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Publisher's Summary

In the number-one New York Times best seller Mindhunter, John Douglas, who headed the FBI's elite Investigative Support Unit, told the story of his brilliant and terrifying career tracking down some of the most heinous criminals in history. Now, in Journey into Darkness, Douglas profiles vicious serial killers, rapists, and child molesters. He is straightforward, blunt, often irreverent, and outspoken, but takes pains not to glorify any of these murderers. 

Some of the unique cases Douglas discusses include:

  • The Clairemont killer
  • The schoolgirl murders
  • Richmond's first serial murderer
  • The brutal and sadistic murder of Suzanne Marie Collins
  • Polly Klaas' abduction and murder by Richard Allen Davis
  • The tragedy that lead to the creation of Megan's Law

With Journey into Darkness, Douglas provides more than a glimpse into the minds of serial killers; he demonstrates what a powerful weapon behavioral science has become. Profiling criminals helps not only to capture them, but also helps society understand how these predators work and what can be done to prevent them from striking again. Douglas focuses especially on pedophiles and child abductors, fully explaining what drives them and how to keep children away from them. As he points out, "The best way to protect your children is to know your enemy." He includes eight rules for safety, a list of steps parents can take to prevent child abduction and exploitation, tips on how to detect sexual exploitation, basic rules of safety for children, and a chart, based on age, that details the safety skills children should have to protect themselves.

In his review for Mindhunter in The New York Times Book Review, Dean Koontz said, "Because of his insights and the power of the material, he leaves us shaken, gripped by a quiet grief for the innocent victims and anguished by the human condition." Journey into Darkness continues this perilous trip into the psyche of the serial killer, but also offers a glimmer of hope that profiling may enable law enforcement to see the indicators of a serial killer's mind and intervene before he kills or kills again. 

©1997 John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

4th best JD/MO book but worth the credit.

love John Douglas and his Co authored books by mark olshaker.

these 3 are slightly better:
Mindhunter
BTK
Obsession

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Starts strong but goes off course

I've always been fascinated by the FBI Behavioral Science Unit and the criminal profilers, including John Douglas. The book starts strong with interesting, albeit horrifying, cases. A little over half-way through the book, however, Douglas goes on and on about the legal system, victims rights, etc. I've been the victim of crime and had a family member murdered (a police officer, no less), but I'm not terribly interested in Douglas ranting about how the legal system favors the accused/convicted over victims.

Beyond the story, I was quite disappointed with the narrator. A bit too folksy for my tastes.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful