Read Whoever Fights Monsters: A Brillant FBI Detective's Career Long War Against Serial Killers by Robert K. Ressler Tom Shachtman Online


A chronicle of one man's life-long career tracking serial killers introduces the FBI detective who pioneered psychological profiling as a way to catch some of the nation's most dangerous and deranged criminals. National ad/promo. Tour....

Title : Whoever Fights Monsters: A Brillant FBI Detective's Career Long War Against Serial Killers
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312078836
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Whoever Fights Monsters: A Brillant FBI Detective's Career Long War Against Serial Killers Reviews

  • Rose
    2019-04-11 23:09

    This book contains graphic descriptions of horrific crimes, photos of dead bodies at crime scenes, plus a lot of information that would be quite useful to killers wanting to fool those hunting them.That being said, I find it slightly disturbing that my copy of this book, which has been so well-read that it is falling to pieces, has come through inter-library loan from my local prison. My county doesn't have any other copies of this book.Some helpful notations have been added by a previous reader. In particular, every time he (or she) considers that the police have had a lucky break in a case, "LUCK" is noted in the margin. Thank you, mystery reader, that significantly clarifies matters. I'm not sure what the distinction is between the double-lines-down-the-side and the crosses-in-the-margin, and maybe I don't want to know. Many pages appear to have been attacked by pasta sauce, but I feel that this does not reflect any kind of scholarly annotation.Now, would I get reading experiences of this kind if I bought all my books pristine, or downloaded them onto my hygienic Kindle? I think not. PS. This book's interesting antecedence fails to beat the book I once bought second-hand, called "How Brains Work". This contained, like pressed flowers between its pages, about 20 sheets of tinfoil that had apparently been used to smoke drugs off - blackened underneath, with residues of presumably heroin on the top.

  • Jackie
    2019-04-10 03:12

    An interesting enough book, but I found myself frequently distracted by the desire to make an armchair diagnosis of the author himself, who spent a good 10% of the book either patting himself on the back via cheesy quotes from letter of commendation, or digressing into the settling of petty scores over past slights. (For example, he spends a good page-and-a-half explaining why he was late for his orientation as a new FBI agent, why it wasn't his fault, and why the superior who called him on it was out of line.) Overall, this is a nice introduction to the subject of serial killers and the history of profiling in the FBI.

  • ElphaReads
    2019-04-17 05:06

    So I guess I'm on a true crime kick at the moment. Thanks, MY FAVORITE MURDER podcast! It's like I'm sixteen again. This time I read WHOEVER FIGHTS MONSTERS by Robert Ressler, an FBI agent and profiler that has spoken and worked with numerous notorious serial killers over the years. I think that the character of Jack Crawford from THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is based off of him as well, but don't quote me on that. I got this book on ILL through the library, and settled in for a morbid and fascinating read.Robert Ressler was an FBI agent and profiler whose work focused on the minds and psychology of violent criminals. He gave input on numerous cases and did a lot to bring attention and education to the pathology of murders, and this is his story and his insights of his time working with the likes of Bundy, Gacy, Kemper, and others.Ressler really knows what he's talking about when it comes to violent offenders. He had a certain way with them that he could build a rapport with a few of them and get information from the as to what motivated them (when they were willing to cooperate, that is). I liked his insights not only into their minds, but his thoughts on the criminal justice system as a whole. I was put off by his unrepentant crowing about being an undercover plant in anti-war groups during the Vietnam War, but was heartened to hear his thoughts on why the Death Penalty doesn't actually do anything constructive. And yeah, I was super fascinated by his personal stories of interactions with people like Gacy, Dahmer, and Kemper. He did a good job of not glamorizing them, while also reminding the reader that the darkness in these men came from somewhere, and that it's a disservice to merely write them off as monsters.It didn't really tell me anything new, but it was still a pretty good read for a true crime fan.

