Read Perché si uccide by John E. Douglas Mark Olshaker Francesca Donatacci Online

perch-si-uccide

Una leggenda dell'FBI racconta le dinamiche della violenza....

Title : Perché si uccide
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 10500893
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 350 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Perché si uccide Reviews

  • Shaun
    2018-11-11 12:59

    To look at my reading list, you might think I have an unhealthy fascination with the morbid. But the truth is my fascination, or rather intense interest, is the biological basis for belief and ultimately behavior. In short, why do we believe the things we believe (particularly the silly things) and why do we do the things that we do (particularly the bad ones).The book was written (with some help from Mark Olshaker) by John Douglas, a famous former FBI profiler who helped to shape profiling into what it is today.This was interesting as it went beyond serial killing, discussing the usefulness of the criminal profile as it relates to serial bombing, assassinations, product tampering, etc.But what I enjoyed most about this book was a subtext (which is something I often do.) While Douglas acknowledges that criminals are influenced by their past experiences and their genetics, he also writes Everyone's got something you can point to, but when you go searching for evil, it's pretty tough to pinpoint it on a map. It all leads me to once again pose the question I keep asking over and over again: isn't anyone responsible for anything anymore?Essentially, here and in other places in the book, he seems to be saying (almost as an aside) that while these factors may help explain an offender's behavior, they don't excuse it. The individual is still wholly responsible for his/her actions. In short, Douglass seems to be grappling with and leaning toward this concept of free will.This is a topic that I've put a lot of thought into, and while I agree that dangerous criminals need to be removed from society or otherwise dealt with to minimize risk, I'm not sure any of us has the "free will" we think we (or others) possess. Asserting that a criminal can choose not to be a criminal simply because he shows some restraint is almost as naïve as saying that I can choose to become a criminal. Such choices suggest that "we" are something beyond our biology, that our thoughts, feelings, impulses, and desires (or, at a minimum, some form of checks and balances) originate somewhere outside of the neural network that we call our brains and are wholly or partially under the control of this other thing. Douglas doesn't seem to consider that the criminal who does not kill a victim or commit a crime hasn't exerted free will. Perhaps instead, the complex firing of neurons in his brain has simply not resulted in him killing the victim or committing the crime this time under these circumstances. As much as it may feel like it, there is no driver in the driver's seat. We are not separate from our brains, and those brains are nothing more than a lifetime of nature and nurture. So while these criminals are guilty and responsible under the law and while their brains may be "damaged" and/or modified to a point where they are unlikely to respect social norms, I'm not sure we can blame the individual. I mean, how can you blame a system that is nothing but a set of inputs and outputs. This sense of ourselves is an illusion and nothing more than a construction of our brains, a brain that is influenced in many ways...including itself.Anyway, interesting and thought-provoking book especially given my interests and past readings.

