Journey Into Darkness

Journey Into Darkness

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by John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker

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In the #1 New York Times bestseller Mindhunter, John Douglas, who headed the FBI's elite Investigative Support Unit, told the story of his brilliant and terrifying career tracking down some of the most heinous criminals in history. Using behavioral profiling and criminal investigative analysis to get into the head and psyche of both the criminal and


In the #1 New York Times bestseller Mindhunter, John Douglas, who headed the FBI's elite Investigative Support Unit, told the story of his brilliant and terrifying career tracking down some of the most heinous criminals in history. Using behavioral profiling and criminal investigative analysis to get into the head and psyche of both the criminal and victim — to feel what they felt at the critical moment — Douglas helped crack many high profile cases, including the Trailside Killer, the Atlanta child murders, and the Tylenol murders. Now, working again with his co-author Mark Olshaker, Douglas delves further into the criminal mind with a series of chilling new cases in Journey into Darkness: Follow the FBI's premier investigative profiler as he penetrates the minds and motives of the most terrifying serial killers.

In Journey into Darkness, Douglas profiles vicious serial killers, rapists, and child molesters. He is straightforward, blunt, often irreverent, and outspoken, but takes pains not to glorify any of these murderers. Some of the unique cases Douglas discusses include:

  • The Clairemont killer — Six women were found stabbed to death in San Diego, three in the same apartment complex. In each case, the killer entered through an unlocked door or window in the late morning to early afternoon. A suspect was in custody, tied to one of the murders through a DNA match. Douglas was called upon to use his profiling techniques to link the other five murders to the suspect. Douglas looked at the "signature" of the killer, and found that all the murders were committed by the same man. The prosecution used the profile to force the jury to find the defendant guilty of all six murders, if they felt he was guilty of the one murder. Celophus Prince was found guilty on all counts.
  • The schoolgirl murders — What became Canada's "trial of the century." Several schoolgirls disappeared in 1992; their bodies were dumped several weeks later, beaten and sexually attacked. Canadian police agencies contacted the FBI for help on the case and to get a profile on the killer and, according to witnesses, his accomplice. Following the advice of the Investigative Support Unit in Quantico, Canada aired a television special entitled "The Abduction of Kristin French," allowing agent Gregg McCrary to describe the killer's profile on air. Knowing that the murderer and his accomplice would be watching, he planned to confront the unknown killer, assuring him he would be caught. Paul Bernardo was arrested on February 17, 1993, turned in by his wife and partner in crime, Karla Leanne Homolka.. The profile was dead on the money.
  • Richmond's First Serial Murderer — In 1987, Richmodd, Virginia, was struck by a serial rapist/murderer. The Richmond police called upon the Investigative Support Unit in Quantico to make up a profile of the perpetrator. The crimes and profile beared a remarkable resemblance to a string of burglaries, rapes and murders in Alexandria, Virginia, several years before. Agent Steve Mardigian then formulated a complex strategy that caught the killer who fit the profile to a tee. In the process he helped free a wrongly convicted man, who due to his low intelligence level, had become confused and confessed to the crime.
  • The brutal and sadistic murder of Suzanne Marie Collins, a beautiful young Marine on the verge of a brilliant career. The culprit was caught and confessed to her killing, but his story was very different than what really happened. By delving into Sedley Alley's mind, Douglas helped bring the murderer to justice, recreating the evening from the perspective of a sadistic and angry man. Suzanne Collins' horrifying end haunts Douglas to this day.

Douglas delves into other cases, including Polly Klaas' abduction and murder by Richard Allen Davis, the tragedy that lead to the creation of Megan's Law; the abduction and murder of six-year-old Cassandra Lynn Hansen, who was snatched from an evening church service; and the vicious murder and sexual assault of Nancy Newman and her two daughters, eight-year-old Melissa and three-year-old Angie in Anchorage, Alaska. He also explores the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, focusing on the double homicide purely from a behavioral perspective. Douglas examines what the facts at and surrounding the crime scene told about the killer from a behavioral point of view. From Douglas's profile, the only viable suspect to date is O.J. Simpson.