  • Katherine Addison
    2019-04-04 00:55

    This is exactly what it says on the tin: Ressler's memoir of being an FBI profiler. He talks about a great many murderers, and has a wonderfully practical, commonsense style, both in writing and in his approach to analyzing homicidal psychotics and psychopaths. In his hands, the "organized/disorganized" schema makes sense and is a useful analytical tool. (He bemoans the fact that all his students want a checklist, a black box they can put their data into and get an accurate profile out of, and I totally see how that desire has shaped a lot of "profiling" since Ressler's retirement.)He has the same problem that bedevils all the books in this genre; "I did this and this and this was awesome and this got me a commendation and this changed the way we understand sociopaths . . ." I know Ressler isn't bragging--he and Bill Bass are the only two of these guys I've found thus far who will tell stories on themselves--but there's no way he can explain why he's writing this memoir without sounding like he's bragging: because it's a memoir about what he's done, not who he is. Much of who he is shows through in what he does, but the emphasis is most definitely on actions and accomplishments--and how can we possibly know why what he's done is important unless he tells us?Ressler comes across better than anyone except Bill Bass. I appreciate deeply pragmatic people. And he writes very lucidly about some very murky subjects.

  • Estcavi
    2019-04-01 22:07

    libro absolutamente brutal. Nos adentramos en la mentalidad de asesinos en serie, y disecciona sus antecedentes familiares, sus sexualidad, los abusos que ha podido sufrir durante su infancia, trazando las causas que pueden llevar a cometer esos crímenes final llegas a la conclusión de que se siguen una serie de ha parecido muy interesante y no podía dejar de leer.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-12 01:14

    Whoever Fights Monsters was disturbing as heck but incredibly detailed and well-written, definitely worth reading if you're a fan of true crime, behavioral analysis, police procedural or psychology.

  • Andre Dumas
    2019-04-05 23:19

    I literally could not put this book down..AND at the same time wanted to read it slowly so that it would never end. For a lot of people this will seem weird as the book is very gruesome and terrifying but I just found it pretty damn interesting.Whoever Fights Monsters details Robert Ressler's career with the FBI in his revolutionary quest to fine tune the process of profiling serial killers. If you're not familiar with Ressler then just know this--he actually coined the term 'serial killer' He was also the main point of reference for Thomas Harris when he was writing Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs. He also started that little interviewing project where FBI agents interviewed serial killers around the country to find out more about them in hopes of identifying future serial killers. The book takes you through actual cases where Ressler's profiles helped the FBI nab the killers, Ressler's actual interviews with serial killers like Charles Manson, Ed Kemper and John Wayne Gacy as well as just some cold hard facts like recognizing the difference between disorganized and organized killers, how and why some serial killers use staging to their advantage among other topics that Ressler's usually covered in his classes.The book also includes 2 series of photos showing serial killers, crime scenes and in some cases gruesome photos of some victims (although these are tame compared to a regular internet search). I would give this 5 stars but Ressler occasionally seemed a little braggy about all his awards and accolades.....hmm actually whatever I'm giving it 5 because he deserves it.Serial killers have always fascinated me mostly on the psychological side of things and this book truly was right up my alley. I found it exciting, terrifying and extremely interesting. A must read for lovers of Thomas Harris or anyone curious to know about inner workings of the FBI and criminal profiling.

  • Leksa
    2019-04-02 01:04

    This is a hard book to review. On the one hand, it was completely fascinating and the author's experience and expertise was a totally new perspective for me.On the other hand, the author is not very likeable from a modern and liberal standpoint. A couple asides about gay relationships and women making false rape accusations both left a bad taste in my mouth. He places a ton of weight upon confessions extracted under intense questioning, referencing the Central Park Five case with zero skepticism (the book was written in 1991, so you can't blame him for not seeing the future, but it's concerning that he mentioned it as an example of a well-conducted investigation similar to one that he himself was involved with). Even from the beginning when he describes his early work with the army, going undercover to infiltrate anti-war student movements during the Vietnam War, I knew I was not going to agree with his politics. Nevertheless, his experiences and knowledge can't be dismissed and I learned a ton about serial killers and profiling. I do recommend it despite my distaste for many of the author's positions and biases; just keep that in mind going in.

  • Nancy Brady
    2019-04-13 01:03

    Creepy and fascinating...the tales told from the perspective of Robert K. Ressler, an FBI agent who tracked down multiple serial killers by profiling them. His interviews and insights into the minds of those convicted of serial killings. Knowing the difference between organized and disorganized serial killers was truly insightful. This took me months to read as the shudder factor was too strong, and I had to look away and read something light in between chapter. Deciding on the rating was difficult because while it was informative (excellent), the subject matter was not (horrible).

  • Kai
    2019-04-22 04:10

    While some aspects of this work have become outdated in the twenty-odd years since it was published, it still deserves its spot as one of the foundational works in criminal profiling. Ressler offers almost unsettling levels of insight into criminal minds without any of the sensationalism that creeps into many criminology works.

