? Is Balcony Killer a Real Killer in Spain?