I Have Lived in the Monster

Robert K. Ressler, Author, Tom Shachtman, Author, Tom Shactman, With St. Martin's Press $22.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-312-15552-0
During his tenure (1974-1990) with the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, Ressler plumbed the minds of, and helped to catch, some of the most notorious serial killers of our time. Unfortunately, he detailed much of that work in Whoever Fights Monsters (1992). Here, he tells mostly what he's been doing in his years since leaving the Bureau, and many of the analyses he presents here--such as those of the Japan-based Nomoto murders and last year's sarin gas attacks in Tokyo--arose from his consulting on, rather than investigating firsthand, various cases. Also included are lengthy interviews with serial killers John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer, and a chapter detailing the 125-year history of serial murder and summarizing current thinking about the alienated, sexually dysfunctional male perpetrators of these crimes. Ressler concludes that these men ""cannot be rehabilitated, because their fantasies cannot be erased or changed."" This is a patchwork book; while of definite interest to crime buffs, it's not the smoothest read, and it fails to convey the mind of the murderer with the spine-tingling precision of Whoever Fights Monsters. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/28/1997
Release date: 05/01/1997
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