  • Kaili
    2019-03-29 03:55

    This book encompasses 90% of my fascination with True Crime, as it deals primarily with the psychology of serial killers. Ressler, a real life Will Graham, chronicles his interviews with notorious criminals as well as some ideas about how they turned out that way. My biggest issue with this book was Ressler's ego - there were some sections and anecdotes that were unnecessarily defensive and seemed to serve no greater purpose but to build up Ressler's righteousness. While some concepts are a little outdated (very heteronormative) , this book is still a great read for anyone interested in abnormal psychology.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-02 01:23

    I don’t know how I’d never heard of this book before. First hearing about it on My Favourite Murder, I’d already read and loved Mindhunter, by Robert K Ressler’s sometime partner John Douglas. Having loved that, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Whoever Fights Monsters was even better.Robert K Ressler was the FBI agent who pretty much started the whole profiling ball rolling, when he took it upon himself to start interviewing some of the worst serial murderers the American justice system has ever caught and incarcerated. If you’ve heard of them, he’s interviewed them – including Charles Manson, Ed Kemper, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy and many, many more – and recounts much of their interviews within (including a truly terrifying anecdote about interviewing Ed Kemper). Far more than detailing his career and the cases he’s worked on, as in Mindhunter, Whoever Fights Monsters is far more interested in the art of profiling itself, which made it infinitely more interesting to me.Whether it be talking about how to interview a subject, the different backgrounds and stressors that can apply to different kinds of murderers, how one goes about assessing a crime scene, how the art of profiling has evolved or the prospects of rehabilitation, every single page was packed with fascinating material. I spent all of my lunch breaks for the past week feeling like I was taking the best class of my life, and I would give anything to have been able to have sit in on any of Ressler’s real-life lectures on the subject. I’m more disappointed than ever that my younger self didn’t pursue the education I’d have needed to have gone into this field, and will have to be happy with armchair detecting instead.If you’re at all interested in profiling, stop what you’re doing and buy this book immediately. You won’t regret it.**Also posted at Cannonball read 9**

  • Jessica
    2019-04-04 04:25

    Woefully dated opinions and attitudes abound this book. He utilizes the completely ridiculous body type analysis and even says that while this method of psychology/physiology is no longer considered valid he feels it has it’s value. He spends a lot of pages blaming mothers for creating the serial killers he talks about in this book, while he does briefly touch upon the fathers role it is clear that he feels it is the female’s duty and responsibility to raise a successful male child and that the burden of responsibility for these men lie mostly at their hands.He says he is often asked why he never discusses female serial killers and says there has really only been one, Aileen Wuornos. And then does not go on to discuss her psychopathy the difference between male and female killers. Literally puts a period on that sentence and then never revisits it once. It’s as if in his mind female serial killers hold so little value to him that they don’t even deserve study.On the plus side he discusses many killers that aren’t big names that I didn’t have any knowledge of. I enjoyed reading about these lesser known yet just as dangerous criminals and getting a glimpse into their minds and thoughts.

  • Rachel
    2019-04-04 01:15

    this was a pretty fascinating book. there is a lot of information on individual serial killers and their stories, from the eyes of the man who started the behavioral science unit within the fbi. although sometimes he writes in a little bit of a big-headed way, the information and stories he presents are very interesting to read. the main problem is that it is outdated: it was published in 1991, and he talks about things such as jeffery dahmer, wh wasn't killed in prison until 1994, and also about murderers who were let out of jail, and internet research does not say if they ended up murdering again.i certainly recommend it though. easy and fun to read.

  • Casey
    2019-03-28 06:03

    Pretty interesting. About a man that made a study of serial killers (in fact he's the one that coined the phrase). He breaks down the different kinds of killers; organized or disorganized, and what it takes to fit into each catigory. He goes through some case studies and bits of the interviews, how the men will still try to control and manipulate.It's and older book and I found myself checking up on some of the guys and what's happening with them now.

  • Zach Fortier
    2019-03-30 02:15

    Another excellent book by Robert Ressler. If you want to understand the basics of what makes a serial killer become a serial killer. this is the book for you. No you wont become a profiler after you have finished the book, but you will gain a greater understanding of the phenomenon. I highly recommend this book.

