This incredible story shows how John Douglas tracked and participated in the hunt for one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history. For 31 years, a man who called himself BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) terrorized the city of Wichita, Kansas, sexually assaulting and strangling a series of women, taunting the police with frequent communications, and bragging about his crimes to local newspapers and TV stations.
After disappearing for nine years, he suddenly reappeared, complaining that no one was paying enough attention to him and claiming that he had committed other crimes for which he had not been given credit. When he was ultimately captured, BTK was shockingly revealed to be Dennis Rader, a 61-year-old married man with two children.
©2008 John Douglas and Johnny Dodd; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"Inside the Mind of BTK is a chilling and fascinating place to be, and there is no better guide to take us there than great American Mindhunter, John Douglas. This is a story of ordinary people and extraordinary evil - lock your doors, check your telephone lines, and read this book." (Linda Fairstein)
"An unforgettable portrait of a guy most of us are glad we never met." (Bloomberg.com)
I have always found the books written by John Douglas an interesting look into the behavioral understanding of crime. The content of this book was good but I continually had to move past the rote reading and incorrect pronunciations of commonly known words (Quantico pronounced with the accent on the second syllable, library pronounced as libary etc.)I have been an audible customer for several years and have hundreds of books in my library. I will not buy another book read by the narrator.
Excellent story--I've read everything by J. Douglas. However, this narrator has such a monotonous delivery, and he mispronounces even only moderately difficult words, suggesting he didn't do his homework first. Increasingly irritating, and I gave up.
The content was great, and if you can survive the narration, the book is really good. I would say it's in the top 25 audio-books I've listened to. I guess it says something if the content is good enough to -almost- neutralize the narrator? I don't know if I could/would tolerate another
The book contains copious amounts of information. There was no single
Mr. Klav should seek another line of work. He should also give back the money he was paid for this book.
I skipped this a number of times due to the bad reviews here and the unjustified obsession with narrator. Whilst he isn't the best in the world, and does indeed mispronounce a couple of words, he's far from the worst I've heard! I should point out that the narration of the prologue is far worse than the rest of the book for some reason. Irrespective, if you're interested in the subject matter you should find this compelling. I am and I'm only half way through it! Be warned though, this book goes into incredible detail and some of it is a little disturbing in places ... Excellent book though.
I should have heeded other reviewers who warned of this narrator, but I thought that I could suffer through a few butchered words, however moronic the effect. The problem, however, is not merely his tenuous grasp of basic cultural literacy, but that his voice is so monotonous, tedious and just plain... ineffectual...that his butchery of simple language are actually the few moments of slight interest.
At the risk of sounding cruel, I would be willing to wager that this is no professional narrator at all, but instead a college friend of the author who was in dire need of work. In fact, I see no evidence here on Audible.com that he has ever narrated anything else whatsoever.
Sorry, Mr. Klav, but you've wasted my time and money. Kindly leave the narration to professionals who can read.
I find the subject matter to be very interesting and I enjoy learning about the inner workings of a criminal's mind; but -- the narrator for this story is getting on my last nerve.
How can the narrator not know the proper pronunciation of so many words.
Quantico, VA is being pronounced: "kwanteeko"
I could list several more but I'm not sure how to spell them out phonetically to describe it.
I'm hoping I can finish the book.
Say something about yourself!
John Douglas, as is always the case, writes a well-documented, factual case. Johnny Dodd's writing is also appreciated.
I am the Evil Mama
This narrator was very distracting with his mispronunciation of words. It is not "modus operandee"; and it is a larynx; not a lairnyx; just to name a few.
John Douglas is a former FBI profiler - he's written several previous bestsellers, and reminds us frequently in this book about his pioneering work as a profiler and all the other books he's written. I suspect his earlier books are better, as this one, while interesting, seemed like it was very much written to fill a publication slot. Douglas's own connection with the BTK case is tenuous - he provided some advice to police detectives during the initial investigation of the BTK serial killer when he first began, in the 70s, but had no further connection with the case until many years later, after the killer was caught and identified and imprisoned for life. At this point, Douglas, now long-since retired from the FBI, is filled with a desire to interview Rader.
