Alone with the Devil

Ronald Markman, Author, Dominick Bosco, With Doubleday Books $18.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-385-24427-5
This engrossing if disquieting study, and the strongly held views of forensic psychiatrist Markman, treats the role of psychiatry in the courts. Despite frequent ``battles of experts,'' psychiatrists determine whether the accused was sane at the time of the crime and is competent to stand trial, and their findings influence the prepetrator's fate, stresses this study, coauthored by former Prevention magazine editor Bosco. From the hundreds of murderers he has interviewed, among them serial killers and mass murderers, Markman focuses on the trials of those found guilty of vicious homicides. He seeks to discover why they become killers and how their minds work, then to evaluate subtleties of behavior of a deranged psyche in terms of a justice system that, he contends, favors the criminal over the victim. Unlike other criminals, killers, according to the book, ``best represent a cross-section of America,'' which helps explain why the murderous violence of most psychotics is impossible to predict. First serial to Los Angeles Times Magazine; Doubleday Book Club selection. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
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