Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit
During his twenty-five year career with the Investigative Support Unit, Special Agent John Douglas became a legendary figure in law enforcement, pursuing some of the most notorious and sadistic serial killers of our time: the man who hunted prostitutes for sport in the woods of Alaska, the Atlanta child murderer, and Seattle’s Green River killer, the case that nearly cost Douglas his life. As the model for Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs , Douglas has confronted, interviewed, and studied scores of serial killers and assassins, including Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Ed Gein, who dressed himself in his victims’ peeled skin. Using his uncanny ability to become both predator and prey, Douglas examines each crime scene, reliving both the killer’s and the victim’s actions in his mind, creating their profiles, describing their habits, and predicting their next moves. Now, in chilling detail, the legendary Mindhunter takes us behind the scenes of some of his most gruesome, fascinating, and challenging cases — and into the darkest recesses of our worst nightmares.
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.