Book Review

Topics: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime, Murder Pages: 5 (1677 words) Published: July 1, 2012
Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit
By: John Douglas and co-author, Mark Olshaker

In the book Mind Hunter, author, John Douglas introduces how the National Academy of the FBI provides learning, education, and techniques throughout relationships with Local, State, and Federal police officers. Douglas being a former FBI agent from the FBI headquarters at Quantico, VA, describes how he and a team of FBI agents formed the Investigative Support Unit, formerly known as the Behavioral Science Unit for criminal-personality profiling of serial killer and rapist offenders. Mark Olshaker is a photographer, novelist, and producer.

Douglas explains the process and techniques used in profiling a murderer by putting himself mentally and emotionally in the head of both, the offender and the victim. By conducting interviews of notorious serial killers in prison, Douglas and his team learned more about what was going on in the perpetrator’s mind with evidence he left at a crime scene. Mind Hunter describes that serial killers’ main goal is hunting and killing; often fantasizes of dominating another human being and wanting to have complete control over his victim. Douglas examines each crime scene, reliving both the actions in his mind, creating their profiles, describes their habits, and predicts their next moves. Douglas has confronted, interviewed and researched dozens of serial killers and assassins for a landmark study to understand their motives.

Many factors written in Mind Hunter include tremendous cooperation between County, State, and Federal agencies, local leadership, families, and the symbolism between profiling and criminal analysis using traditional police and forensic techniques, work together to stop dangerous serial killers.

The purpose of John Douglas writing this book is to educate the reader on his keen observations for crime details. John Douglas worked with law enforcement around the world to hunt and catch serial predators. Douglas shows his expertise in criminal-personality profiling of offenders who commit murder. He has 25 years of experience into the mind of murder.

My belief is that Special Agent John Douglas’s major premise was to bring light into these types of crimes. History would lead one to not have knowledge that such crimes occurred. Today, Douglas’s writings have made people, police officers, attorneys, and courts to be aware of the behavior and traits of serial offenders.

John Douglas has a particular point of view that the Elite Serial Crimes Unit is the beginning of a journey into the mind of serial killers and their victims.
Douglas pursued some of the most notorious and sadistic serial killers. Some of the many cases include Ted Bundy who prayed on young girls at college campuses and was electrocuted January 1989 in Florida for murder of Karla Brown; we’ll never know exactly how many young lives Bundy took; Ed Kemper mutilated six young women and murdered his grandparents; Charles Manson who formed and led a group of followers was charged with the murders of Sharon Tate and her four guests; David Berkowitz who was known as the “Son of Sam” shot and killed six young men and women; David Carpenter who was known as “The Trailside Killer” shot and stabbed 8 females and one male; Wayne Williams (a.k.a. Atlanta Child Murderer) strangled and murdered 14 children; Larry Gene Bell murdered two young girls; Arthur Shawcross murdered numerous prostitutes and Dennis Rader, the BTK killer who brutally murdered eight.

Much of the evidence used in this book derives from Douglas and co-worker Bob Ressler teachings in New York and producing evidence from crime scenes and the horrible agony and terror that the victims suffer. Evidence included autopsies, crime scene photos, souvenirs collected by the UNSUB (unknown subject.)

Douglas and his brilliant mind and 25 years of education with research, pursuing, and finding serial killers, worked in forming the book Mind Hunter....

Bibliography: Douglas, J. E. (1995). Mindhunter: Inside the FBI 's elite serial crimes unit. New York: Scribner.
Inciardi, J. A. (2010). Criminal Justice. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
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