“Mindhunter” John Douglas Breaks Down Behavior and Psychology in Four Profiles

Book review: The Killer Across the Table, by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker (Amazon / Book Depository) This is a book about the way violent predators think – the bedrock of my twenty-five years as an FBI special agent, behavioral profiler, and criminal investigative analyst, as well as the work I have done since my retirement from the bureau. John Douglas hardly needs an introduction, … Continue reading “Mindhunter” John Douglas Breaks Down Behavior and Psychology in Four Profiles

Lives and Social Histories of the Ripper’s Canonical Five

Book review: The Five, by Hallie Rubenhold (Amazon / Book Depository) Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers. The truth of these women’s lives was not … Continue reading Lives and Social Histories of the Ripper’s Canonical Five

Interviewing and Analyzing Bundy

Book review: The Only Living Witness, by Stephen G. Michaud & Hugh Aynesworth (Amazon / Book Depository) Despite aggressively unappealing covers, I was motivated to read this after watching the recent Netflix docuseries Conversations with a Killer. The authors behind the book serving as the docuseries’ basis wrote this, too. I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a book centered only around the interviews, but more about … Continue reading Interviewing and Analyzing Bundy

Genesis of the “Mindhunter”

Book review: Mindhunter, by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker (Amazon / Book Depository) It isn’t always easy, and it’s never pleasant, putting yourself in these guys’ shoes —or inside their minds. But that’s what my people and I have to do. We have to try to feel what it was like for each one. When I mentioned FBI profiler John Douglas’s upcoming book with his … Continue reading Genesis of the “Mindhunter”

They All Love Jack: The Ripper as Conspiracy Theory, Not Mystery

Book review: They All Love Jack, by Bruce Robinson (Amazon / Book Depository) … there was nothing illaudable about being a Victorian Mason, any more than it was improper to enjoy membership of a tricycle club. But … this narrative is about the bad guys, and about one in particular who went rotten, and what that did to the rest of the barrel. Beyond that, … Continue reading They All Love Jack: The Ripper as Conspiracy Theory, Not Mystery

The Interstate and the Murderer

Book review: Killer on the Road, by Ginger Strand America became more violent and more mobile at the same time. Were they linked? Did highways lead to highway violence? Yes and no. More highways meant more travel, more movement, more anonymity—all conducive to criminality. Highway users could become easy victims: stranded motorists, hitchhikers, drifters, and truck stop prostitutes were vulnerable to roving predators. But most … Continue reading The Interstate and the Murderer

An Austrian Serial Killer: The Strange Story of “Rehabilitated” Murderer Jack Unterweger

Book review: The Vienna Woods Killer, by John Leake John Leake, an American writer who lived nearly a decade in Vienna, wrote this definitive account of Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger. Unterweger’s is quite the interesting story, not least because the crime of serial murder is far from common in Austria. Combined with his background of alleged rehabilitation and crime spree across Austria and internationally, … Continue reading An Austrian Serial Killer: The Strange Story of “Rehabilitated” Murderer Jack Unterweger

An Intriguing Cold Case and an Exhausting Memoir

Book review: The Kill Jar, by J. Reuben Appelman Amazon Over about a year spanning 1976-1977, at least four children were killed in Detroit’s Oakland County by a serial killer clunkily dubbed the Oakland County Child Killer, or OCCK. The case remains officially unsolved, but as J. Reuben Appelman lays out in this true crime narrative cum memoir, that’s not for lack of information, plenty … Continue reading An Intriguing Cold Case and an Exhausting Memoir

An Unflinching Look at An FBI Career in Crimes Against Kids

In the Name of the Children, by Jeffrey Rinek (Amazon / Book Depository) Jeffrey Rinek, retired FBI agent and owner of a majestic mustache, writes a memoir detailing cases he worked during his career, particularly in the area of child sex crimes and the infamous Yosemite murders, where three tourists (Carole and Juli Sund and Silvina Pelosso) were abducted and murdered, leaving behind a particularly bizarre … Continue reading An Unflinching Look at An FBI Career in Crimes Against Kids

Unsolved Mysteries of the I-45

Book review: Deliver Us, by Kathryn Casey (Amazon / Book Depository) It’s only natural to want to believe we are in control, that when we wake each morning, we decide what we do, that our lives don’t rest in the hands of others or, even worse, of that unseen yet eternal influence commonly referred to as destiny. Kathryn Casey generally writes the kind of true … Continue reading Unsolved Mysteries of the I-45

Attempting to Solve the Unsolvable: A Writer Delves into a California Mystery

Book review: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara Amazon Your fantasies ran deep, but they never tripped you up. Every investigation into an at-large violent offender is a footrace; you always maintained the lead…You knew to park just outside the standard police perimeter, between two houses or on a vacant lot, to avoid suspicion. You punched small holes in the glass panes, used … Continue reading Attempting to Solve the Unsolvable: A Writer Delves into a California Mystery

On a Career’s Worth of Monsters and Abysses: An FBI Profiler’s Case Stories

Book review: Whoever Fights Monsters, by Robert K. Ressler & Tom Shachtman (Amazon / Book Depository) There is no such thing as the person who at age thirty-five suddenly changes from being perfectly normal and erupts into totally evil, disruptive, murderous behavior. The behaviors that are precursors to murder have been present and developing in that person’s life for a long, long time – since … Continue reading On a Career’s Worth of Monsters and Abysses: An FBI Profiler’s Case Stories