Regular price: $34.99

Membership details Membership details
  • 30 days of membership free, plus 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals to get you started.
  • After trial, you'll get 3 titles each month: 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals of your choice.
  • Don't like your audiobook? Swap it for free.
  • Cancel anytime and keep your audiobooks.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
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

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    178
  • 4 Stars
    85
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    173
  • 4 Stars
    72
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    158
  • 4 Stars
    71
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    9
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

32 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

informative look at the lives of serial killers

I enjoyed this book as a true crime fan. I learned a lot of info on various serial likes and what goes into profiling them. The part about Ted Bundy, however, was straight up copied from Ann Rule's book The Stranger Bedside Me. Most profiled are ones any crime fan would know Albert fish, Bundy, Gacy , I enjoyed hearing why the BSU (behavioral science unit) is needed and how much of the scientific artistry that is criminal profiling still has a long way to go .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Definitely Dated Material

Performance was excellent. Material is dated and tendentious at times - the beginning and the end were difficult for me to get through, but the middle section of the book which actually discusses serial killers and profiling was interesting.

I ended up not finishing the last 30 minutes because the author annoyed me too much. Sometimes the tone was a bit too preachy and the author maybe considered himself a bit too clever. It was irritating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

My review

The book itself was pretty good.. it took a few chapters in for me to really get interested. The narration fit perfectly and appreciated the different aspects the book took, from the killers, the victims, the investigators, and the mental and physiological breakdowns. I would definitely recommend this book.