The Anatomy Of Motive : The Fbis Legendary Mindhunter Explores The Key To Understanding And Catching Vi
In this eagerly anticipated new book from the international bestselling authors of Mindhunter, Journey into Darkness, and Obsession, legendary crime fighter John Douglas explores the root of all crime -- motive.
Every crime is a mystery story with a motive at its heart. Understand the motive and you can solve the mystery. The Anatomy of Motive offers a dramatic, insightful look at the development and evolution of the criminal mind. The famed former chief of the FBI's Investigative Support Unit, Douglas was the pioneer of modern behavioral profiling of serial criminals. Working again with acclaimed novelist, journalist, and filmmaker Mark Olshaker, the collaborator on his previous three bestsellers, and using cases from his own fabled career as examples, Douglas takes us further than ever before into the dark corners of the minds of arsonists, hijackers, bombers, poisoners, serial and spree killers, and mass murderers.
From seemingly ordinary men who suddenly kill their families or go on a rampage in the workplace to dedicated murderers who embark on the kind of spree that resulted in the death of fashion designer Gianni Versace, John Douglas helps us understand what causes violent sociopathic behavior. In chapters such as "Playing with Fire," "Name Your Poison," and "Guys Who Snap," he shows how criminals use and react to the media and how the motives behind hijacking and terrorism have evolved through recent history.
For the first time, Douglas identifies the common building blocks contributing to the violently antisocial personality, showing the surprising similarities and equally surprising differences between various types of offenders. Douglas profiles notorious assassins, examining that particular personality and how it applies to other types of crimes. Drawing on cases from today's headlines, he looks at recent sniper incidents at schools and other public places to penetrate the minds and motivations of mass killers. As Douglas tracks the progressive escalation of these criminals' sociopathic behavior, he also shows the common elements in many of their pasts that link them together.
Through riveting profiles and a narrative that reads like the best mystery fiction, The Anatomy of Motive analyzes such diverse killers as Lee Harvey Oswald, Theodore Kaczynski, and Timothy McVeigh, and helps us learn how to anticipate potential violent behavior before it's too late.
A volume of case studies by Douglas, the former chief profiler at the FBI's legendary behavioral sciences unit, and Olshaker has become an annual event, from 1995's Mind Hunter to last year's Obsession. Here, the duo exhume the victims of Andrew Cunanan, Charles Whitman, Theodore Kaczynski and many others for insight into the killers' minds. Douglas's formula is deceptively simple: "WHY + HOW = WHO." But since serial killers are rarely caught through profiling, the formula is better expressed as "WHO + HOW = WHY." Douglas is tops in the field. He was among the first to suggest that the Atlanta child murderer was African-American, and he delivered a dead-on profile of Scottish mass-murderer Thomas Watt Hamilton on live TV based on preliminary news accounts. Still, most of what's here will be familiar to readers of other profiling books: the lonely white male with an obsessive sense of his own failure who tortured animals, wet his bed and played with matches as a child. Though Douglas promises to explain the differences among bombers, arsonists, shooters, cutters and stranglers, his profiles too often cleave to predictable, reductive formulations. Both Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby are characterized as "paranoid losers"; Timothy McVeigh is "a scrawny, pissed-off young hick." As always, Douglas and Olshaker deliver an entertaining read, but fewer case studies presented with more depth would better inform and educate the amateur profiler. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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June 30, 2000
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Excerpt from The Anatomy Of Motive by John E. Douglas
Why did he do it?
I just happen to be in Scotland when I hear about the massacre.
It's the morning of Wednesday, March 13, 1996, and I'm in a television studio in Glasgow as part of a promotional tour for my book Mindhunter, at the invitation of our British publisher. For the last hour I've been interviewed about criminal profiling on the ITV television program This Morning by a very personable team of cohosts named Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan. How did I begin in the field? they ask. How did I learn what I know, and who did I learn it from? How did my Investigative Support Unit in Quantico, Virginia, go about creating and using a profile of an unknown subject or UNSUB, as he is known in FBI and law enforcement circles? Throughout the tour I've been really pumped up by the Brits' fascination with the subject and the interest they've shown in my career of studying and hunting killers, rapists, bombers -- men whose evil and depraved acts challenge the bounds of the human imagination. Fortunately for the people of the United Kingdom, their society is not nearly as violent as ours in the United States; but they come by their fascination understandably. The first known serial killer -- Jack the Ripper -- terrorized the East End of London in a grisly mystery that's remained unsolved for more than a hundred years. On this tour, interviewers still ask me if the killer could be profiled and the case closed, I tell them that it would be difficult to come up with the Ripper's specific identity at this late date, but that even after a century we can very legitimately profile the UNSUB and say with reasonable assurance the type of individual he was. In fact, I tell them, I've done it several times in the Ripper murders -- both in training exercises at Quantico and on a live international television broadcast with Peter Ustinov some years ago.
I'm back in the TV station's green room when the producer comes in. I assume she's going to thank me for appearing, but when I look at her she's grim, and her voice is urgent.
"John, can you come back on the show here?"
I've just done an hour -- what more could they possibly want? "Why?" I ask. "What's happened?"
"There's been a horrible murder in Dunblane."