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The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators Among Us
     

The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators Among Us

3.2 4
by Gregg O. McCrary, Katherine M. Ramsland
 
From one of the country's most preeminent criminal profilers comes this gripping, behind-the-scenes account of America's most disturbing and complex serial killer and murder investigations. A former Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, Gregg McCrary takes us deep into the minds of the nation's shrewdest and most sinister predators. In The

Overview

From one of the country's most preeminent criminal profilers comes this gripping, behind-the-scenes account of America's most disturbing and complex serial killer and murder investigations. A former Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, Gregg McCrary takes us deep into the minds of the nation's shrewdest and most sinister predators. In The Unknown Darkness, he digs beneath the crime scene to examine in raw first-person detail the lethal competition between the country's deviously dangerous killers and the dedicated professionals who are determined to get them off the streets.

In the basement offices of the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia -- now familiar from the books and films The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal -- McCrary served in one of the most elite forces for criminal investigation in the world, profiling criminals for over twenty-five years in more than a thousand cases involving homicide, serial murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault. He takes us inside his process on some of his most fascinating cases, including:

  • The Sam Sheppard case -- In revisiting this classic case, what new material did McCrary's analysis discover?
  • The Poet's Shadow -- The strange story of Jack Unterweger and the hunt for an international serial killer that had a bizarre twist.
  • The Buddhist Temple Massacre -- What did the crime scene reveal about the shocking evil that resulted in the deaths of nine gentle people?

The Unknown Darkness also explores the strengths and pitfalls of modern criminal investigation and offers vivid details about what happens at a crime scene, what is actually involved in bringing a killer to justice,and finally what kind of a person is able to devote his or her life to grappling with the predators among us. Daring to relive the often harrowing experiences of his time with the FBI, McCrary has put together an eye-opening account of ten of America's most frightening and riveting manhunts. He has also written an engrossing narrative on our justice system -- from the perspective of someone who has lived it day to day.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a book that combines engrossing writing with seasoned insight, McCrary, a 25-year veteran of the FBI and a former criminal profiler in the bureau's renowned behavioral science unit, has teamed up with Ramsland, a forensic psychologist and writer, to produce a detailed account of criminal investigative analysis. Describing 10 cases that provoked frenzied storms of media attention in their time-including the kidnapping, videotaped torture and murder of 15-year-old Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy; the senseless massacre of Buddhist monks in Arizona; and the case of Jack Unterweger, a celebrated Austrian writer, who killed numerous prostitutes while vividly covering the story of the murders in the local media-the book offers plenty of shockingly grisly and strange details to fascinate and horrify. But McCrary's levelheaded professionalism and consummate expertise elevates his work above the throng. His refreshingly honest assessment of the standoff between FBI agents and David Koresh's Branch Davidians in Waco, Tex., profiles what he casts as the "groupthink" psychology and self-righteousness that propelled both sides toward calamity, exposing the many similarities shared by bureaucratic and fanatic mentalities. And while his analysis of the famous case of Dr. Sam "The Fugitive" Shepard is less action-jammed than the versions fictionalized on television and in film, it is a worthy exposition. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Despite controversy over the use of some forms of profiling by law enforcement, the simple truth is that profiling (especially forensics) is a proven scientific method utilized by crime fighters. Profiling involves collecting physical evidence and attempting to understand the mind-set of criminals. Coauthors McCrary (a former supervisory FBI special agent and experienced profiler) and Ramsland (forensic psychology, Desales Univ.) define criminal profiling as "a process used to analyze a specific crime or series of crimes in order to develop a behavioral composite of an unknown offender." This book contains ten case studies of crimes ten to 15 years old of some of the most dangerous manhunts in the United States and Canada. Among the cases discussed are the Scarborough Rapist, the kidnapping of Kristen French, the Dr. Sam Shepard case, and the Buddhist Temple Massacre. Recommended for all public libraries where books like Mindhunter are popular and for criminal justice collections.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780641652004
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/14/2003
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.15(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Unknown Darkness
Profiling the Predators Among Us

Chapter One

The Scarborough Rapist

The sky is darkening like a stain
Something is going to fall like rain
And it won't be flowers.

-- W. H. Auden

One

The descriptions were vague of a rapist who stalked women as they got off the bus at night to go home. It was difficult for investigators to get a good lead. They weren't even sure they had a single offender, but several victims had described a man with light brown hair, a solid build, and a young voice. Most of them placed him in his early twenties, although one woman believed he was only eighteen. He'd started with fondling and vulgar talk, which were frightening enough, but within a year, he'd escalated to more serious offenses. As we looked over the cases, we had reason to worry.