With Journey into Darkness, Douglas provides more than a glimpse into the minds of serial killers; he demonstrates what a powerful weapon behavioral science has become. Profiling criminals helps not only to capture them, but also helps society understand how these predators work and what can be done to prevent them from striking again. Douglas focuses especially on pedophiles and child abductors, fully explaining what drives them, and how to keep children away from them. As he points out, "The best way to protect your children is to know your enemy." He includes eight rules for safety, a list of steps parents can take to prevent child abduction and exploitation, tips on how to detect sexual exploitation, basic rules of safety for children, and a chart, based on age, which details the safety skills children should have to protect themselves.

In his review for Mindhunter in The New York Times Book Review, Dean Koontz said, "Because of his insights and the power of the material, he leaves us shaken, gripped by a quiet grief for the innocent victims and anguished by the human condition." Journey into Darkness continues this perilous trip into the psyche of the serial killer, but also offers a glimmer of hope that profiling may enable law enforcement to see the indicators of a serial killer's mind and intervene before he kills, or kills again.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
After the mind-blowing success of Mindhunter (Scribner, 1995), more profiles in criminality from the former head of the FBI's Investigative Support Unit.

Product Details

Gallery Books
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5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

John E. Douglas is a former special agent with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, one of the first criminal profilers, and a criminal psychology author. His works include Mindhunter, Obsession, and Journey Into Darkness, among others.

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Journey into Darkness 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Book gives a lot of insight, and in depth detail into Not only the Crimes, but the Victims and the Criminals as well. A must read for anyone interested in criminal Profiling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I own all of the books written by John Edward Douglas. I have read them all @ least twice. As a Criminology major and Certified Criminal Profiler, Douglas has been THE inspiration for my forthcoming career. 'Journey Into Darkness' is a terrific read for anyone interested in the topic of human monsters. Most heart--wrenching is the story of the homicide of Lance Corporal Suzanne M. Collins. Douglas writes about this w/ empathy yet he can seperate emotion from fact, which is pivotal in our profession. To those who buy this must--have book, buy the hardcover--not the mass market paperback. A Douglas book is worth collecting forever. I wouldn't give up my Douglas collection ( many out of print ) for millions of dollars !
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annie1961 More than 1 year ago
Reading this book made me realize the endless filth the men and women who work in this field are constantly exposed to. The criminals they deal with over the course of their lifetime of work are truly evil, vile, and disgusting. They lie, they manipulate and they use the foulest language to describe their innocent victims, after committing the most henious of crimes. I can't thank the members of law enforcement enough, regardless of their branch of service, for the work they do day in and day out. Truly, thank you, for your incredible devotion, and the immeasurable sacrifices each of you make to put these people behind bars and keep them there.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
this book has been entertaining in such a way that it has enough scare in it like a movie but also very informative. i truly believe that we should all know what to fear from people around us, as they say a little awareness dont hurt and who better to tell us about it aside from the expert, the author himself!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have yet to read a book by John Douglas that I didn't enjoy or found easy to put down. This is a truly thought provoking book with chilling stories that will really bring insight to Criminal Profiling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think John Douglas has the most amazing mind. He really gets down in the depths in this one and pulls out all the stops. He gets into some stuff that he didn't really cover in MindHunter but as always, an amazing book to read and keeps you engrossed the whole time. I would definately recommend it to anyone to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is dated yet somewhat entertaining. The profiler, Silence of the Lambs fad is done so it's a bit lame. This guy never caught, cuffed or jailed any serial killer. It's all half ass psychology stuff that kinda helped and really misled several major cases. I guess they stare at police crime scene photos and read reports all day and make general deductions and points towards them. It's pretty stupid but it was a bit cool some years ago.'s good for students and hopeful "profilers." For whatever purpose it may serve...