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Whoever Fights Monsters (1992)

by Robert K. Ressler, Tom Shachtman, Tom Shachtman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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539732,132 (3.62)13
LEARN THE TRUE STORY OF ONE OF THE FBI PROFILERS WHO COINED THE PHRASE "SERIAL KILLER" Face-to-face with some of America's most terrifying killers, FBI veteran Robert K. Ressler learned how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us -- and put them behind bars. InWhoever Fights Monsters, Ressler--the inspiration for the character Agent Bill Tench in David Fincher's hit TV show Mindhunter--shows how he was able to track down some of the country's most brutal murderers. Ressler, the FBI Agent and ex-Army CID colonel who advised Thomas Harris onThe Silence of the Lambs, used the evidence at a crime scene to put together a psychological profile of the killers. From the victims they choose to the way they kill to the often grotesque souvenirs they take with them--Ressler unlocks the identities of these vicious killers. And with his discovery that serial killers share certain violent behaviors, Ressler goes behind prison walls to hear bizarre first-hand stories from countless convicted murderers, including Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy; Edmund Kemper; and Sonof Sam. Getting inside the mind of a killer to understand how and why he kills is one of the FBI's most effective ways of helping police bring in killers who are still at large. Join Ressler as he takes you on the hunt for the world's most dangerous psychopaths in this terrifying journey you will not forget.… (more)
Recently added bykiaweathersby, private library, mutantzero, MelMel7, sarahb6, top19, darsaster, nixanook
  1. 00
    Profiling Violent Crimes: An Investigative Tool by Ronald M. Holmes (meggyweg)
  2. 00
    Serial Killers and Sadistic Murderers - Up Close and Personal by Jack Levin (meggyweg)
  3. 00
    Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas (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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» See also 13 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
My only question after reading this great book is this: Why does the US have way more serial killers than the rest of the world? Looking at it per capita one would think the States were a war thorn place in the darkest part of Africa. ( )
  dahoon | Mar 26, 2020 |
Incredibly interesting, if not a little dry, portrait of serial killers under the lens of behavioral science. I feel (probably wrongly haha) that I could definitely identify a serial killer if asked to. Honestly, the only reason this is getting 3 stars instead of 4 is that I read it before bed a couple times and had the most disturbing nightmares of my entire life. So...proceed with caution I supposed. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
This is another of those books that has been on my to-read list for a long time. As noted above, Robert Ressler has been tracking serial killers with the FBI for 20 years and his experience shows. He is rather humble and admits that ‘Profilers don’t catch killers. Cops catch killers.’ Profiling is just a tool to help them.

This book is part auto-biography and part the history of profiling. The auto-biography part is not extensive, just enough to let you know how Mr. Ressler got into the FBI and why he holds some of the opinions he does.

He details the work he initiated in interviewing serial killers and how they differ. He also gives brief histories of some cases, some very well known, Dahmer and Gacy, and some that I hadn’t heard of, which of course means, more books to read!

This was a very easy (well despite the subject matter) book to read. It has a nice conversational style, informative, and not at all boring. I recommend this book. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 5, 2016 |
A book that goes inside the serial killers' way of thinking. However, I believe that this book had the potential to be a slam dunk, but it just wasn't. The author glossed over many details that may have been interesting to the reader. Still, the interviews with the killers was somewhat interesting. To me, however, it seemed that the author missed something along the way. ( )
  KWoman | Oct 6, 2012 |
True accounts from a genuine criminal profiler. How he works and what clues he finds significant in solving a crime. An interesting read. ( )
  Borg-mx5 | Mar 25, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert K. Resslerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Shachtman, Tommain authorall editionsconfirmed
Shachtman, Tommain authorall editionsconfirmed
Mariko, AiharaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.—Thus Spake Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche
Dedication
To my close friend and brother-in-law, who during his thirty-three-year police career fought many monsters on the street of Chicago.
Patrolman Frank P. Graszer
Chicago Police Department Badge Number 4614
Served July 13, 1928; Died December 24, 1990.
—Robert K. Kessler
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Russ Vorpagel was a legend in the Bureau, six four and 240 pounds, a former police homicide detective in Milwaukee who also had a law degree and was an expert in sex crimes and bomb demolition.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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LEARN THE TRUE STORY OF ONE OF THE FBI PROFILERS WHO COINED THE PHRASE "SERIAL KILLER" Face-to-face with some of America's most terrifying killers, FBI veteran Robert K. Ressler learned how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us -- and put them behind bars. InWhoever Fights Monsters, Ressler--the inspiration for the character Agent Bill Tench in David Fincher's hit TV show Mindhunter--shows how he was able to track down some of the country's most brutal murderers. Ressler, the FBI Agent and ex-Army CID colonel who advised Thomas Harris onThe Silence of the Lambs, used the evidence at a crime scene to put together a psychological profile of the killers. From the victims they choose to the way they kill to the often grotesque souvenirs they take with them--Ressler unlocks the identities of these vicious killers. And with his discovery that serial killers share certain violent behaviors, Ressler goes behind prison walls to hear bizarre first-hand stories from countless convicted murderers, including Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy; Edmund Kemper; and Sonof Sam. Getting inside the mind of a killer to understand how and why he kills is one of the FBI's most effective ways of helping police bring in killers who are still at large. Join Ressler as he takes you on the hunt for the world's most dangerous psychopaths in this terrifying journey you will not forget.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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