  • Mike
    2018-11-11 18:59

    John Douglas, a former FBI profiler, is a guilty pleasure. This is probably the best of the three books of his I've read- it's better organized than Mindhunter and covers more ground than The Cases that Haunt Us- but it's not significantly better. Once you've read a Douglas book, you know what to expect. He writes directly, with a dry sense of humor. His books contain clear and meaningful taxonomies and distinctions. It's not rare that I come across a passage that teaches me something I never quite realized I didn't know, for example the distinction between MO and signature:If a bank robber tapes over the lens of a surveillance camera, that's MO. If he feels a need to tear his clothes off and dance naked before that same camera, that's signature. It doesn't help him commit the crime- in fact, in this case, it hurts him- but it's something he has to do to make the experience emotionally satisfying.The simple and seemingly intuitive formula that Douglas offers in The Anatomy of Motive is why? + how? = who. That is, if you can understand the reason a crime was committed, and if you evaluate the means, you are much closer to identifying the person who did it...or at least the kind of person who did it. Take the example of the still officially unsolved Chicago Tylenol poisonings in the 1980s. The bottles were poisoned on the shelves of different stores in the Chicago area; it could be inferred that the UNSUB (or "unknown subject", or, as Douglas writes with characteristic bluntness, "an inadequate, ineffectual loser") wanted to take revenge on a certain store, or on the parent company Johnson & Johnson, or society in general. The nature of the crime was such that the UNSUB would not only never have to face his victims and witness their suffering, but could not choose them specifically. The crime furthermore didn't demonstrate sophistication; it seemed that the UNSUB simply walked into a store, unscrewed the cap of a Tylenol bottle on a shelf, and introduced cyanide. Douglas writes,...it's such a cowardly crime that you wouldn't expect him to contact the media...if he had to see the results of what he'd done at close range, I thought, this type would be emotionally distraught...like the arsonist, he would gravitate towards positions of authority or pseudoauthority, such as security guard, ambulance driver, auxiliary firefighter...but he'd have trouble keeping that job. Likewise...someone of this nature would gravitate to the Army or the Marines. He'd be driving a five-year-old or older car not very well maintained. The way the crime was carried out, the way the Tylenol capsules were adulterated, all of this reflects a sloppy and distracted, rather than a meticulous, personality. And I thought this would be reflected in the car he drives. But it could resemble a police-type vehicle, say a large Ford sedan, which would represent strength and power- two characteristics he seeks but does not possess.The UNSUB, Douglas says, "may even have written angry letters to President Ronald Reagan." Convinced? No? Admittedly, it's sometimes difficult to follow what seem to be Douglas's intuitive leaps about, say, the kind of car a criminal probably drives; but they also tend to make some sense, once you've thought about them. That being said, I don't know if there are different schools of criminal profiling, if a 'Douglas school' for example routinely butts heads with some other group with a valid critique. Douglas strikes me as pragmatic, though. He doesn't claim that his approach to profiling is an exact science, but rather a system of useful classifications that investigators can draw on. At one point he says he'd even be happy to consult a medium, if he were introduced to one with a convincing track record. Douglas traces the practice of criminal profiling on one hand back to fictional characters like Dupin and Sherlock Holmes, but in the real world to the case of the "Mad Bomber" who terrorized New York in the postwar years. In 1957, New York police asked the psychiatrist James A. Brussel to construct a psychological profile of the bomber. Brussel, after studying the evidence, predicted that the man would be "a paranoiac who hated his father, obsessively loved his mother, and lived in a city in Connecticut." Of course, we've all been there. Brussel also predicted that the bomber would be middle-aged, foreign born, heavy, a Roman Catholic, single, etc. "When you find him, chances are he'll be wearing a double-breasted suit", Brussel said, "buttoned." Sure enough, when the police arrested George Metesky, the disgruntled former Con Ed employee, he conformed to almost every aspect of Brussel's profile. Furthermore, or so the story goes, the police allowed Metesky to get dressed in his bedroom before taking him to the station; he emerged wearing a double-breasted suit...buttoned.But why did it take so long to develop this kind of analysis as just one resource for law enforcement to draw on? Part of the problem, according to Douglas, was that the FBI of the Hoover years was in general resistant to change, and that most influential parties saw profiling as akin to witchcraft- or perhaps even sympathizing with the enemy (it's pretty clear, by the way, that Douglas does not sympathize with these people, but he does try to understand them). But he also says that the field has only lagged a little behind the necessity for it:One of the reasons our work is even necessary has to do with the changing nature of violent crime itself...Traditionally, most murders and violent crimes were relatively easy for law enforcement officials to