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Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial…

Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit (1995)

by John Douglas

Other authors: Mark Olshaker

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1,332125,829 (3.76)23
  1. 30
    Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert K. Ressler (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both are about early FBI profilers attempting to understand the minds of serial killers. Mindhunter is the more dramatically written while Whoever Fights Monsters included more specifics on profiling itself.

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Bored to tears. Pedantic and not at all thrilling. Abandoned at 17%. ( )
  TheBibliophage | Mar 20, 2018 |
This was a fascinating look at how criminal profiling got started in the FBI, written by the man who was so integral to its application. Douglas discusses in detail how profiling was used in many infamous, as well as lesser-known, cases (so detailed that it sometimes got hard to read because of what he was describing). I did feel the book, particularly the early chapters, sometimes felt too much like a biography of Douglas, as opposed to a focus on profiling, and that Douglas sometimes came across as bragging a little too much. But everything he accomplished with his team is amazing, and so interesting. ( )
  seasonsoflove | Jul 8, 2017 |
Fantastic! Criminal profiling is one of my main interests or hobbies if you want to call it that and this is like the classic primer. John Douglas is the man who coined the term "profiling"; he didn't invent it, but he basically started the modern science we know today. I didn't learn anything new about the psychology, but this was fascinating from an historical point of view as a memoir and a history of the BSU and the FBI itself. Douglas joined the FBI when Hoover was still the Chief and if you know anything about those times you'll know J. Edgar thought the "soft" sciences were a bunch of b.s. and a small clandestine group was working behind his back quietly using psychology on an inquiry-based only system and this is where Douglas first found himself. However, the book starts with Douglas' birth, childhood, college drop-out, military service, etc. before it even gets to his enrollment in the Bureau. I enjoy memoirs and found his writing style highly readable, relishing the book from the get-go. Then, of course, I became fascinated when Douglas turns to his work in the FBI, relates how profiling worked its way into being a legitimate technique, his famous study of interviewing living serial killers to find out how they thought and his work on famous cases including everything from The Trailside Killer, The Atlanta Child Murders and The Tylenol Murders.

Douglas has earned himself some controversy over the years; some people find his writing style arrogant. This is the only book I've read by him but I've got its sequel on hold at the library already! so it won't be my last. Obviously I didn't find him arrogant in the least and his serial killer interviews (conducted with two others) are admittedly a giant breakthrough that even his detractors cannot dismiss. ( )
  ElizaJane | Aug 15, 2015 |
Wonderful author who writes an interesting subject. ( )
  RBeene | Mar 20, 2015 |
I'm not really a "true crime" guy -- generally hate that stuff, but I found this on my dad's bookshelf a few years ago and it was pretty fascinating. ( )
  bibliosk8er | Aug 14, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Douglasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Olshaker, Marksecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o'erwhelm them,
to men's eyes.
—William Shakespeare,
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I must be in hell. It was the only logical explanation.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671528904, Mass Market Paperback)

Mindhunter enters the minds of some of the country's most notorious serial killers to tell the real-life story of the Investigative Support Unit (ISU) -- the FBI's special force that has assisted state and local police in cracking some of the country's most celebrated serial murder and rape cases. The unit specializes in understanding the chemistry and mechanical workings of the brain's of these serial criminals, and did its homework by interviewing such murderers as Charles Manson and David Berkowitz (the Son of Sam). John Douglas, who worked for the FBI for 25 years, is an authority on the unit, and his book combines the best of nonfiction with that of a murder mystery.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:15 -0400)

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The head of the FBI's investigative unit that deals with serial killers demonstrates his celebrated talent for getting inside their minds.

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