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Criminal Shadows: Inside the Mind of the Serial Killer [Hardcover]

David Canter
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Jan 1994
Every crime casts a unique shadow that may be interpreted to lead the police to the criminal responsible. This book looks at "offender profiling" that helps the police to identify and track individual criminals by the nature of their crime.

Frequently Bought Together

Criminal Shadows: Inside the Mind of the Serial Killer + Mapping Murder: The Secrets of Geographical Profiling + Investigative Psychology: Offender Profiling and the Analysis of Criminal Action
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 305 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers; First Edition edition (20 Jan 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002552159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002552158
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.8 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover


A unique insight into some of Britain's most notorious criminal investigations, David Vanter's 'Criminal Shadows' is the highly acclaimed account of his experience as Britain's leading pioneer in the new science of criminal psychological profiling.

Professor Canter takes the reader step by step through his development of profiling and through many of his successes with this technique, by which the psychological traces surrounding the crime- the tell-tale patterns of behaviour- were used to indicate the personality of the offender. 'Criminal Shadows', revealing privileged information for the first time about some of the world's most gruesome crimes, introduces us to the detective work of the future.

"Fascinating…A persuasive and thorough contribution to a nascent science…David Canter is the most eminent guide one could wish for in this difficult and serious subject".
BRIAN MASTERS, 'Mail on Sunday'

"Lucid, intriguing account of psychological profiling, the science which allows police to track down serial killers using behavioural, rather than forensic, evidence".

"I know were I still investigating murder, David Carter's phone number would be near the top of my list and 'Criminal Shadows' not too far away.
'John Stalker', 'Sunday Express'

"This fascinating book falls into the category of True Detection. What he is helping to solve is the mystery of how to solve mysteries itself".
'Sunday Telegraph'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criminally good 17 Feb 2003
David Canter describes in lucid detail his actions within the fledgling field of Investigative Psychology. This is intended as a work of science, not of fiction, and Canter steers clear of any information that might colour the reader's opinion, prefering to stick to hard fact and science. For some readers, this may make it a bit dry, but Canter's work gives a prospective Investigative Psychologist a view into the world without resorting to any of the 'cracker'-style work that fills the genre.
This is a scholarly work and should be considered as such. Those of you interested in such information should buy this book - it is truely worth the price. Those of you interested in gory details should consider another book.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily read account of hard impacting reality. 4 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Historically written book of Canters own experiences of real life criminal behaviour. Canters involvement in criminal pschological profiling describes a science involving, intuition supported by empirical evidence. His interesting and easy writting style allows absorbtion and understanding of the information supplied by avoiding the speciallist statistics and phrases applied in psychology. Canter compairs the British approach to the FBI's profiling, clarifying the differences between them and the reasoning behind these differences. Furthermore, Canter enjoys a relationship with many British Constabularies, something which is rare yet valuable to forensic psychology. Subsequently all of his data is collected from British offenders, to the extent that some discussed cases may be recognised. In summary, pscyhologists are often described as academics in common sense however Canter shows where common sense falls down and less obvious factors predict behaviour, establishing a future for the interpretation of criminal shadows. More related reading: Jackson & Bekerian (1997). Offender Profiling; Theory, research and Practice. Chichesrer, Wiley.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves the prizes it has been awarded 9 Nov 1999
By A Customer
The blurb on the book shows that this book won the US based Tony award and the English Golden Dagger award for the best true crime book. I couldn't agree more. What a delight that here is a book which does not cater to the inane reader who only appears interested in the color of the killer's eyes and how much blood has been spilt. Criminal Shadows is about the author's personal journey into scientific analysis of the patterns of behaviour that serial offenders exhibit. It recounts in an engaging manner Canter's own experiences in discovering new applications for forensic psychology. The fact that he helps to solve some major crimes along the way adds zest to what would otherwise be another book of serial killer war stories. In the four years since the book was published the gripping cases featured in Shadows have become legendary in the annals of police culture. They have been drawn on to solve crimes throughout the world. The detailed examination of individual cases to show exactly how Canter derived his conclusions about the offender in a series of rapes in a tower blocks or murders in North London are a facinating insight into Canter's personal journey. It is no surprise that he has since established a center for Investigative Psychology at the Liverpool University in England. The clinical way he describes cases was more disturbing for me than many gory accounts in other true crime books. Well worth a read for anyone who wants to understand how psychology might work for the police.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely interesting look into criminals minds. 12 April 2002
By A Customer
A very disturbing but revealing look into the labarinthine minds of criminals. This book is well written and easily understandable to the layman.
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