Friend's Email: Subject:I have found a book that I think you would enjoy
Obsession: The FBI's Legendary Profiler Probes the Psyches of Killers, Rapists and Stalkers and Their Victims and Tells How to Fight Back
Obsession The FBI's Legendary Profiler Probes the Psyches of Killers Rapists and Stalkers and Their Victims and Tells How to Fight Back Author:John E. Douglas In this eagerly awaited new book by the international best-selling authors of Mindhunter and Journey into Darkness, master FBI profiler John Douglas takes us into the minds and souls of both the hunters and the hunted. The legendary former head of the FBI's Investigative Support Unit, Douglas was the pioneer of modern behavioral pr... more »ofiling of serial criminals. In Mindhunter, we followed his development into a modern, real-life Sherlock Holmes as he tracked down the Atlanta child murderer, San Francisco's Trailside Killer, and Seattle's Green River Killer -- a chase that nearly cost him his life. In Journey into Darkness, he directed his unique skills particularly to crimes against children and young adults, and showed how the quest for closure for the survivors does not always end simply with catching the killer. Written with Mark Olshaker, the coauthor of Douglas's previous books and an acclaimed novelist, journalist, and filmmaker, Obsession is vital reading for anyone seeking to understand and prevent violent crime. In Obsession, Douglas once again takes us fascinatingly behind the scenes, focusing his expertise on predatory crimes, primarily against women. With a deep sense of compassion for the victims and an uncanny understanding of the perpetrators, Douglas looks at the obsessions that lead to rape, stalking, and sexual murder through such cases as Ronnie Shelton, the serial rapist who terrorized Cleveland; Joseph Thompson, New Zealand's South Auckland rapist; the stalking and killing of television star Rebecca Schaeffer; and New York's notorious "Preppie Murder." He plumbs the minds and motives of those who commit these terrifying and seemingly inexplicable offenses, using as examples his study of Ed Gein, Gary Heidnick, and Ted Bundy, the three obsessional killers who made up the composite character of "Buffalo Bill" in The Silence of the Lambs. (Douglas himself was the model for Special Agent Jack Crawford.) But Douglas also looks at obsession on the other side of the moral spectrum: his own career-long obsession with hunting these predators; the obsession of the directors of a model police department's victim's program in Virginia that has literally saved the lives of survivors; and the obsession of a brilliant young lawyer who has established an innovative school in Harlem to combat crime, drugs, and despair. Finally, there's the poignant and moving story of Gene and Peggy Schmidt and their daughter, Jennifer, whose sister, Stephanie, was viciously murdered by a paroled rapist in Kansas, and who channeled their grief and anguish into fighting for a milestone Supreme Court ruling. Douglas analyzes the critical lessons of the Stephanie Schmidt case, which demonstrates the new empowerment galvanizing the victim's rights movement. In a final section that serves as a call to action, Douglas shows us how we can all fight back and protect ourselves, our families, and loved ones against the scourge of the violent predators in our midst. But the first step is insight and understanding, and no one is better qualified to penetrate obsession than John Douglas.« less
Amelia S. reviewed Obsession: The FBI's Legendary Profiler Probes the Psyches of Killers, Rapists and Stalkers and Their Victims and Tells How to Fight Back on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Douglas and Olshaker are clearly hit-or-miss authors for me: I loved The Cases That Haunt Us, then found Journey Into Darkness slow going, then loved The Anatomy of Motive, then Obsession took me at least a month to finish. The books I have enjoyed are the newest of the pair's five; the books I have found dull are older, which does not bode well for my consumption of the first book they wrote, Mindhunter, which is next on my list.
With the warmth and frank bias of a firsthand observer, Douglas, the founder and head of the FBI's Investigative Support Unit and the inspiration for the character of Jack Crawford in Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon, here describes violent crimes and their consequences. With co-author Olshaker, with whom he wrote Mindhunter and Journey into Darkness, Douglas details the crimes and case histories of serial killers, serial rapists, child molesters, stalkers and others. Included are infamous killers such as Edward Gein, Ted Bundy and Robert Chambers, along with less publicized, though just as disturbing, purveyors of acts of fatal obsession. Asserting "that behavior reflects personality," Douglas shows how he and his colleagues can assess the different temperaments and motivations at work behind grisly acts. Rapists tend to fall into four basic categories, for example, the "power-reassurance rapist" (driven by feelings of inadequacy), the "exploitive" rapist (impulsive and overtly macho), the "anger" rapist (who uses sex to displace his rage) and, cruelest of all, the "sadistic" rapist, who "simply gets off on hurting people." What stands out in this eye-opening book is how Douglas's compassion for the survivors of violent crimes seems to equal his understanding of the criminals themselves. His description of the work of the countless people who counsel, comfort and fight for the rights of victims serves as a welcome reminder that horrific and isolated acts of darkness and coldness are counterbalanced by a warmhearted and, one hopes, more natural human determination to help.
The authors of "Journey into Darkness" probes the minds of both the hunter and the hunted in this powerful exploration of human behavior. With a deep sense of compassion for the victims and an uncanny understanding of the penetrators, Douglas exposes the chilling obsessions that compel the murderers, rapists, and stalkers of modern times.