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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, Mark Olshaker (Author)

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1,085107,675 (3.74)18
  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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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 |
Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit

by John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker

Upon retiring, Special Agent John Douglas was finally able to share his story. He is the elite pioneer of what we now know as criminal profiling. He is also the model for the chief male agent in the book and movie, “Silence of the Lambs”. In this book, Douglas takes us into the early days of the FBI’s special unit for this highly specialized field.

Special Agent Douglas was involved in several notorious crimes, including John Wayne Gacy, the Tylenol poisoning case, the Atlanta Child Murders, and the Green River Killer. His profiling of the criminal mind was integral in solving these among other major crimes.

To hone his skills, Douglas studied and interviewed the likes of infamous serial killers Richard Speck, Charles Manson John Wayne Gacy and other serious offenders. This enabled him to understand the working of their mind, as well as what drove them to commit such heinous crimes.

A fascinating psychological read, this is also an excellent account of true criminal justice. Fans of the TV show “Criminal Minds” will certainly appreciate this compelling book. ( )
  nightprose | Mar 3, 2011 |
John Douglas takes us through his history first, his experiences growing up, what made him decide to become an FBI agent and how he used profiling even before he became an agent and knew what it was. While he does not mince words when describing crimes the descriptions are neither gratuitous nor graphic, what comes through all his narration is respect and sympathy for the victims. He explains that profiling is an investigation into the why of a crime, and why this is important in solving certain types of crime.He also details the interviews he and another agent had with convicted serial killers and how this has helped him and other agents fine tune their investigative skills. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy reading about investigative technique (profiling) and psychology. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Nov 27, 2009 |
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Olshaker, MarkAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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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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