The Human Predator: A Historical Chronicle of Serial Murder and Forensic Investigation

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From ancient Rome through the Dark Ages to the burgeoning West to the open highways of urban America, from the unconscionable exploits of French religious zealot Gilles de Rais to such all-American monsters as Jeffrey Dahmer and Aileen Wournos, Katherine Ramsland makes an eye-opening case for the existence of serial killers throughout time, and offers a complete chronological record of the serial-killer phenomenon-as well as the parallel development of psychology, forensic science, and FBI profiling in the serial...

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Overview

From ancient Rome through the Dark Ages to the burgeoning West to the open highways of urban America, from the unconscionable exploits of French religious zealot Gilles de Rais to such all-American monsters as Jeffrey Dahmer and Aileen Wournos, Katherine Ramsland makes an eye-opening case for the existence of serial killers throughout time, and offers a complete chronological record of the serial-killer phenomenon-as well as the parallel development of psychology, forensic science, and FBI profiling in the serial killer's evolving manifestation throughout human history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425207659
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/4/2005
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Katherine Ramsland has a master's degrees in forensic psychology and clinical psychology. She is also the author of Inside the Minds of Mass Murderers.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2005

    Crime Library Review

    If you¿re looking for the perfect gift for someone who¿s riveted to television shows like CSI, you won¿t find a better one than Dr. Katherine Ramland¿s latest book, THE HUMAN PREDATOR: A Historical Chronicle of Serial Murder and Forensic Investigation (Berkley Hardcover Oct. 4, 2005). It¿s an extraordinarily well-researched book, written in a flowing, easy-to-understand style. You¿ll not only learn about serial murder but also the historical background of forensic science in its response to this phenomenon. THE HUMAN PREDATOR is the first book-length chronicle of the serial killer from ancient Rome to the present day, and it becomes clear that cultural factors influence their manifestation. While not every killer could be included, lest the book become encyclopedic, key cases from different time periods are analyzed for the ¿specific cultural conditions, individual processing of those conditions, and opportunity¿ that affected that criminal¿s development. In the Dark Ages, for example, wealthy nobles like French hero Gilles de Rais and the Countess Elizabeth Bathory made Jack the Ripper look like a Boy Scout. Threaded throughout this absorbing book is how science and psychology evolved alongside the history of the serial killer, providing the tools to catch these criminals and a growing understanding of their psyche. Forensic sciences developed early: in 1247, a Chinese lawyer produced the first work of forensic science, including how to tell the difference between a suicide, homicide and natural death. The U.S. has led development of a body of knowledge about serial killers, mostly through the FBI¿s legendary Behavioral Analysis Unit that played a key role in The Silence of the Lambs. Ramsland knows firsthand the pioneering contributions of these profilers, John Douglas, Robert Ressler and Roy Hazelwood, having written about and with them.

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