Whoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI

( 11 )

Overview

Face-to-face with some of America's most terrifying killers, FBI veteran and ex-Army CID colonel Robert Ressler learned from them how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us--and put them behind bars. Now the man who coined the phrase "serial killer" and advised Thomas Harris on The Silence of the Lambs shows how he is able to track down some of today's most brutal murderers.

Just as it happened in The Silence of the Lambs, Ressler uses the evidence at a crime scene ...

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Overview

Face-to-face with some of America's most terrifying killers, FBI veteran and ex-Army CID colonel Robert Ressler learned from them how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us--and put them behind bars. Now the man who coined the phrase "serial killer" and advised Thomas Harris on The Silence of the Lambs shows how he is able to track down some of today's most brutal murderers.

Just as it happened in The Silence of the Lambs, Ressler uses the evidence at a crime scene to put together a psychological profile of the killers. From the victims they choose, to the way they kill, to the often grotesque souvenirs they take with them--Ressler unlocks the identities of these vicious killers for the police to capture.

And with his discovery that serial killers share certain violent behavior, Ressler's gone behind prison walls to hear the bizarre first-hand stories of countless convicted murderers. Getting inside the mind of a killer to understand how and why he kills, is one of the FBI's most effective ways of helping police bring in killers who are still at large.

True-crime author Anne Rule calls this "the real thing . . . absolutely mesmerizing." The FBI expert who coined the term "serial killer" and advised Thomas Harris on The Silence of the Lambs tells how he uses evidence from a crime scene to construct a psychological profile of the killer--and unlock the secret of their identities. 8 pages of photos. Martin's.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Former FBI agent Ressler, who coined the term ``serial killer'' in the 1970s, recounts in straightforward style his interviews with such infamous murderers as Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy. A BOMC selection in cloth. Photos. (Mar.)
Library Journal
The success of Silence of the Lambs has readers fascinated with serial killers. ``New applicants to the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit are taking Jodie Foster's character as a role model,'' notes Ressler, who was consulted for the movie but felt it should have been more realistic. The book is an informative and insightful account of Ressler's 30-year FBI career and the development of the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. Ressler's numerous interviews with convicted killers (e.g., David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy), use of behavioral sciences principles, and many years of detective experience have given him an uncanny ability to ``read'' a crime scene and develop a criminal profile of the offender. His involvement in multiple serial killer investigations gives the reader an insider's view into police work. This book is an entertaining alternative to Eric W. Hickey's Serial Murderers and Their Victims ( Wadsworth, 1991) and Joel Norris's Serial Killers (Doubleday, 1988). Recommended for general readers and true crime collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/92.-- Robert Hodder, Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland Lib., St. John's
From the Publisher
"The real thing...Absolutely mesmerizing."—Ann Rule

"A true crime bonanza."—Kirkus

"An invaluable book for anyone who wants to understand serial murder."—Joseph Wambaugh

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312304683
  • Publisher: St. Martins Press-3pl
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 708,462
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert K. Ressler retired as a supervisory special agent of the FBI as a reserve colonel in the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID). He resides outside of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and is director of Forensic Behavioral Services, a business dedicated to training, learning, consulting, and expert witness testimony.

Tom Shachtman is also coauthor with Robert Ressler of Justice is Served. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2008

    Very good

    A very good book as far as true crime and profiling goes. A must read if you are interested in serial killers. Ressler's ego is noticeably big and its often irritating to hear how smart he thinks he is. But I have to definitely recommend it anyway.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2006

    Not what I expected

    I found the author to be highly narcisstic and the book seemed more designed to brag about his accomplishments than to teach about serial killers and profilers. Save your time and read John Douglas instead I find his work to be much better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2005

    Too Much Author Ego

    It was difficult to tell whether the focus of the book was serial killing or showcasing the author's career and accomplishments. Parts of the book were tedious to read through, and it was not that well written. I enjoyed it in spite of that, but I was not at all interested in Mr. Ressler's military career. I also found his 'I did this, I did that' at every turn a bit excessive. If he wants to write a biography, he should do that separately.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Say what you want about Ressler but Long Island could've used so

    Say what you want about Ressler but Long Island could've used someone like him in the Long Island serial killer case. 

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  • Posted December 22, 2012

    If you are able to read through Ressler's enormous ego, this is

    If you are able to read through Ressler's enormous ego, this is a WONDERFUL true crime book! One of the best!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2004

    Amazing!

    Ressler does an excellent job of holding the reader's attention throughout the book. Each chapter is dedicated to a serial killer and the information Ressler gathered during his interviews. Some of the murderers profiled include Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, David Berkowitz 'Son of Sam,' Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and Edmund Kemper. No other person has as much experience dealing with, and profiling, serial killers than Ressler. He combined his 20 years of service in the FBI and his years of service in the military to become one of the most well known criminal profilers in the world. I had the opportunity to attend a criminal profiling seminar given by Ressler entitled 'Through the Eyes of a Profiler.' I reccomend anyone in the criminal justice field to go to his seminar when it comes to your area!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2003

    Compelling

    This is a must-read for all true crime fans. I couldn't put it down. It is very informative and intriguing, I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2003

    Very Intriguing!

    I had to read this book for an Introduction to Forensic Psychology class I took. At times it was so deep that I did have to put the book down, to breathe that is. It was difficult to get used to reading it because every story I came across, I had a full-color mental picture for. You can't help but take yourself there. Excellent read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2002

    Awesome Book!!!!

    This book was so good I couldn't put it down. It's so well written and so informative it was great. I'm a criminology student myself so this book really helped me out. I went a conference hosted by Robert Ressler on criminal profiling as a career.. he's a great speaker and the conference was outta this world. Anyone who is interested in any kind of psyhcology or crimology should def try to see one of his conferences.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2010

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