Regular price: $34.99

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In this unique book, Peter Vronsky documents the psychological, investigative, and cultural aspects of serial murder, beginning with its first recorded instance in ancient Rome, through 15th-century France, up to such notorious contemporary cases as cannibal/necrophile Ed Kemper, Henry Lee Lucas, Ted Bundy, and the emergence of what he classifies as "the serial rampage killer" such as Andrew Cunanan.

Exhaustively researched, with transcripts of interviews with killers and featuring up-to-date information on the apprehension and conviction of the Green River Killer and the Beltway Snipers, Vronsky's one-of-a-kind book covers every conceivable aspect of an endlessly riveting true-crime phenomenon.

©2004 Peter Vronsky (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    115
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    114
  • 4 Stars
    49
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    100
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    8
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Overview With Significant Inaccuracies

This is not a bad read for anyone interested in true crime. However, I would strongly recommend reading books by others. The author is clearly well read on the subject, has engaging writing style, and to his credit admits that he is not an expert in this field. I am a physician, soon to be board certified in both Adult and Forensic Psychiatry, and as a professional my problems with Vronsky's book are with the many misleading and/or inaccurate pieces of information provided regarding descriptors and classifications. For the sake of brevity I'll stick to one example. For instance, he writes that the American Psychiatric Association's DSM equivalent term for psychopathy is Antisocial Personality Disorder and proceeds to equate the two. This is absolutely incorrect and much has been published over the past 30 years. The constructs of psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder, though have some overlap, are NOT equivalent. In fact psychopathy is not even a formal DSM diagnosis and furthermore necessitates further formal training by both psychologists and psychiatrists to appropriately assess. Even more basic is how Vronsky uses.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

suberb

This comprehensive overview of the origin, psychology and prevention of serial murder is quite different from your typical sensationalized account of a particular case, though Vronsky uses examples of cases to good effect when illustrating a concept. This is closer to a psychology textbook than 'true crime' and I found its reliance on history, brain science, philosophy and forensic science to be very effective. I wish Vronsky would do an update to this 2004 book to address new developments in this topic. Highly recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Really great book!

I just can't stop listening. I'm intrigued and now aware or my surroundings. great book and informative.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

book girl

Very interesting book. Well narrated. The instructions for how to defuse a serial killer/rapist depending on his "type" was truly scary. It seems once they have you, you are doomed. Well researched and thought provoking.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The Definitive Serial Killer Book

This is a must read for any serial killer buff, not only does it include the stories of the serial killers it also delves on to the mind of the serial killer personality. It's scary yet methodical, informative and well written. Really makes you stop and think, "maybe I have seen a serial killer before and never knew it." Scary thought indeed....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting book with good narration

I found this book well researched with professional audio and good narration...it did not sound like a seventh grader reading his book report. If you've listened to other audiobooks in this genre and appreciate the meaning in what I've just said, you may find it satisfying to listen and contrast for yourself this book with some others you may have had the misfortune to purchase.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The book could have been half the length

Wayyyyy too much repetition on the same points. Was pretty gruesome, but I guess I should have expected that, so that had no impact on my rating. It was boring and literally would say the same thing at least a half a dozen time on sooo many points. Many times in the same paragraph and / or multiple chapters. Was too redundant and not very deep or revelatory.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Must read for serial killer enthusiasts

The book detailed several classic murders but let's be honest-I could listen to the Ted Bundy story over and over again. The best part, to me, was the ending where they explain what to do if you are ever caught by someone you suspect to be a killer.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting, if gory

There were points while reading this book when I wondered if I should stop. It was well written, and it was very interesting, but it was extremely dark and gory, even to someone like me who enjoys dark, gory things.

Also, that last chapter on surviving a serial killer? It’s pretty terrible. Especially the last page or two. Skip this part, and you will enjoy the book more.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

interesting

Interesting, but too many numbers and stats thrown everywhere. It was difficult to retain anything because of all the numbers and the way the book was organized.