comprehend. They resulted from critically exaggerated manifestations of feelings we all experience: anger, greed, jealousy, profit, revenge...But a new type of violent criminal has surfaced in recent years- the serial offender, who often doesn't stop until he is caught or killed, who learns by experience and tends to get better and better at what he does...I say "surfaced" because, to some degree, he was probably with us all along, going back long before 1880s London and Jack the Ripper, generally considered the first modern serial killer. And I say "he" because, for reasons we'll get into a little later, virtually all real serial killers are male.In The Anatomy of Motive, Douglas designates chapters mainly by the type of criminal studied- arsonist, poisoner, bomber, fugitive- but the distinctions start to overlap a bit in the later chapters, when we get to guys who "just snap" and what Douglas calls the assassin personality. I'm not sure I fully understood the difference between these two, but let's say that the latter is familiar to anyone who's seen the movie Taxi Driver- a paranoid who constructs an ideological mission for himself, but, in Douglas's view (there may be very rare exceptions, he allows, such as the various plots to assassinate Hitler), is simply acting against the anger and frustration of his life- of getting to his late 20s and realizing that life is not shaping up the way he'd planned (there is also another phenomenon Douglas calls "the dangerous 40s", but this is apparently a different classification). The target of that anger- though the perpetrator will disagree with this assessment vehemently- will be largely arbitrary. In Douglas's view, Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh, Mark Chapman and Arthur Bremer- who stalked Nixon before deciding that it would be easier to try to assassinate George Wallace- are all assassin personalities. So is Ted Kaczynski, and perhaps the Tylenol poisoner, despite the fact that their crimes were outwardly different. Douglas uses both of these types to illustrate another point that he continually returns to in his books- violence is situational. In the case of John List, for example, a New Jersey accountant who "just snapped" and murdered his wife, mother, and three children, and was found nearly 20 years later living under an alias with another woman, seemingly stable, Douglas asks:How much of a threat was John List in his new life as Bob Clark? We teach at the Academy that the only truly reliable predictor of future violence is past violence. But this guy had only one violent episode in his life. Is it likely he could have had another and...killed his second wife? The answer is, it all depends on circumstances. If things went along okay, if he had the financial security and self-respect he needed, everything would probably be fine. But if similar circumstances occurred again, he'd already have in his mind the scenario that would get him out of it...Another surprising thing I've found while reading Douglas is that many of these violent crimes, almost always committed by men (women get some representation here only in the chapter on poisoning, and even then Douglas says that poisoning is not predominantly a female crime), are sexual in nature, even if they don't overtly seem to be. David Berkowitz, for example, even before he became a killer, was a prolific arsonist who would apparently return to the scenes of his crimes to relive what he'd done and masturbate. As Douglas notes dryly,As I began to understand the relationship between setting fires and self-arousal, I used to advise detectives to have a crime scene photographer take crowd photos at suspicious blazes and study them afterward. If you found a guy jerking off with a transfixed look on his face, there was an excellent chance he was your arsonist.A chart to keep track of all this might have been helpful. Which type returns to the scene of the crime to masturbate again, and how many days afterwards will that be? These books are written for a popular audience, and Douglas says that it takes about 2 years to train already-promising young agents in the nuances. It's for the same reason, he claims, although I'm not at all certain that this is true, that his books won't be of any help to criminals trying to evade capture. For those of us who have chosen alternative life paths, the last chapter, written mostly in the second person, presents four 'cases' that the reader should now presumably be ready for, and enables the fantasy that you are a promising young FBI agent, ready to spend the next 25 years having your mind shattered by proximity to violence and depravity, and John Douglas is your hard-nosed, no-nonsense mentor. Very minor complaint about this section: it would have been nice if the solutions to the cases had been written upside down, or printed so you could only read them in a mirror, or something like that.Douglas is in certain respects an old-fashioned lawman, and it's probably not a surprise that he supports the death penalty. At the end of the day, he has a Manichean view of life. An anecdote from Mindhunter that sounds almost too perfect to be true perhaps nevertheless best exemplifies his view of human nature. Douglas, early in his career, has just helped to bust a gambling ring. One of the gamblers, sitting in the back of the police car, points to two separate raindrops making their way down the windshield. He bets Douglas that the drop on the left will get to the bottom before the one on the right. "We don't need the Super Bowl", he tells Douglas. "All we need is two little raindrops. It's what we are."

