Thanks to Alison Menzies public relations for inviting me to read and review this book, THE KILLER ACROSS THE TABLE by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker.
‘John Douglas is the FBI’s pioneer and master of investigative profiling, and one of the most exciting figures in law enforcement I’ve had the privilege of knowing’ Patricia Cornwell
‘John Douglas knows more about serial killers than anybody in the world’ Jonathan Demme, Director of The Silence of the Lambs
In The Killer Across the Table, legendary FBI criminal profiler and number one bestselling author John Douglas delves deep into the lives and crimes of four of the most disturbing and complex predatory killers he’s encountered, offering never-before-revealed details about his profiling process and divulging the strategies used to crack some of his most challenging cases.
Former Special Agent John Douglas has sat across the table from many of the world’s most notorious killers – including Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, ‘Coed Killer’ Edmund Kemper, ‘Son of Sam Killer’ David Berkowitz and ‘BTK Strangler’ Dennis Rader, and has also been instrumental in the exoneration of Amanda Knox and the West Memphis Three. He has gone on to become a legend in the world of criminal investigative analysis, and his work has inspired TV shows and films such as Mindhunter, Criminal Minds and The Silence of the Lambs.
In this riveting work of true crime, Douglas spotlights four very different criminals he’s confronted over the course of his career, and explains how they helped him to put together the puzzle of how psychopaths and predators think. Taking us inside the interrogation room and demonstrating the unique techniques he uses to understand the workings of the most terrifying and incomprehensible minds, The Killer Across the Table is an unputdownable journey into the darkest reaches of criminal profiling and behavioural science from a man who knows serial killers better than anyone else. As Douglas says:
‘If you want to understand the artist, look at his art.’
If you want to understand what makes a murderer, start here.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Being a keen reader of crime books I felt that I was like a bee to a honeypot from the very first chapter. John Douglas worked for the FBI delving into some of the most high profile minds that there has ever been trying to find out what makes a serial killer tick. He looks at if it is the way a child or adult is treated that sends them over the edge or if a killer is born that way.
The thing that stands out in the book is his ability to get these killers to talk with ease to him, he has his own methods to get them to open up and once they do it seems that there is no stopping them. He stays professional throughout not letting his emotions show of how he sees these killers.
One case, in particular, is extremely sad, that of the horrific murder of a seven-year-old girl. No remorse is shown, with the killer happy to retell every detail as if it was yesterday, but it seems that this is quite common because these killers replay the events regularly in their own mind. Another killer targets family friends children. The brutality is sickening as he goes out looking with the family knowing that the children are dead.
John Douglas builds trust with these killers so that he can get to know them and lets them talk freely about why they do certain things to their victims. The rituals, why that particular victim? Was there a trigger or was a murder planned? A stranger or someone they knew? The work he has done has been revolutionary to pinpointing certain types of characters for the FBI to look out for after a serial killer becomes active.
I found the book totally fascinating, disturbing and engrossing.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHORS
John Douglas, the legendary FBI criminal profiler and veteran author of true crime books, has spent decades researching and culling the stories of the world’s most disturbing criminals. One of the foremost experts and investigators of criminal minds and motivations, he lives in the Washington, D.C. area.
Mark Olshaker is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and author of eleven nonfiction books and five novels. His books with former FBI Special Agent and criminal profiling pioneer John Douglas, beginning with Mindhunter and, most recently, Law & Disorder, have sold millions of copies and have been translated into many languages. Mindhunter is now a dramatic series on Netflix, directed by David Fincher. Olshaker and his wife Carolyn, an attorney, live in Washington, D.C.