Myth of the Out of Character Crime

Myth of the Out of Character Crime

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by Stanton E. Samenow
     
 

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From time to time, into the news burst accounts of regular people who commit crimes that seem totally out of character according to those who know them well. Lee Malvo, one of the D.C. snipers, was known to his friends and family as a smart, promising man. Steven, was a talented, young scientist with no criminal record. No one suspected he was capable of injuring

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Overview

From time to time, into the news burst accounts of regular people who commit crimes that seem totally out of character according to those who know them well. Lee Malvo, one of the D.C. snipers, was known to his friends and family as a smart, promising man. Steven, was a talented, young scientist with no criminal record. No one suspected he was capable of injuring another-until he was arrested for abducting a man, handcuffing him, and threatening to blow off his head with a pistol. What makes these otherwise stable and respected men and women commit crimes? Why do those who know them best not see the signs? Are there clues people can look out for when a person is about to snap? What in the psychological makeup of defendants resulted in their committing crimes? Here, a seasoned forensic psychologist delves into the psyches of these otherwise normal people, whom he has treated and researched for many years.

With first-hand experience interviewing and treating such offenders, Samenow is able to offer numerous case examples of everyday people committing extraordinary crimes. He reveals the significant clues that help to unmask these criminals and the seemingly mundane aspects of their daily lives. The way a person handles money, consumption of alcohol, sexual history, marital conflicts, job history and performance, interests and hobbies, reading preferences, ambitions and goals, and reactions to frustrations all contribute to the factors leading up to the criminal act. By probing into these and other aspects of the offenders' lives, the author finds a context for the crimes they commit. He concludes that the out of character crime does not exist, that the crime is merely the outer manifestation of what lies beneath the surface. By taking readers through the steps necessary to understand these criminals, the author shows how we can all read the signs before it is too late. He uses real life examples in every chapter to illustrate his points and readers will come away with a better understanding of how these criminals operate.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Drawing on his firsthand experiences of interviewing and treating such offenders, Samenow offers numerous case examples of everyday people committing extraordinary crimes, among them the Washington, D.C. sniper Lee Malvo. For law enforcement personnel, criminal justice professionals, criminologists, students, and interested general readers." - SciTech Book News

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313083594
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/30/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
909,171
File size:
309 KB

What People are saying about this

Melvin A. Gravitz

"Once again, Dr. Stanton Samenow, an internationally renowned authority on this subject, has written a powerful essay on the origins and management of criminals and criminal behavior. Every professional and layman seriously interested in this area should read this thoughtful, experience-based-and often provocative-book."

Melvin A. Gravitz, Ph.D., Certified, American Board of Forensic Psychology

Bryan T. Hodges

"This book is the latest of Dr. Samenow's classics on the subject of the criminal personality. It will provide any reader with realistic insight into the dynamics of the deviant thinking that produces criminal behavior. It will be of interest and has educational value for the layperson, friends and family of criminals and victims, corrections professionals, and mental health professionals. Having been a trial lawyer for eight years and a trial court judge for 32 years, I have come to value Dr. Samenow's several books for the depth of insight and realism provided. I have seen no case, and have heard of none, that does not provide additional support for Dr. Samenow's inspired discernment into the workings of criminal personalities."

Bryan T. Hodges, Senior Judge, State of Oregon

Bryan T. Hodges
"This book is the latest of Dr. Samenow's classics on the subject of the criminal personality. It will provide any reader with realistic insight into the dynamics of the deviant thinking that produces criminal behavior. It will be of interest and has educational value for the layperson, friends and family of criminals and victims, corrections professionals, and mental health professionals. Having been a trial lawyer for eight years and a trial court judge for 32 years, I have come to value Dr. Samenow's several books for the depth of insight and realism provided. I have seen no case, and have heard of none, that does not provide additional support for Dr. Samenow's inspired discernment into the workings of criminal personalities."
John Douglas
"We are stunned when an accomplished, talented, seemingly responsible person commits a horrific crime. It seems out of character! In his new book, Dr. Samenow explains the seemingly unexplainable. The reader is able to look over this forensic psychologist's shoulder as he figures out the context for the crime. He finds telltale clues in the offender's thinking patterns that reveal that the out of character crime is actually very much in character."

John Douglas

"We are stunned when an accomplished, talented, seemingly responsible person commits a horrific crime. It seems out of character! In his new book, Dr. Samenow explains the seemingly unexplainable. The reader is able to look over this forensic psychologist's shoulder as he figures out the context for the crime. He finds telltale clues in the offender's thinking patterns that reveal that the out of character crime is actually very much in character."

John Douglas, Former FBI Profiler, Author of Unabomber and Mindhunter

Terry Leap
"This well-written book is a page turner that should be read by law enforcement personnel, criminal attorneys, judges, and corrections officials. The book is also a must-read for criminologists and students aspiring to work in the field of criminology. The reader will gain fresh insights into criminal behavior from a seasoned psychologist who has spent countless hours interviewing every type of criminal imaginable from shoplifters to child molesters to spree killers."
Melvin A. Gravitz
"Once again, Dr. Stanton Samenow, an internationally renowned authority on this subject, has written a powerful essay on the origins and management of criminals and criminal behavior. Every professional and layman seriously interested in this area should read this thoughtful, experience-based-and often provocative-book."
D. Quinn Mills
"This excellent book is of great value to professionals in the area of criminal justice and to the general public—to anyone who wants to understand criminal behavior that often seems both shocking and difficult to comprehend. Dr. Samenow shows readers the keys to criminal behavior; he takes what seems unexplainable and makes it clear!"

Terry Leap

"This well-written book is a page turner that should be read by law enforcement personnel, criminal attorneys, judges, and corrections officials. The book is also a must-read for criminologists and students aspiring to work in the field of criminology. The reader will gain fresh insights into criminal behavior from a seasoned psychologist who has spent countless hours interviewing every type of criminal imaginable from shoplifters to child molesters to spree killers."

Terry Leap, Author of Dishonest Dollars: The Dynamics of White-Collar Crime

D. Quinn Mills

"This excellent book is of great value to professionals in the area of criminal justice and to the general public--to anyone who wants to understand criminal behavior that often seems both shocking and difficult to comprehend. Dr. Samenow shows readers the keys to criminal behavior; he takes what seems unexplainable and makes it clear!"

D. Quinn Mills, Professor, Harvard Business School

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Meet the Author

Stanton E. Samenow is a forensic psychologist and the author of Inside the Criminal Mind, Straight Talk about Criminals, The Criminal Personality: A Profile for Change, The Criminal Personality: The Change Process, and The Criminal Personality: The Drug User, a three volume set with Samuel Yochelson as senior author, in addition to Before It's Too Late: Why Some Kids Get into Trouble and What Parents Can Do About It.

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Myth of the Out of Character Crime 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While this book examines criminal behavior, I recommend Dr. Samenow's, The Myth of the Out of Character Crime to anyone involved in a helping profession. Very few of my clients are court referred, but I find his thoughtful interviewing techniques very helpful. His idea of discussing a 'Videotape' is worth the price of the book. Rather than mining and sorting through the typical excuses we hear purporting to explain 'why' someone appears to have acted out of character, he helps us understand this complex issue. Samenow's focus on what he describes as 'Errors in thinking' peels away the facade of the respectable person who commits unthinkable acts. Harold R. Hansen Eugene, Oregon