cover image Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit

Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit

John Douglas. Scribner, $24 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-684-80376-0

One of the first to develop the specialty of ""criminal-personality profiling,"" Douglas has written a readable, popular version of his earlier Sexual Homicide (Lexington, 1988). He discusses how FBI profilers, working from crime scene evidence, predict the type of personality who committed a serial murder. Accurate profiles-such as that of Wayne Williams, the Atlanta child killer-can help focus on likely suspects. Profiling can also suggest proactive steps for luring the culprit into contacting the police. Unfortunately, a profile is apt to ""fit a lot of people."" As the unsolved Green River Killer case attests, it cannot substitute for hard evidence. Although profiling has limitations not emphasized in this semiautobiographical account, Douglas is justifiably proud of its success. Recommended for true crime collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/95.]-Gregor A. Preston, formerly with Univ. of California Lib., Davis