Whoever Fights Monsters

“Whoever Fights Monsters is now more than 20 years old … but it’s not dated …. A strong, fast-moving read, detailed but not pedantic, and the voice is knowledgeable without bragginess or condescension. An A-plus plane read.” Sarah D. Bunting, editor-in-chief and publisher of The Blotter, a crime books blog, March 2013.

Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert K. Ressler, Tom ShachtmanWhoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI

Face-to-face with some of America’s most terrifying killers, FBI veteran and ex-Army CID colonel Robert Ressler learned from them how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us—and to put them behind bars. Now the man who coined the phrase “serial killer” and advised Thomas Harris on The Silence of the Lambs shows how he was able to track down some of today’s most brutal murderers. Just as it happens in The Silence of the Lambs, Ressler uses the evidence at a crime scene to put together a psychological profile of the killers. 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 of the police, so they can be captured. And 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. Getting inside the mind of a killer to understand how and why he kills is one of the FBI’s most effective ways of helping police bring in killers who are still at large. Join Ressler as he takes you on the hunt for toady’s most dangerous psychopaths. It is a terrifying journey you will not forget.

The late Robert K. Ressler coined the term “serial killer” in the 1970s when he was part of the FBI’s famed Behavioral Sciences Unit.

In his autobiography, written with Tom Shachtman, Ressler recounts in straightforward, fact-filled style his interviews with such infamous murderers as Edmund Kemper, Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, William Heirens and Ted Bundy. Onetime head of the FBI’s Criminal Personality Research Project, Ressler corrects the misleading, romanticized criminal profiles found in the novels of Thomas Harris and Mary Higgins Clark; recalls how he compiled his ground-breaking, close-to-the-mark profiles of actual criminals who were later apprehended; and tells how he worked with mental-health professionals to explore killers’ personality traits. Before Ressler, the FBI knew surprisingly little about dangerous criminals. His quest–catching and understanding criminals–absorbs and unsettles the reader, placing true crime in the real world. Adapted from Reed Business Information, Inc.

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