  • Cooper Cooper
    2018-10-24 19:03

    John Douglas, co-founder of the FBI’s behavioral sciences profiling unit, served as the model for John Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs. Since the movie, Douglas and some of his co-profilers of violent criminals have flooded the market with books on the subject. The Anatomy of Motive is a good one: it defines and analyzes what makes such offenders tick, illustrating throughout with real-world cases, some of them (for example, Cunanan, Son of Sam, the Unabomber) well-known to the general public. The classes of offender Douglas treats most fully are sexual predators and assassins. Many of his insights come from the violent offenders themselves, whom he interviewed in prison. *Basic Formula. Douglas’s basic formula for solving crimes = Why? + How? = Who. *Classification of Multiple Murderers. Douglas divides this group into serial killers, mass murderers, and spree killers. Serial killers are those who kill three or more people, with time-gaps between the killings. They expect to get away with their homicides and are motivated by the sex drive and the need for control. Mass murderers kill four or more people in one location and one incident; they don’t expect to get away with it and are usually making some kind of statement (often paranoid). Spree killers murder people at two or more locations, usually without significant lapse of time between killings, and play it by ear, not thinking their actions through to the end (“The spree killer’s rage is unplanned and unpredictable”). What do the three types of killer have in common? They’re losers who get a sense of power from the killings, and their murders are usually triggered by stressful life events (loss of job, death in family, desertion by spouse). *Modus Operandi and Signature. Douglas makes a distinction between an offender’s M.O. and his “signature.” The M.O. is the offender’s characteristic way of committing his crimes. His signature is any unique stamp he places on his crime: “When we talk about signature elements, we mean things the [killer:] does that aren’t necessary to the commission of his crime but are important for him to get emotional satisfaction out of the deed.” Examples: always stealing a piece of jewelry from a murder victim, or sending taunting letters to the police. *Organized and Disorganized. Douglas distinguishes between organized and disorganized offenders: how well an offender plans the crime. “The general rule is that organized offenders extort for money and disorganized offenders [commit crimes:] for all the other reasons.” *Reassurance Offenders versus Assertive Offenders. According to Douglas, some arsonists and rapists are “power-reassurance” types, whose acts of violence are attempts to convince themselves of their power and self-worth; these often feel guilty immediately after the crime, and sometimes even apologize to their victims. Other arsonists and rapists are “power-assertive” types, who take pleasure in exerting power and control over their victims and have no guilt and no regrets. *Internalizers versus Externalizers. “Both [internalizers and externalizers:] begin with the fantasy [of the crime:]. The externalizer [such as the sexual predator:] acts out directly. But the internalizer—the arsonist, the bomber—remains one step removed from the victim(s). The internalizer is the loner, the asocial…” Most violent offenders are cowards, but the internalizer is especially so—he operates abstractly, avoiding direct confrontation with the victim and usually depersonalizing her/him. *Sexual Predators. Virtually all sexual predators are men. Apart from more generalized antisocial behavior, there are three specific warning signs in childhood: late bed-wetting, arson, and cruelty to animals and/or small children. Most offenders develop predatory fantasies by early adolescence; “…50 percent described having their first rape fantasy between the ages of twelve and fourteen!" And: “The fantasy always precedes the predatory act.” During adolescence, most develop into paraphiliacs. The paraphilias include voyeurism (engaged in by 72% of offenders), excessive masturbation (79%), preoccupation with pornography (81%), fetishism (72%), indecent exposure (25%), bestiality (sex with animals) (25%), obscene phone calls (25%), cross-dressing (10-20%), prostitution (10-20%) and frottage (sexual excitement by rubbing against someone—crowds will never seem the same) (10-20%). Usually the predator starts with a paraphilia and then escalates, perfecting his technique (and perhaps his fantasies) as he progresses. For example, he may start as a Peeping Tom, then sneak into houses to steal panties (fetishism), then sneak into houses to rape women, then sneak in to rape women and then murder them. Apparently it is rare for a sexual predator to start out with a capital crime; he works his way up to it. Why do predators commit their crimes? “[They:] seemed to realize early on, sometimes even as very young children, that the power to manipulate others gave them a sense of control that they felt was so lacking in their lives.” “The crime—what he did to another person, the way he exerted power and control—was the most intense, stimulating and memorable experience of his life. By reliving it this way [talking about it while in prison:], he was reliving the peak sensation and bringing me with him inside his mind.” And: “They choose to do it because it makes them feel good.” How do predators select their victims? “Sexual predators home in on victims in whom they sense a lack of self-esteem and self-worth…the ones they feel they can entice, mold to their own purposes, and separate from family, friends and values.” *Assassins. “Assassin personalities” are typically white male loners with low self-esteem and functional paranoia [i.e. they experience delusions:]. They’ve usually had bad childhoods, are followers rather than leaders, often have a gun fetish, and usually keep diaries or journals (for example, James Oliver Huberty, the MacDonalds mass murderer, kept meticulous records on what he called “debts”: any perceived slight against him or his family). Other notes on assassin types: “Once [assassins:] decide on their course of action, stress and conflict are lifted.” [That is, they are often amazingly calm and collected.:] Of Lennon-killer Chapman: “The only thing going through his mind at the time, he later reported, was how gratified he was that the gun was working so well.” And: “Few recall ever seeing [Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh:] laugh or smile, which is typical of paranoid types.” And: “Any successful assassin has to get lucky.” And finally: “As with so many of these guys, the deeper-seated feelings of inadequacy competed inside him with equally strong feelings of grandiosity and superiority, of being better and more deserving than everybody else.” *Other Interesting Observations. —“Both rapists and artists usually start out as Peeping Toms.” —“The older the victim, the younger the offender.” —“If a violent, power-assertive or sadistic-type rapist embarks on the assault with no intention of killing his victim, he will often attempt to conceal his face or the victim’s, to prevent her from being able to identify him later.” —In abductions, “Killers don’t call, and callers don’t kill.” Because: those who abduct for ransom call to set up the payoff; those who abduct and murder out of rage have no reason to call. —It takes about two years to train a smart and seasoned agent to be a good profiler. —The “Dangerous Forties”: “When [losers:] get to that age, and take stock, if it doesn’t look as if life is going quite the way they planned it, they can pop.” —“…if you are…the victim of a crime and the offender orders you to get in a car with him—don’t do it!” —In his senior high yearbook, Andrew Cunanan was voted, “Most likely to be remembered.” —Serial offenders cut out newspaper articles to “document their ‘accomplishments’ and revel in them, reliving them in fantasy over and over as they read details of their exploits during their cooling-off periods.” —Many offenders “rehabilitate” in the highly structured environment of prison—but will revert if released into the outside world, with its lack of structure. —The claim of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski to be saving the world from the evils of technology seems to be a rationalization for more mundane hatred: as a graduate student at University of Michigan he wrote in his journal: “My first thought was to kill somebody I hated and then kill myself before the cops could get me.” Then he changed his mind: “[I was:] not ready to relinquish life so easily. So I thought, I will kill, but I will make at least some effort to avoid detection, so that I can kill again.” The Anatomy of Motive is a very readable and illuminating book for those who are interested in the criminal mind and/or psychopathology.

  • Robert
    2018-11-20 14:53

    Writers often go to many lengths, in the name of research, to produce quality fiction for their readers. THE ANATOMY OF MOTIVE proved a rather enjoyable read, as I delved into the minds of serial killers, spree killers, and mass murderers. This book’s approach proved perfect for my research endeavor. It described the crimes that took place, analyzed many high profile incidents, and then it delved into the mind of the man or woman that would commit such an act. It ended with a series of four cases where the co-authors asked readers to judge who might have committed four alleged crimes.All in all, it was exactly the book I needed as I attempt to write my serial killer novel, and more than that, it gave me insights into another book I plan on writing in the near future. So if you’re looking for profiling, straightforward analysis, and a brief dip into the mind of a criminal, then this is the book for you. If you’re an author looking for your own research material, as you delve into the mind of a killer, then this is one book you probably want to add to your to-read list.