  • Steve Parcell
    2019-04-09 02:01

    Simply astounding insight in to the mind of a FBI profiler who helped catch guys like Bundy. Yet Ressler is a fascinating individual who although emotionally affected by what he has seen and who he has interviewed still maintains an aura of calm. I can imagine him chatting to a Bundy or a Dahmer as he has discussing murder rather like you would be chatting to a friend. Awesome

  • David
    2019-04-24 06:23

    While this book is over 20 years old, it's still an excellent read and a look into the real life of an FBI profiler. Ressler is the man who coined the term "Serial Killer" and helped create the ViCAP program. His insights into serial killers both well-known and more obscure are fascinating, as is his portrait of working for the FBI.

  • Chrissy Daly
    2019-04-21 00:20

    Interesting to read encounters of one man's tale of sitting face to face with serial killers. The inner monologue as well as the actual interviews are interesting. My favorite part is when he goes to meet Ed Kemper!

  • Stephanie Gordon
    2019-04-02 05:19

    Me gustó mucho. Está muy interesante aunque sí me dio escalofríos literalmente. Lo que más me gustó es que realmente te ayuda a entender más o menos cómo funciona la mente del asesino en serie.

  • Mary
    2019-04-22 06:17

    The best book I've read on serial killers. I had the opportunity to hear the author lecture at UGA, and he is the one who invented phychological profiling, so it is interesting and infomative.

  • Fishface
    2019-04-03 04:16

    Loved this one. Thumbnails the profiling process and gives many examples of how a killer's level of organization and his various motivations come through in the details of his crime scene.

  • Andrea
    2019-03-28 03:05

    Brilliant man!All of his books are excellent.

  • Linda
    2019-03-30 03:01

    Studying serial killers makes a lot of sense if we want to do things that will avoid making more of them.

  • Jen Whittaker
    2019-04-08 01:18

    Loved this book! Read it on a flight across the country. Great insight Into criminology.

  • Sid
    2019-03-28 05:07

    If you’re faint of heart, even as a true crime fan, this book might not be a solid choice.Otherwise it’s incredibly insightful about the creation of the BAU, this agent’s important work, and how the FBI interacts with criminals and law enforcement to help solve cases. The glimpses into cases are informative and chilling, providing a better understanding of how certain individuals become a detriment to society. If you’re interested in true crime (and not concerned about trigger warnings) then it’s a must read. The downside:1. The author spends too much time patting himself on the back and detailing old slights. Obviously he’s incredibly accomplished and he’s done a plethora of work that truly changed his field and improved the apprehension of dangers individuals. But once again: it’s obvious. We don’t need to hear him bragging. It actually makes the accomplishments secondary to his personal take on them. Like he asked of law enforcement: send us the facts and seal your opinion until I’ve made up my own. 2. I wish there were more time spent with certain criminals. These cases could fill a book each so I understand cutting out information but I’d rather have more insight on his empathy for Dahmer than an anecdote or self-congratulations.

  • Emily
    2019-03-27 22:02

    Not exactly what I thought it would be, but I loved it. He talked about his experience creating the system now used to profile violent offenders, and the beginning of VICAP, used to track and use identify violent offenders across the United States. There were some gruesome details about serial murderers, whether or not that is your personal preference. There was also a lot of interesting information about types of serial offenders, psychology associated with profiling, etc. It was a great mix of memoir, psychology textbook, and Law and Order SVU.

  • Megan
    2019-04-01 23:12

    I really enjoyed this book. If you like true crime stories, you'll like this. It was interesting to read this after reading and watching Mindhunter. The two authors worked together in this unit, yet they barely mention the other in their books. They are both intelligent and arrogant, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn they had a falling out at some point. I don't know that I learned anything new from reading Ressler's book since I had already read Mindhunter, but it was still interesting.

  • Emily
    2019-04-19 23:13

    Audible narrator did a good job. Learned a few facts I didn't know about a lot of cases I've heard a lot about. I appreciate his accuracy and patience in discovering the truth of human behavior rather the sensational. In the final chapter he talked about how he thought the FBI needed Clarice Starlings about as much as local police departments needed Dirty Harrys and I also appreciated that.

  • Lacey
    2019-04-05 03:06

    I am obsessed with true crime, so the stories in this book are very interesting! However the writer spends the entire book stroking his ego, being a chauvinist and taking credit for basically everything good the FBI has ever done. Oh and he tries to take credit for Silence of the Lambs! Plus I really hate the word 'Quantico' and he uses it ALOT!