These incidents had taken place in an east-side Toronto suburb known as Scarborough, which was just over the border of New York State. The FBI works closely with all Canadian authorities, and our office in Buffalo had frequent contact with the law-enforcement agencies along the "golden horseshoe" from Niagara Falls up to Toronto. In the fall of 1988, three years into my tenure with the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, the Metropolitan Toronto Police Department asked for a profile of this rapist. They sent us a file that detailed seven cases they believed were linked to a single offender. Six were from Scarborough and one was from Mississauga, a city of 750,000 people southwest of Toronto. It wasn't clear that the Mississauga attack was in the series, so we prepared to analyze the crimes both with and without it to see what impact it had on our overall assessment.

As we got to work, we couldn't have anticipated that our prediction for this offender would not only be tragically accurate, but that we'd revisit him again for much more serious crimes. In fact, he was to become one of the most highly publicized sadistic psychopaths in North America, and as a rapist he was just warming up.

Two

The first sexual offense that we examined occurred on May 4, 1987. A man followed a twenty-one-year-old woman from a bus stop as she walked home. She was petite and had long brown hair. Near her own home, he grabbed and fondled her. Ten days later, from the same bus stop, a strange man followed and attacked a younger woman in a similar manner and subjected her to a stream of vocal vulgarities. He demanded that she say certain lewd things back to him and then tell him that she loved him. On July 27, there was a similar attack, but the offender continued only to approach his victims from behind, fondle them, and use foul language. Sometimes he penetrated them with his fingers.

Then six months later -- if we were still looking at the same man -- he grew bolder. In December, there was another attack in a Scarborough neighborhood. Around ten-thirty P.M., a fifteen-year-old girl with brown hair left the bus stop on Guildwood Parkway and Livingston Road, a few blocks north of the Scarborough shoreline of Lake Ontario. She was 5 feet 4 and weighed around 105 pounds. Only a few houses from her home, a man accosted her from behind, showed her his knife, and pulled her into the shadows between two houses. He assured her that he would not hurt her, and as he proceeded to attack her sexually, he kept up a stream of questions: What is your name? Do you have a boyfriend? How old is he? She answered his questions but lied about her name, which he discovered when he went through her purse and found her ID. This apparently angered him.

He pushed her face against the ground, placed a cable around her neck and tightened it. For an hour, he raped her anally and vaginally, saying things like, "I just want to have fun" and "Does this feel good?" He called her "sweetie" several times, but then ordered her to call herself a slut. After raping her, he forced her to perform fellatio on him and insisted that she tell him he was a better lover than her boyfriend. As the ordeal came to an end, the rapist assured her that even if she went to the police, he was not going to get caught. If she told, she would only humiliate herself and her boyfriend. Then he commanded her to stay down and count slowly to twenty. She did so, and when she looked up, he was gone.

All of these women described a good-looking young man who talked a lot and wanted to hear his victims say certain specific things. In other words, he was providing them with a script of a ritual set of phrases that would arouse him. By approaching and attacking his victims outdoors, in the populated Guildwood Village area of Scarborough, the offender had increased his risk of identification and apprehension, yet he appeared undaunted and confident.

On December 23, just two days before Christmas, another woman, age twenty-two, stepped off a bus very early in the morning, around one A.M. She was tall and stocky, weighing around 150 pounds -- the first victim who was not small and thin. The others, too, had long dark hair, while hers was blond. She knew about the rapes but felt safe in this neighborhood.

"Don't look at me," a man ordered from behind. Forcing her into a backyard, he went through the same program he had carried out with the adolescent girl that same month, making this victim call herself foul names and give his penis lewd Christmas greetings. "Tell me that you love me," he ordered. He told her that if she screamed, he would slit her throat. Then he used her belt to tie her to a fence, and as a final gesture, he kicked her in the ribs ...

The Unknown Darkness
Profiling the Predators Among Us
. Copyright © by Gregg McCrary. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Gregg McCrary is one of the world's most experienced profilers. As a Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, he reported directly to BSU chief John Douglas, and with other experts, developed the Crime Classification Manual, a system for standardizing violent crimes into categories. Since retiring from the FBI in 1995, he has taught forensic psychology at Marymount University and Nova Southeastern University. McCrary continues to consult and provide expert testimony in cases in which crime scene analysis is key, and provides expert commentary to NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN.

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