Serial Killers

The Method and Madness of Monsters
Narrated by: Charles Constant
Length: 16 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (396 ratings)

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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 listeners say about Serial Killers

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    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.

44 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

10 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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Very interesting and informative

Very interesting and informative. Learned a lot about prolific and obscure serial killers, from family history and childhood to rest and\or punishment. Definitely recommend for someone who can't get enough of serial killers

1 person found this helpful

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Great

great book i could definitely recommend reading it if you're into true crime. i have the physical book that i'm going to lend to my mom to read.

1 person found this helpful

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extremely well read.

the way this was told was absolutely extraordinary. eyes open and will always watch everyone

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very informative

I was a fan of how there were examples for every type of killer, quite a fan.

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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.

1 person found this helpful