  • Liz Lazarus
    2018-10-28 12:56

    Be prepared for some chilling stories, that are also so fascinating. What makes a person become a serial killer versus a spree killer or a mass murderer? What is the criminal triad? How does the way a body is disposed of tell you about the relationship of the killer to the victim? What's the difference between an MO and a signature? What crimes are females more likely to commit?All of these questions and many more are answered by John Douglas. And, as I write my next thriller, this book provided some great insight into the mind of a killer - because Mr. Douglas and his team interviewed many of them.Furthermore, he does something that is quite remarkable - making his deduction look so simple ... until he gives you a few to try to figure out on your own. That was when I realized his true genius.

  • Stacy
    2018-10-31 19:55

    I think Douglas and Olshaker wrote this for people getting into law enforcement, but this is a great book for anyone--particularly writers--struggling to understand the mindset of a psychopath. Though Douglas never uses the word, most of the cases he worked on--including the Unabomber--involve psychopaths. (This doesn't mean that all psychopaths are murderers, or even criminals. Psychopathy is a mindset of control, and I think we've all known psychopaths who, by legal markers, would be considered fine, upstanding citizens.) But many of these psychopaths seek to control others, and they sometimes find the craziest ways to achieve that. OR they're just loser nutsos looking to make a name for themselves or forever link themselves with someone famous (such as John Hinkley wanting to be linked to Jodie Foster). By profiling UNSUBs (unidentified subjects) before ever laying eyes on them, Douglas was able to find most of the criminals he sought. One notorious one who was never caught was the UNSUB who tampered with Tylenol bottles. Douglas not only goes through some of the high-profile cases he worked on (and some he didn't, I think), he includes an amusing little exercise where you try to profile an UNSUB based on the facts you know about the case. I really enjoyed the read, learned a lot, and will definitely be reading more of his work. This book reminds me of those true crime shows I grew up with, but done better.

  • Sheila
    2018-10-21 17:54

    Have I never reviewed this before? I've read it like three times. Huh.John Douglas, along with fellow profiler Robert K. Ressler and forensic nurse Robert K. Ressler, put together the Crime Classification Manual: A Standard System for Investigating and Classifying Violent Crimes as a reference manual for law enforcement to apply the basics of profiling to their cases.This book is a narrative form of the above - less into the specific details, more about stories that exemplify each category. Some of them are the same as in the CCM. It's so sad that I recognize that. :)Douglas's nonfiction is always fascinating, but he cheerfully brings his ego to the table. I found this book to be more about the crimes and less about him, and that was a nice interlude.(p.s. kudos to one or both of them for making me freak OUT reading it after dark. yikes.)

  • Danigerous
    2018-11-21 19:13

    I was really impressed by John Douglas's books (together with Mark Olshaker) 'Mindhunter' and "Journey into Darkness' when I read them years ago. It was interesting to follow his career in the FBI as the first ever criminal profiler as well as his detailed explanation about the motives behind the different crimes he had encountered. This book, however, did not seem to attain the same level of excellence as its predecessors. I found the facts and information to be rather dryly delivered. Maybe another reason was that it didn't offer anything new to me, maybe it was because my literary tastes have slightly changed since I last read something by John and Mark, I'm not sure.It wasn't a bad read, it's just that it wasn't exactly captivating, and I do realize that it's non-fiction and it cannot offer some mind-blowing fictitious story, but I'm merely speaking from the standpoint of someone who's moderately acquainted with the authors' work. It does present some famous, and not so famous criminals and it offers some insight behind the reasons why they did whatever they had done, but often it doesn't delve as deep into the psychological aspect as I expected.

  • J.H. Moncrieff
    2018-11-11 16:14

    All of John Douglas's books get five stars from me. What a fascinating man. If you're at all interested in why people commit crimes, how they commit them, and what factors in their personalities and lives led them to that point, you will love this book. Every crime is a murder mystery, and when Douglas breaks down each case and criminal, you get real insight into how FBI profilers work. He even includes sample cases for the reader to figure out at the end (although they would be more effective if the solution wasn't provided throughout the narrative).From snipers to serial killers to bombers and arsonists, this book provides chilling insight into some of the worst crimes in recent history and beyond.

  • Cath Murphy
    2018-10-31 20:57

    Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand criminal profiling. Especially eery because Douglas' analysis of Timothy McVeigh, who set off the Oklahoma bomb exactly matches the personality of Anders Breivik, who bombed and shot 84 people in Norway last year.

  • Casey Keen
    2018-11-07 13:07

    Again, John Douglas' books are the best when it comes to true crime facts of motives, operation and FBI techniques. I love his books!

