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Marilee J. Layman

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05:11 pm: Mindhunters: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker


If vivid descriptions of torture, rape, and murder squick you, don't read this book.

Someone asked about a book with this kind of profiling in Making Light and etumukutenyak offered this title. It sounded good to me, so I got it from the library. The book covers a lot of the major serial murders between 1970 and 1995, when the book was written. I'd heard of a lot of them like Wayne Williams, the Green River killer, etc., but there were others I hadn't heard of. He worked on the Unabomber and BTK Killer crimes, but they were caught after he retired.

He tells us how he developed not just the profiling, but how to use that profiling in interrogation. He gives instruction (and examples) on how anybody can be a victim.

The book frequently has parts of crimes between parts of other crimes and it moves around in time. This could be difficult to follow. In a couple of situations, he has exactly the same words at the beginning of the book and the end of the book when he's talking about the crimes.

He's clearly very conservative: thinks the death penalty is great (says he made Scott Glenn, who played a character based on him in The Silence of the Lambs, change his liberal ways and believe in the death penalty), likes blond blue-eyed girls/women, thinks men with families are better than men without, thinks people with Christian/Mormon religions are better than other people, and is sure he's always right. This showed up more and more through the book and I started thinking about this more than reading the book.

When I watched Criminal Minds this week, I saw a lot of things that are covered in the book.

It had a lot of really good information on profiling and interrogation plus major serial murders, but there is that arrogance that goes with it.

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