My Life among the Serial Killers : Inside the Minds of the World's Most Notorious Murderers
Dr. Helen Morrison has profiled more than eighty serial killers around the world. What she has learned about them will shatter every assumption you've ever had about the most notorious killers known to man. Dr. Helen Morrison, a leading expert on serial killers, has spent as many as four hundred hours alone with depraved murderers. In My Life Among the Serial Killers, Dr. Morrison relates how she profiled Richard Otto Macek, who chewed on his victims' body parts, stalked Dr. Morrison, then believed she was his wife. She conducted the last interview with Ed Gein, the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. John Wayne Gacy, the clown-obsessed killer of young men, sent her crazed Christmas cards, and gave her his paintings as presents. Dr. Morrison has received letters from killers, read their diaries and journals, evaluated crime scenes, testified at their trials, and studied photos of the gruesome carnage. She has interviewed the families of the victims, and the spouses and parents of the killers.
With serial killers a hot topic in the wake of Charlize Theron's Oscar-winning performance in Monster, forensic psychiatrist Morrison's memoir of working with more than 80 serial killers couldn't be more timely. The author's countless hours of interviews with John Wayne Gacy and others of his ilk have led her to a controversial conclusion: she believes there's a serial killer gene ("He is a serial killer when he is a fetus, even as soon as sperm meets egg to create the genes of a new person"). Unfortunately, she offers little in support of this deterministic view, and she will offend some readers with an implied exoneration of criminals whom she describes as "completely unaware of the process leading up to murder," despite the detailed planning and preparation displayed by many of them. And even readers who are willing to have an open mind about Morrison's theories are likely to find some aspects of her report a little creepy, as when she discusses a treasured trophy she keeps in her basement: "I place John Gacy's brain back in the box because my kids are calling for me upstairs." Agent, Chris Calhoun at Sterling Lord. (On sale May 4) Forecasts: 60 Minutes II has committed to a profile with Dr. Morrison to air May 5. The author will appear live on the Today show on May 6, with more media appearances in the days to follow, including with Paula Zahn on CNN and Chuck Scarborough on MSNBC. Expect an initial surge in sales. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Stop her from being a serial writer
Posted April 02, 2011 by Jack La , Hudson, FlI was expecting insights to serial killers similar to those in John Douglas books.The simplistic views and assumptions in this book are actually comical. This is a really bad bood. The author is self absorbed; serial killers really dig her and hit on her. She had a chance to talk to Ed Gein and all she had to offer was "Yeah, I done it". I think she should refund my 8 bucks.
January 31, 2005
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Excerpt from My Life among the Serial Killers by Harold Goldberg
Baby-Faced Richard Macek
In March of 1977, the old road to Waupun, Wisconsin, was somehow eerie and foreboding, not simply rural but isolated in the kind of way that makes you watch your back. About twenty minutes outside of Madison, the colorful, welcoming signs for homey diners and Wisconsin cheddar cheese vanished, and the whole world seemed devoid of life. The sleepy fields along the way were still brown, not yet tinged with green, and there was an uncanny quiet, made heavier by the gray, chilly day. To be quite honest, I was nervous. I was a young doctor about to step into a world brimming with horrible crime and serial murder. It was a world full of macho, hard-drinking law enforcement officials who'd seen too much, and I wondered if I would be accepted or even tolerated not only as a professional, but also because I was a woman. Occasionally, I gripped the steering wheel too hard, as if driving straight and steady on the highway would steady my thoughts. I glanced at myself in the rearview mirror, to make sure the anxiety didn't show. It was important that I appear calm and composed.
I was no stranger to challenges, to tough times. As a child living in a small town near Pittsburgh, I never knew my real parents. It's not that I didn't yearn to find out. It just wasn't part of the deal. My parents weren't that kind. Sure, six other children and I had a roof over our heads, and food, but when it came to the real security that love can provide, well, it simply wasn't present. It sometimes seemed that the reason six others and I were children to these people was due to factors not understood, even now. Our lives as children were often unremittingly dark, and we were very alone in the world the parents defined.