  • Agatha Glowacki
    2018-11-07 14:18

    Very detailed and excellent book based on actual cases and research. Great companion to shows like Criminal Minds; like a study guide to each episode. Very intense, though, and dense. I found it a bit overwhelming at times, and hard to get through. But lots of great insights important to know. Just some notes another review shared that I wanted to keep to remember the key points of the book:*Basic Formula. Douglas’s basic formula for solving crimes = Why? + How? = Who. *Classification of Multiple Murderers. Douglas divides this group into serial killers, mass murderers, and spree killers. Serial killers are those who kill three or more people, with time-gaps between the killings. They expect to get away with their homicides and are motivated by the sex drive and the need for control. Mass murderers kill four or more people in one location and one incident; they don’t expect to get away with it and are usually making some kind of statement (often paranoid). Spree killers murder people at two or more locations, usually without significant lapse of time between killings, and play it by ear, not thinking their actions through to the end (“The spree killer’s rage is unplanned and unpredictable”). What do the three types of killer have in common? They’re losers who get a sense of power from the killings, and their murders are usually triggered by stressful life events (loss of job, death in family, desertion by spouse). *Modus Operandi and Signature. Douglas makes a distinction between an offender’s M.O. and his “signature.” The M.O. is the offender’s characteristic way of committing his crimes. His signature is any unique stamp he places on his crime: “When we talk about signature elements, we mean things the [killer:] does that aren’t necessary to the commission of his crime but are important for him to get emotional satisfaction out of the deed.” Examples: always stealing a piece of jewelry from a murder victim, or sending taunting letters to the police.*Organized and Disorganized. Douglas distinguishes between organized and disorganized offenders: how well an offender plans the crime. “The general rule is that organized offenders extort for money and disorganized offenders [commit crimes:] for all the other reasons.” *Reassurance Offenders versus Assertive Offenders. According to Douglas, some arsonists and rapists are “power-reassurance” types, whose acts of violence are attempts to convince themselves of their power and self-worth; these often feel guilty immediately after the crime, and sometimes even apologize to their victims. Other arsonists and rapists are “power-assertive” types, who take pleasure in exerting power and control over their victims and have no guilt and no regrets. *Internalizers versus Externalizers. “Both [internalizers and externalizers:] begin with the fantasy [of the crime:]. The externalizer [such as the sexual predator:] acts out directly. But the internalizer—the arsonist, the bomber—remains one step removed from the victim(s). The internalizer is the loner, the asocial…” Most violent offenders are cowards, but the internalizer is especially so—he operates abstractly, avoiding direct confrontation with the victim and usually depersonalizing her/him.*Sexual Predators. Virtually all sexual predators are men. Apart from more generalized antisocial behavior, there are three specific warning signs in childhood: late bed-wetting, arson, and cruelty to animals and/or small children. Most offenders develop predatory fantasies by early adolescence; “…50 percent described having their first rape fantasy between the ages of twelve and fourteen!" And: “The fantasy always precedes the predatory act.” During adolescence, most develop into paraphiliacs. The paraphilias include voyeurism (engaged in by 72% of offenders), excessive masturbation (79%), preoccupation with pornography (81%), fetishism (72%), indecent exposure (25%), bestiality (sex with animals) (25%), obscene phone calls (25%), cross-dressing (10-20%), prostitution (10-20%) and frottage (sexual excitement by rubbing against someone—crowds will never seem the same) (10-20%). Usually the predator starts with a paraphilia and then escalates, perfecting his technique (and perhaps his fantasies) as he progresses. For example, he may start as a Peeping Tom, then sneak into houses to steal panties (fetishism), then sneak into houses to rape women, then sneak in to rape women and then murder them. Apparently it is rare for a sexual predator to start out with a capital crime; he works his way up to it. Why do predators commit their crimes? “[They:] seemed to realize early on, sometimes even as very young children, that the power to manipulate others gave them a sense of control that they felt was so lacking in their lives.” “The crime—what he did to another person, the way he exerted power and control—was the most intense, stimulating and memorable experience of his life. By reliving it this way [talking about it while in prison:], he was reliving the peak sensation and bringing me with him inside his mind.” And: “They choose to do it because it makes them feel good.” How do predators select their victims? “Sexual predators home in on victims in whom they sense a lack of self-esteem and self-worth…the ones they feel they can entice, mold to their own purposes, and separate from family, friends and values.”*Assassins. “Assassin personalities” are typically white male loners with low self-esteem and functional paranoia [i.e. they experience delusions:]. They’ve usually had bad childhoods, are followers rather than leaders, often have a gun fetish, and usually keep diaries or journals (for example, James Oliver Huberty, the MacDonalds mass murderer, kept meticulous records on what he called “debts”: any perceived slight against him or his family). Other notes on assassin types: “Once [assassins:] decide on their course of action, stress and conflict are lifted.” [That is, they are often amazingly calm and collected.:] Of Lennon-killer Chapman: “The only thing going through his mind at the time, he later reported, was how gratified he was that the gun was working so well.” And: “Few recall ever seeing [Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh:] laugh or smile, which is typical of paranoid types.” And: “Any successful assassin has to get lucky.” And finally: “As with so many of these guys, the deeper-seated feelings of inadequacy competed inside him with equally strong feelings of grandiosity and superiority, of being better and more deserving than everybody else.” *Other Interesting Observations.—“Both rapists and artists usually start out as Peeping Toms.”—“The older the victim, the younger the offender.”—“If a violent, power-assertive or sadistic-type rapist embarks on the assault with no intention of killing his victim, he will often attempt to conceal his face or the victim’s, to prevent her from being able to identify him later.”—In abductions, “Killers don’t call, and callers don’t kill.” Because: those who abduct for ransom call to set up the payoff; those who abduct and murder out of rage have no reason to call.—It takes about two years to train a smart and seasoned agent to be a good profiler.—The “Dangerous Forties”: “When [losers:] get to that age, and take stock, if it doesn’t look as if life is going quite the way they planned it, they can pop.”—“…if you are…the victim of a crime and the offender orders you to get in a car with him—don’t do it!”—In his senior high yearbook, Andrew Cunanan was voted, “Most likely to be remembered.”—Serial offenders cut out newspaper articles to “document their ‘accomplishments’ and revel in them, reliving them in fantasy over and over as they read details of their exploits during their cooling-off periods.”—Many offenders “rehabilitate” in the highly structured environment of prison—but will revert if released into the outside world, with its lack of structure.—The claim of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski to be saving the world from the evils of technology seems to be a rationalization for more mundane hatred: as a graduate student at University of Michigan he wrote in his journal: “My first thought was to kill somebody I hated and then kill myself before the cops could get me.” Then he changed his mind: “[I was:] not ready to relinquish life so easily. So I thought, I will kill, but I will make at least some effort to avoid detection, so that I can kill again.”

