The Evil That Men Do profiles the profilers--the investigators who study crimes to try to figure out how, why, and by whom crimes were committed. The focus is on veteran profiler Roy Hazelwood, who played an important role in the growing legitimacy of the art and science of psychological profiling, often seen by police forces as a questionable practice. Through his chillingly accurate profiles and his ability to predict criminal behavior, as well as his keen and creative logical reasoning, Hazelwood has proven himself not only to the law enforcement professionals who use his services but to the public at large.
Michaud doesn't approach his subject gingerly. While the profilers are treated like regular guys with a really weird job, the crime descriptions can be nauseatingly graphic. Although some of the accounts are funny, this is primarily a disturbing glimpse at some of the most deranged and violent people modern society has produced.
Note: this copy doesn't have a dust jacket. From Publisher's Weekly: Michaud documents the unique career of criminologist Hazelwood, a retired member of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit (little known to the public until Thomas Harris wrote The Silence of the Lambs). Hazelwood was one of the co-founders of VICAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program), the FBI's program to profile serial killers, with Robert Ressler and John Douglas. In the wake of books by Douglas (the bestselling Mind Hunter) and Ressler (Whoever Fights Monsters), Michaud recounts Hazelwood's career and explains his specialty?exploring the psychology and motives of sexual predators, from rapists to serial killers. Sexual crime investigation was a "scorned and degraded facet of police work" until Hazelwood transformed it into a professional discipline at the FBI. "There'd been hundreds of rape studies done," according to Hazelwood, "but no one had ever looked at serial rapists." To do so, he combed prison records of 12 states, locating 41 men who, cumulatively, had committed 837 known rapes and attempted 400 more. The book relates Hazelwood's involvement in several headline cases of both alleged and confirmed sexual crimes (Tawana Brawley in 1987, the Atlanta Child Murders that first came to light in 1979, the explosion that killed 47 aboard the USS Iowa in 1989) and the numerous accounts of unfamiliar criminals are equally, if grimly, absorbing. Michaud is most interesting when he ably summarizes Hazelwood's groundbreaking work and least interesting when he slips into simple hagiography of the dedicated lawman.
Interesting to read, not too gory, not too long, with an excellent index and bibliography. Unfortunately, Michaud is a terrible writer. I already wrote a livejournal post about Michaud's poor word and punctuation choices, so I'll not repeat it here.