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The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI's Original Mindhunter (2019)

de John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker (Autor)

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3851966,525 (3.91)11
Biography & Autobiography. Law. True Crime. Nonfiction. HTML:

Performed by Jonathan Groff, star of the hit Netflix show Mindhunter, and featuring an exclusive conversation between John E. Douglas and Jonathan Groff at the end of the audiobook

In The Killer Across the Table, John E. Douglas, the legendary FBI criminal profiler, number-one New York Times bestselling author, and inspiration for Netflix's Mindhunter delves deep into the lives and crimes of four of the most disturbing and complex predatory killers, offering never-before-revealed details about his profiling process, and divulging the strategies used to help crack some of America's most challenging cases. The Killer Across the Table is narrated by Jonathan Groff, who plays Holden Ford on Mindhunter, the character inspired by John E. Douglas.

The FBI's pioneer of criminal profiling, former special agent John Douglas, has studied and interviewed many of America's most notorious killers??including Charles Manson, "Son of Sam Killer" David Berkowitz and "BTK Strangler" Dennis Rader??trained FBI agents and investigators around and the world, and helped educate the country about these deadly predators and how they operate, and has become a legend in popular culture, fictionalized in The Silence of the Lambs and the hit television shows Criminal Minds and Mindhunter.

Twenty years after his famous memoir, the man who literally wrote the book on FBI criminal profiling opens his case files once again. In this riveting work of true crime, he spotlights four of the most diabolical criminals he's confronted, interviewed and learned from. Going deep into each man's life and crimes, he outlines the factors that led them to murder and how he used his interrogation skills to expose their means, motives, and true evil. Like the hit Netflix show, The Killer Across the Table is centered around Douglas' unique interrogation and profiling process. With his longtime collaborator Mark Olshaker, Douglas recounts the chilling encounters with these four killers as he experienced them??revealing for the first time his profile methods in detail.

Going step by step through his interviews, Douglas explains how he connects each killer's crimes to the specific conversation, and contrasts these encounters with those of other deadly criminals to show what he learns from each one. In the process, he returns to other famous cases, killers and interviews that have shaped his career, describing how the knowledge he gained from those exchanges helped prepare him for these.

A glimpse into the mind of a man who has pierced the heart of human darkness, The Killer Across the Table unlocks the ultimate mystery of depravity and the techniques and approaches that have countered evil in the name of just… (més)

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CW: murder, rape/sexual assault, graphic descriptions of violent crime.

The Killer Across the Table is the latest book written by John Douglas, most well-known now for being the inspiration behind Netflix's Mindhunter. But Douglas is perhaps most famous for being one of the first criminal profilers, and interviewing some of history's most notorious serial killers in order to educate, prevent crime, and more easily catch future killers.

Douglas himself states that The Killer Across the Table was written in response to a question he's commonly asked during interviews – how does the interview process with a killer work? How is he able to get information out of killers, and how does he know what is truthful? Not only is this process explored, but Douglas also covers four very distinct types of killers through recounting his interview experience with them.

Told in four parts, Douglas revisits his encounters with convicted killers Joseph McGowan, Joseph Kondro, Donald Harvey, and Todd Kohlhepp. Without going too much into detail, each of these criminals killed – whether it was one person, or dozens; and on the surface, it's easy to lump them together. But what Douglas dives deeply into, is that each of these individuals killed their victims for vastly different reasons, and each responds to what they did in very different ways.

What surprised or shocked me most about each of these killers' stories was how they think of themselves after having killed, and how each tries to blame the decision on some external element in their past. Every one of them tries to offer an explanation to lessen the severity of their actions. Some of them were more aware of themselves, and basically answered, "yeah I have a problem," while others were less self-aware, and ready to place all the blame on something else that traumatized them during their youth.

I also found it really fascinating how Douglas approached each interview. Essentially, he has to shut off all personal feelings about the killer, because in order to build a rapport of trust to get the information he needs, he needs that killer to feel comfortable and as if they are in a "safe space". Without this tactic, Douglas wouldn't have been able to learn all he has about the mindset of a killer. I personally, (and I think most people), would have an extreme difficulty doing this. But this is the way he has allowed law enforcement and scientists to learn so much, and for me it was incredibly interesting reading how he was able to do that.

I did have a couple problems with the writing. Douglas has a tendency to repeat information or points he's trying to make – in a way that's almost word-for-word. Listening to the audiobook, I thought a couple of times that it had somehow skipped back or there was an error – that's how exactly repeated some things were.

Additionally, there is quite a bit of wandering. In order to emphasize some of the killer's traits, or to make a point, Douglas refers to completely different cases in order to compare a similar trait. While interesting to hear about even more criminals than the four main ones he focuses on, it was at times hard to follow or remember the main point. Finally, I should mention that this book is probably not appropriate for all readers. Douglas does not shy away from the most graphic and awful aspects of the crimes, and despite having a pretty strong stomach myself, I found some of it difficult to listen to.