  • Lynxmama
    2018-11-02 15:00

    Excellent! Thoughtful, informative...

  • elizabeth
    2018-11-07 19:16

    Well, now! This was quite an enjoyable read. The authors write in a way that is engaging as well as informative, though I can't say I learned all that much as a psychology major (pretty much everything in this book is now taught in various introductory and undergraduate-level psychology courses). Nonetheless, the authors were articulate without falling too far into the endless rabbit hole that can be technobabble. Behavioral science/forensics can often be tricky to discuss correctly, as the concept of personal choice tends to get lost in the narrative of the evolution of the personality. I think the authors were pretty fair and balanced in their look at criminals, pointing out how their environment shaped them, but that these people ultimately chose to do what they did.Of course, this, by virtue of being a book made for mass appeal, did not get into the deeper psychological analyses and understandings of each case. Considering the copy I read was a mass market paperback, this isn't surprising. It gives a good introduction to the basics, but if you're looking for my depth and analysis, I recommended finding yourself some more focused behavioral psychology books.I did learn a lot about some of the well-known cases from the last forty years, and I'll show my age here by saying I had no idea that medications and other related items did not always come in tamper-evident/proof packaging. Sometimes, it really does just take one person to change an entire practice in society. It also made clear that there was a real (r)evolution in crime in the last fifty or so years, and one that I would be very interested in looking into further.

  • Beej
    2018-11-13 18:56

    I picked up this book after reading John's debut, Mindhunter, and as a whole I think I prefer this book over the first. Mindhunter helped to establish a relationship between the reader and John, and engage in his development both as a young man and a professional psychologist. That was a much needed introduction, but as it had already been made, this book jumped straight into the criminology and victimology that the demographic of this book will thrive on. I felt the profiles and motives on the criminals were more in depth and informative than in Mindhunter, and I particularly enjoyed the interactive segment at the end where John provides hypothetical cases for the reader to profile and solve. The book focuses on several types of attacker, distinguishes between serial, spree and mass murderers, details crimes and motives behind arsonists, bombers, assassins, and several more types of UNSUB.I highly recommend John's books to anyone interested in the field of criminology, victimology, rehabilitation or psychology. As well as being informative they are also personal and, in places, amusing. This can be read as a stand-alone book but if you are new to the world of John Douglas I have to encourage you to first read Mindhunter to get a more detailed background of the man you are studying with.

  • Sam
    2018-11-21 19:04

    There was a time when I wanted to be in the FBI as a criminal psychologist/profiler. This book was one of the driving forces behind that desire. It's expertly written with a down-to-earth tone, chronically one FBI agents quest to understanding serial killers and pathological murders. Though the subject matter is intense and often disturbing, John Douglas comes across as a simple and decent man driven to understand his enemy more than condemn. The key to any criminal case is finding and understanding the motive of the criminal, and this is a great book that preaches to that very kind of detective work. A great and entertaining read even if the reader has no interest in criminal psychology. The character of Will Graham from Thomas Harris's "Hannibal Lector" series (in the movies played by William Patterson in Manhunter and Edward Norton in Red Dragon) was based on Douglas. Their portrays are fairly accurate to the man himself, as evidenced by his own words here in Anatomy of Motive.

