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The Serial Killers: A Study in the Psychology of Violence Paperback – 8 Nov 2007
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"Genuinely Intriguing." (Time Out) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Inside the Mind of the Serial Killer
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The book also needed editing in another way. For instance, the chapter on 'murderers that have accomplices' had only just got under way when I found myself reading a description of a killer who worked alone. What was the point of that? The rest of the book was littered with killers working alone, this section was supposed to be about dual killers. Some one needs to cut and paste this part to another chapter. (I think this 'going off point' happened a lot.)
Lastly the updated section was very disappointing. Even less psychology the original book - Harold Shipman features in the bumph on the back cover, but all they do is describe his crimes and make a very superficial summary that he may have done it `because his mother died of cancer.'
Firstly, I found the stories in this book interesting and revealing: there were crimes here that I did not know about before I read the book and there were crimes that I did know of but I learned more from the book.
However, given that my focus was the psychological aspect of the book, I was disappointed. The book is structured according to a variety of classifications such as sex crimes, the profile of a serial killer, the Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome and so on; but I didn't get enough of the psychology out of it that was promised.
I have reviewed books on such murderers as Harold Shipman, the murdering GP from England in which I called for greater insights into the psychology of such people: I really want to know what makes them tick.
As with Legal Blunders, The Serial Killers is a mutli national book in that we are treated to evil people from all over the place. The Fred and Rosemary West utter depravity are documented in greater detail than I have read before: as one comedian in the UK once asked, "How do we breed these people?" Not funny is it? They were perverted people to the nth degree and I can only hope that there like cannot exist again.
The story of Brady and Hindley, the Moors Murderers, gets no easier in the telling; and don't forget that there is still one poor child, tortured and killed by these evil people, still lying unfound out there on Saddleworth Moor: his parents and the rest of his family desperately want the boy home. Brady and Hindley were as evil as the Wests and are rotting in jail as they ought to do.
I'm sure everyone who reads this book will raise an eyebrow or two at the case of the 'girl in the box' who was abducted and then kept 'prisoner' for SEVEN years or so. In the middle of the case, though, the girl was allowed out to work, to shop and even to go home ... definitely spooky given that her captor abused her, beat her and goodness knows what else.
Definitely readable, definitely interesting, but some of the stories are just terrible: what one person can do to another beggars belief. If you are looking for psychology, you will find some here and may be partly satisfied.
For those of you who want to know more about the actual psychology behind serial killers, this is the book to read! It's a great book, but the authors still seem to be more interested in all the gory details. But it also describes different syndromes and behavioural patterns, which I find really interesting. I would have given this book five stars if it wasn't for all the gory stuff, that I can manage without. Still, maybe it is necessary to include it, in order to accurately describe why the killers did what they did. Nevertheless, it's a good book and worth the money!
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You can tell it is not up to date as fred and rose west are missing
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