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Investigating Religious Terrorism and Ritualistic Crimes Hardcover – December 15, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0849310348 ISBN-10: 0849310342 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 472 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press; 1 edition (December 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849310342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849310348
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,518,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Don't touch anything, photograph everything, then pull this book out of the trunk of your car.
- Charles Wetli, Chief Medical Examiner and Director of Forensic Sciences, Suffolk County, New York; Clinical Professor of Pathology at SUNY, Stony Brook

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30 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Sheldon LaGrange on July 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Religious pluralism is increasingly alarming to the small-minded and xenophobic. Books like this just legitimize prejudiced, rascist and ignorant stereotypes.

Ritual crimes are "generally perpetrated by practitioners of occult belief systems including Satanism, syncretic belief systems (Santeria, Palo Mayombe, Brujeria) and the Vampire/Goth scene" ?

Excuse me? No, they are not. In what crazy moon universe do members of the absolute smallest of minorities commit the majority of crimes? Where are the numbers for this? If actual research were done on supposedly "ritualistic" crimes, one would discover that most of the "evidence" consists of the ignorant superstitions of the local law enforcement. Superstitions about their fellow human beings which are legitimized and perpetuated by irresponsible books like this. And completely mundane crimes (if crimes can indeed ever be called "mundane,") are labeled "santeria" motivated or "Satanic" because of the race or culture of the people involved.

Does Perlmutter have any credentials at all, besides being an ART HISTORY professor, and being part of a LIMITED LIABILITY CORPORATION that calls itself a research foundation on religious violence? This is spurious academics, people. For those who may not know, an LLC is a for-profit personal corporation which can (and usually does) consist of only one person. Calling your corporation a "foundation" makes it look like a research institution, but it doesn't fool those of us with enough intelligence to tell the difference between useful law enforcement information and dangerous muckracking.

It is very scary to think that law enforcement workers might put some stock in this collection of Midwestern prejudice.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CharleyHorse on October 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I not only think this author does not have the necessary background/expertise to write this book, but in other articles she blatantly publishes in right wing press and is very anti-Islam. Although it appears she knows very little about other subcultures, religious or otherwise, e.g., Goth culture.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peter A. Cohen on June 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Dawn Perlmutter, a former Professor of Art, and NYU graduate typifies
the CSI effect whereby dilettantes believe themselves to be Crime
Scene Investigators and Forensic Scientists because they will themselves
to be and they see a commercial and salutory opening to advance themselves in a heretofore uncluttered niche (thus the basis for why
forensic science specialties and subspecialties have clamped down
on 'amateurism' and instituted stricter testing and licensing requirements for forensic practices in crime labs, police departments
and medical examiner's offices).

This book (why on Earth would CRC agree to publish such
rubbish ?) demonstrates a facile, dilettantish, non-scientific
and less-than-cosmopolitan understanding of ritualized criminal
activity, whether psycopathic, religious-based, geopolitical or
merely opportunistic. This book might be worthwhile as a textbook
for an elective or non-majors humanities department course in the art
or symbolism of criminal activity, but it falsely purports to have
any use as a forensic or criminological tool in the understanding of
ritualized behavior that may lead to murder of any scale. You
are far better off reading the published work and books by
forensic psychologist Eric Hickey, or the legion of trained
FBI, state crime lab and other specialized forensic scientists
and forensic psychologists who have ACTUAL scientific grounding
in the area of ritualized criminal behavior.
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9 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Perlmutter provides a remarkably complete volume on the subject of ritualisitc crime & religious terrorism. Her work is most current and is interesting for many audiences - criminal investigators, students, scholars and those who wish to read for knowledge. The book is enlightening and alarming.
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10 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mark Lee on October 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've just finished my first reading of Dr. Perlmutter's fresh work. The text is offered with the conviction that "understanding the religious beliefs, ethics and ritual practices of unfamiliar religions is imperative to preventing future acts of violence." I sense my socio-cultural paradigm has shifted since reading this book. And I hope that my personal baby-steps toward a more careful handling of the involved issues can serve to further future prevention of violence in some way.

While it is true that this book was written by a woman who is principally an academic, it's also true the research that went into it involved a great deal of field work and contact with law enforcement, victims and true believers themselves.

Groups covered include various millenial religions, domestic terrorism groups (many of which mix component forms of Christian/pagan religious expression with extreme racial theories), international terrorist groups with an emphasis on violent Islamic groups, various Satanist groups, Vampirism, and syncretic belief systems such as Santeria and Voodoo. Dr. Perlmutter then addresses various intelligence strategies for maximizing the public benefit of an informed investigative approach. The book is also a wealth of resources for gaining additional information. This dynamic field of study is difficult to set in print as though it were some sort of unchanging holy text, and the author acknowledges ongoing development.

The book is not alarmist, but does raise concerns. Crimes incidental to the practice of ritual violence covered in the book range from mild trespassing and littering issues through threats and assaults to violent crimes against persons including homicide. The cases are well-documented and photographs and illustrations are plentiful.
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