The interview itself is only the last chapter of the book, achieved after a lot of hoop-jumping and negotiations with an unfortunate would-be author who had already secured exclusive rights to Rader's story. Douglas's meeting with Rader behind bars at the El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas was anticlimactic. Rader presents exactly as we'd expect: a psychopath who is matter-of-fact about his crimes, as there is no point in denying them now, yet still trying to game his image and what people think of him. He's able to tell Douglas little that we don't already know about him, and few additional insights are gained about the inside of this sick pervert's mind.
Still, the journey along the way was both fascinating and disgusting. Dennis Rader was no criminal mastermind, no charming Manson-style leader or scary monster who makes you look away from his chilling gaze. He was a not-particularly-bright man obsessed with bondage and killing, who wormed his way into positions of small, petty authority where he could terrorize people in small ways while terrorizing Wichita, Kansas in a very real way at night for decades. The only particularly unusual thing about him, as Douglas notes, is that he stopped killing for a while, long enough for the police to think he'd either retired or died, and then started again. It was when he restarted that he got caught, as he began making use of new Internet and word processing technology. This proved to be his undoing. He was quickly tracked down, arrested, and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Is there anything to learn from Dennis Rader's story? Douglas talks a little about what might have made Rader the way he is. He rejects the "broken from birth theory," though the evidence seems pretty strong that Rader, like all serial killers, was a sociopath at an early age. Douglas probably prefers to believe that Rader had a choice and therefore is fully responsible for his crimes. That seems mostly a philosophical point; we may be curious how someone becomes a serial killer, but with little ability to identify and prevent them, we do as a practical matter hold them responsible for their actions when they are caught, as we must. Douglas repeatedly refers to Rader and other killers like him as "monsters" who deserve to die, which they surely are, but it makes him sound less clinical and more personally invested. Understandable for a former fed, but given that he has little insight to offer on that score, sometimes it just felt like an obligatory reminder that John Douglas is a good guy fighting bad guys, even though he's long since hung up his badge.
This is not a book for people who have a high degree of empathy for victims, even strangers, as the crimes of the BTK killer are described in detail, though here Douglas does remain clinical rather than gratuitous, aside from a few sympathetic (but wrenching) speculations about what the poor victim must have felt, realizing only after they are tied up what they are really facing.
What stood out to me was how banal and ordinary Dennis Rader was — a dweeb who could've been taken down by anyone who had the foresight to fight him, yet a combination of luck and cunning allowed him to kill and kill again, even after several botched adventures. John Douglas tries to link himself to Rader's eventual capture by describing how the techniques he innovated decades ago were used, but he really had nothing to do with Rader's actual capture and there's not much evidence that any of the advice he ever gave to the police helped them catch Rader sooner.
"Fascinating story, let down by the narration"
For the most part, this horrific story held my complete attention. BTK's defiance of all the comfortable cliches about what makes a serial killer - loner, history of abuse as a child etc. - gives you a genuine sense that anyone could be capable of terrifying violence. What lets this audiobook down is the occasional - but jarring - tendency of the narrator to mis-pronounce certain words. This mainly happens with place names or technical terms with which the narrator is clearly unfamiliar, but it is a shame that no one present for the recording took the time to correct him. It seems such a minor point, but in some cases the mispronunciations (I particularly recall 'Larry-Nix' for 'larynx') are almost funny, and that reaction is so at odds with the feelings produced by the story as a whole it detracts from the experience.
"Narrator is poor."
I largely agree with the other review. Content was interesting/riveting and terrifying, but the thing that stuck out for me was the narrator. I noticed a few of the mis-pronounciations, but frankly, I was surprised at how at 'un-regal' his voice was, compared to the others I've listened to. That's an opinion of course..
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