FBI veteran and ex-Army CID colonel Robert Ressler learned how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us–and put them behind bars. Now the man who coined the phrase “serial killer” shows how he is able to track down some of today’s most brutal murderers.
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. With his discovery that serial killers share certain violent behaviors, Ressler’s gone behind prison walls to hear the bizarre first-hand stories countless convicted murderers. Join Ressler as he takes you on the hunt for toady’s most dangerous psychopaths. It is a terrifying journey you will not forget.
Here’s what I wanted when I read Incendiary – a look into the mind of a repeat criminal. Ressler is a pioneer in the field of profiling and uses cases, both famous and not, to explore the minds of serial killers. I learned a lot – organized vs. disorganized killers, what may push someone to their first murder, and what drives them to repeat the crime again and again.
While informative and interesting several things put me off, though. First, the victims are minimized, often reduced to clues to analyze the mind of the killer. The criminals’ thought process, and the men who work to understand it, are prioritized above all else. The upcoming book Dead Girls address this point really well – watch this space for a review on release day.
Also, Ressler is full of himself and it grates. What’s the line… ‘may the lord grant me the confidence of a straight white man’? That’s Ressler. He quotes letters of commendation while he humble brags about every little thing. He tells stories about bending the rules for the sake of the investigation and always comes out squeaky clean. It’s goddamn annoying but also maybe expected from a G-man of his era. (Note: expected does not equal excused.)
I listened on audio and have no complaints about the narrator or production. While nowhere near perfect, Whoever Fights Monsters provides a foundation to build my Serial Killer Summer on.
…yeah, I’m making it a thing. Heaven help me.