  • Michelle
    2018-10-31 17:56

    As gripping as a one-to-one lecture from Herr Hotchner himself...Okay, maybe not that gripping...I first read John Douglas's 'Mindhunter' when I was sitting on a tube train in 1996 going to visit my then boyfriend. I forget what happened with the boyfriend, but I remember how gripped I was by Douglas's writing. I've had this book in my house for years (the pages have even turned that lovely shade of yellow) but, like the boyfriend, had forgotten about it. A week off work and the subsequent overdose of boxsets of Criminal Minds made me dig it out. I wasn't disappointed. I wish there was an updated version, as so many UNSUBs have come to pass since then and I'd like to know more. If you read and absorb this properly, you'll be ready to give your own profiles.

  • Ash
    2018-11-21 19:15

    Douglas is an excellent crime writer, which is no surprise given his background. This book is a highly interesting, fast paced introduction to motive, means, opportunity modus operandi, all those fancy crime words we hear - presented in an approachable and engrossing way. Not only are serial murders discussed, but also poisoning, arson, kidnapping, and robbery - the whole gang. If you're a diehard true crime reader, or someone who merely dabbles in the subject this book will be a worthwhile read.

  • Bronwyn
    2018-11-07 16:52

    Could not put it down! Such a great read and loved the examples and case studies at the end. John Douglas is a very knowledgeable man and it's great to get a look into his mind as a profiler. Wonderful!

  • Christine Marie
    2018-11-15 21:01

    I read this years ago, and still use it as reference! Great, informative read.

  • J. Dorn
    2018-11-08 17:10

    This is what passes for a "coffee table book" in our house.

  • Kate Oreschak
    2018-11-01 20:21

    It's basically the TV show Criminal Minds, but in book form and real. Interesting read. I went out and bought two more by the author.

  • Leah
    2018-11-13 16:57

    If you've read other books by Douglas and Olshaker, some of this material may be a little repetitive, but it's still a very good book. What it really drove home for me was the necessity of emphasizing and providing mental health care--to the same degree that we do physical health. It would be nice to think that we are all well-balanced, or that, if we're not, we can figure this out ourselves, but neither of these is true. Many of us do have some serious issues that we need help with--and even if we don't, I don't think that many of us really learn good coping strategies for the hard times in life. Rather, we tend to learn flawed, semi-effective ones the hard way. Oddly enough, the day before I finished this, I saw two examples of incredibly bad, threatening coping strategies in our rather upscale neighborhood Kroger--and it has all left me with the desire to teach my children...and kids in Bible class, etc., how to handle life's difficulties effectively--and how to find help when they cannot. So many lives are wasted because we ignore the importance of mental and emotional care.

  • Becky
    2018-11-14 17:18

    John Douglas and Mark Olshaker really do write a good book. There is however an error on page 259, they actually confuse the term delusional with psychotic. The description of "He is the kind of man to say that the judge is out to get him" does indeed fit the description of delusional disorder, persecutory type, which may very well have been an additional diagnosis.Also, if you have read the books on the JFK assassination as I have, you would have to be delusional to believe that Oswald so much as fired a gun that day, much less killed the president.

  • Baker​ St Shelves
    2018-10-27 17:15

    How and Why? Those are the questions that people ask when they hear about the atrocities that killers inflict. Here, John Douglas examines multiple ideas on how someone could commit these acts. A fine idea for a book to be sure, but when compared to Mindhunter, this came a little too dry for me. Not sure why, but I just didn't connect with this book as much as the last one. Could be the cases, the writing style, or the slow pacing, or that I had too much hype with it. In any event, while it's okay, it was a step backwards from before.

  • Kaylene
    2018-10-28 15:52

    Very informative. This books gives a clear insight into the criminal mind using actual real life events to explain the different personality types and the different kinds of criminals. T.V. shows like criminal minds make it look easy to understand the 'unsub' from of mind when in real life it is more challenging to understand a person's motive for committing the crime. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in criminology and psychology.

  • Beth Ramirez
    2018-11-17 15:53

    Written by one of the best FBI profilers to date, this book is one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read. If you are fascinated by true crime, crime shows or the minds of criminals this book is perfect. This book takes you deep into the minds of violent criminals and why they do the things they do. Not only is it so interesting it’s hard to put down but in the end you feel more prepared and aware of your surroundings.

  • Joseph Carrabis
    2018-11-08 16:56

    I read this book because I worked in parallel fields for many years and also for research into some current writing projects. Anatomy of Motive is a good read, informative without going into horrific detail. A good source book.

  • Lynnea Taylor
    2018-11-11 17:16

    I love the works of John E Douglas. I listened to this on Audiobook and was completely enthralled. He gives detailed information on different criminal profiles, their MO's and signatures, and how to differentiate them. Absolutely fascinating.

  • Kristie
    2018-10-26 19:51

    A truly fascinating look into criminal profiling and how it was used in some of the most famous cases in the US. I think Douglas is a little full of himself, but there's a good chance he has every right to be.