Overall, this book had me asking a lot of complex questions, a lot of which may never be answered. Namely, why is it that some people who go through extremely traumatizing events – events that would fit the bill for a serial killer – yet they go through life never hurting anyone? What exactly triggers someone to want to kill another person? I believe Douglas tries to explain this through minute events in each killer's life, that was the "tipping point". Yet, he concedes, it's ultimately a decision they make to step over that line. It's what causes them to make that step that criminologists are still trying to answer.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you're interested in true crime being discussed in a way that isn't sensationalized. I especially enjoyed listening to the audiobook, which was appropriately and excellently narrated by Jonathan Groff, who plays the main character in Neftlix's Mindhunter based off Douglas. I wanted a book that would go more deeply into the "why" behind killing, and this was a great start. ( )
  escapinginpaper | May 18, 2024 |
A good amount of overlap of material from previous books (mostly anecdotes) but solid if depressing book ( )
  BCarroll | Apr 17, 2024 |
4.25 - some of the crimes are recounted in gruesome detail which was at times difficult to get through, but Douglas does a good job of re-humanizing some of the victims and survivors of killers and predators who essentially made them a statistic. ( )
  mancinibo | Nov 30, 2023 |
Somewhat disjointed book about profiling. The author discusses many cases. ( )
  MrDickie | Sep 21, 2023 |
This was an insightful look into the minds of killers. This book focused on the interviewing techniques the FBI used when first beginning to profile criminals. This focused on 4 cases, each disturbing and a bit graphic. If you cant' handle hearing about child abuse, sex abuse, torture, and murder, you shouldn't read this book.

I listened to the audiobook which was awesome because Jonathon Groff narrated it (he plays Holden Ford on Mindhunter who is loosely based on John Douglas). There was also an interview between the men at the end that was fun to listen to. ( )
  CaitlinDaugherty | Aug 28, 2023 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
John E. Douglasautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Olshaker, MarkAutorautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
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Si et cal més ajuda, mira la pàgina d'ajuda del coneixement compartit.
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To the memory of Joan Angela D'Alessandro and in honor of Rosemarie D'Alessandro and all of the others, who, through their inspiration, courage, and determination, strive for justice and safety for all children, this book is dedicated with love and admiration.
Primeres paraules
Informació del coneixement compartit en anglès. Modifica-la per localitzar-la a la teva llengua.
Here, it is not so much Who done it?, but Why?
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.

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Cap

Biography & Autobiography. Law. True Crime. Nonfiction. HTML:

Performed by Jonathan Groff, star of the hit Netflix show Mindhunter, and featuring an exclusive conversation between John E. Douglas and Jonathan Groff at the end of the audiobook

In The Killer Across the Table, John E. Douglas, the legendary FBI criminal profiler, number-one New York Times bestselling author, and inspiration for Netflix's Mindhunter delves deep into the lives and crimes of four of the most disturbing and complex predatory killers, offering never-before-revealed details about his profiling process, and divulging the strategies used to help crack some of America's most challenging cases. The Killer Across the Table is narrated by Jonathan Groff, who plays Holden Ford on Mindhunter, the character inspired by John E. Douglas.

The FBI's pioneer of criminal profiling, former special agent John Douglas, has studied and interviewed many of America's most notorious killers??including Charles Manson, "Son of Sam Killer" David Berkowitz and "BTK Strangler" Dennis Rader??trained FBI agents and investigators around and the world, and helped educate the country about these deadly predators and how they operate, and has become a legend in popular culture, fictionalized in The Silence of the Lambs and the hit television shows Criminal Minds and Mindhunter.

Twenty years after his famous memoir, the man who literally wrote the book on FBI criminal profiling opens his case files once again. In this riveting work of true crime, he spotlights four of the most diabolical criminals he's confronted, interviewed and learned from. Going deep into each man's life and crimes, he outlines the factors that led them to murder and how he used his interrogation skills to expose their means, motives, and true evil. Like the hit Netflix show, The Killer Across the Table is centered around Douglas' unique interrogation and profiling process. With his longtime collaborator Mark Olshaker, Douglas recounts the chilling encounters with these four killers as he experienced them??revealing for the first time his profile methods in detail.

Going step by step through his interviews, Douglas explains how he connects each killer's crimes to the specific conversation, and contrasts these encounters with those of other deadly criminals to show what he learns from each one. In the process, he returns to other famous cases, killers and interviews that have shaped his career, describing how the knowledge he gained from those exchanges helped prepare him for these.

A glimpse into the mind of a man who has pierced the heart of human darkness, The Killer Across the Table unlocks the ultimate mystery of depravity and the techniques and approaches that have countered evil in the name of just

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