Sunday 21 April 2024

Contact 1800 772 679

Contact 1800 772 679

The magazine of the Public Service Association of NSW and the Community and Public Sector Union (NSW Branch)

Mindhunter

Mindhunter

Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit
John Douglas and Mark Olshaker
$24.99
Random House

Fans of the Netflix series will enjoy this intriguing, at times gruesome, journey to understand how the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit came to be – and how forensic expert John Douglas helped catch some of the world’s most notorious serial killers. From Edmund Kemper and Larry Gene Bell to the Atlanta child killer and more, this book covers the extremes of criminal activity.

Dr Douglas begins Mindhunter from his naive perspective as a teen and journeys through his development as a police detective and moving to Quantico. He looks back on old cases that he worked, providing in-depth analyses and parts of his personal recordings to properly demonstrate the introduction of psychology within the criminological sphere.

Although this is from a clearly American perspective and utilises American examples, those PSA CPSU NSW members working in the legal and social corrections world would still benefit greatly from this read as the themes within the book reflect crime across the globe. Dr Douglas explains in a quite easy-to-read format different intricacies of behaviour as being a reflection of one’s personality: he coins the term “signature” to describe a compulsive behaviour a serial offender may have that may not necessarily be a conscious choice, amongst other unique ideas.

Dr Douglas expertly sums up the key concept of understanding the criminal mind in one simple phrase that has reverberated across time: “Why + How = Who”

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