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Psychopath (Crimescape Book 9) [Kindle Edition]

Dr. Katherine Ramsland , Marilyn Bardsley
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99

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Book Description

"(A 69-page True Crime Short with photographs) H. H. Holmes was a central character in Erik Larson’s hugely successful The Devil in the White City, which is planned as a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Holmes is commonly viewed as a real-life Hannibal Lecter, a devious and cunning serial killer without equal. Holmes used the persona of a successful doctor and entrepreneur to draw untold numbers of young women to his three-story Chicago hotel to experiment on before killing them. Not one to waste, he’d often deflesh the corpses to sell the skeletons to medical schools. He enjoyed trying out methods of murder and watching his victims die. Scientists from his era believed Holmes’ brain would unlock the secret of his perversity, but he denied them the chance to find out. Today, we can figure him out without access to his brain. We know more today about the neuroscience of sadistic psychopaths and we can better understand what his brain – if dissected – would reveal. For the first time, we can look to research findings about killers to decode Holmes’s vile behavior.

From Psychopath:

“After the girls died, he’d enjoy viewing ‘their blackened and distorted faces’ before he dug a shallow grave, removed their clothing, and dumped them into it with ‘fiendish delight.’ Holmes considered that ‘for eight years before their deaths I had been almost as much a father to them as though they had been my own children.’

“It is precisely this behavior that most puzzles the ordinary person and draws the researcher’s attention: how can a man torture and asphyxiate children, or burn them and view it as entertainment? How can he ‘befriend’ them for years, knowing the whole time that he will end their lives? How can he describe it as pleasurable? This is the reason the psychopath holds our fascination. It’s why researchers even during Holmes’s era tried extracting criminal brains post-mortem for study. They hoped to locate the seat of disturbed moral consciousness.”


Dr. Katherine Ramsland, who teaches forensic psychology and criminal justice at Pennsylvania's DeSales University, is unique in having extensive experience in researching and writing about crime and the vampire subculture. She holds graduate degrees in forensic psychology, clinical psychology, philosophy and criminal justice. Dr. Ramsland has written over 1,000 articles and thirty-eight books on forensics, serial killers, mass murderers and the popular vampire culture.


From the best true crime authors in the business, many of whom have seen their books made into major motion pictures, comes Crimescape™ — a new collection of compelling short nonfiction crime eBooks from leading independent eBook publisher RosettaBooks. Taking readers into the dark minds of criminals and the tense hunt to bring perpetrators to justice, Crimescape authors stand apart from other true crime writers because they have personal experience in crime investigations, whether as police detectives, investigative reporters, forensics professionals or criminal psychologists. As riveting storytellers, Crimescape’s writers give readers all the information they need to understand relevant clues and the interwoven influences in each criminal case.

“What makes for a good true-crime story? Interesting characters, an engrossing plot, situations that often teeter between life and death. But here’s the MacGuffin about true crime: What you’re reading actually happened. Sometimes truth really is more compelling than fiction. And that’s why you will enjoy reading Crimescape’s true crime series.”
—Paul Alexander, # 1 bestselling author of the Kindle Singles Accused, Murdered and Homicidal"

Editorial Reviews


"Dr. Ramsland has the ability to comprehend complex issues, analyze them meticulously, and express her opinions and conclusions in a completely objective manner."   
      --Cyril Wecht, Forensic pathologist and Past President, American Academy of Forensic Sciences

Praise for The Forensic Science of CSI

"With the mind of a true investigator, Ramsland demystifies the world of forensics with authentic and vivid detail."
     --John Douglas, Former FBI profiler and BSU chief

"In the area of psychological research on serial killers, Dr. Katherine Ramsland has distinguished herself as a unique thinker with a fascinating approach to case analysis. Anyone who takes this subject seriously should read this book."
       --Robert K. Ressler, Former FBI profiler

Praise for The Mind of a Murderer

"Dr. Ramsland writes with a clarity of prose and elegance of style that makes her the envy of forensic commentators and establishes her as a genuine authority in her field."
      Host of Most Evil, Dr. Michael Stone

Product Details

  • File Size: 565 KB
  • Print Length: 61 pages
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks (December 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006OEFG3M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,014 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW - Chilling story - January 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very telling story of true events of a serial killer is Riveting.

Katherine explains the chain of events of the killings of so many around him. Without giving clues he is a master mind in manipulating the minds, and keen at his work of luring people into his trap of lies and deceit without remorse but simply for the mere pleasure to kill. I was very shocked as she explains that even twin serial killers had different motives for self satisfaction.

Katherine explains what tools are being used by the medical field today and how far we have come along.

Amazing, and so intriguing how she left me feeling hopeful that by clinical studies, one day we may have answers.

I enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it.

Thank you Katherine for writing this book and will surely be reading others you have written.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written ***** January 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very impressed with how this was written. The depth was really good for such a quick read. There were things touched upon that I did not know and that is always a plus. Another very well done book by Dr. Ramsland. I look forward to continueing to read more from her. Thank you Joe for the opportunity. An author that can put that much into this length gets it! Thank you Katherine. Other people reviews were much more eloquent and in depth and done so wonderfully. Joey yours was spot on and I continue to look forward to more from you and from Dr Ramsland.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterfully woven story January 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In a way that only Ramsland can do, she tells the tale the two journeys and masterfully weaves them together through the well known tale of serial killer H.H. Holmes . Using his arrest, incarceration and trial as the pathway between the two journeys, Ramsland smoothly moves from one to the other keeping the reader gripped.

Through Detective Geyer's re-tracing of Holmes' footsteps as he urgently seeks the locations of his latest victims, we see how a developing law enforcement and legal system becomes vividly aware of the level of gruesome depravity the criminal mind is truly capable and are compelled to ask; "How could a person do such a thing" and today asking; "Can they be detected early and stopped?". While on the other side of Holmes' tale, beginning with the recollections of court observer and phrenologist Capen, we see the beginnings of what would be the scientific community being compelled to ask; "Why would a person do such a thing?" and today asking, "Can they be detected early and healed?".

Ramsland takes us along these journeys and concisely chronicles the pursuit to find scientific answers, leading us through early criminological theory all the way to present day neurological studies and breakthroughs.

As we see these two journeys develop, with each new discovery we see the uncovering and breakdown of Holmes' lies, tricks, deceit and we witness his internal world of narccisitic delusion slowly disintegrate. It is as if this vividly illustrated dynamic represents the hope and belief that the more the world learns and gains a better grip of the psychopathic mind, the more the psychopathic mind loses their grip on the world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I first read about serial killer H.H. Holmes in the 90's, when I saw a book about him lodged on a bookstore shelf between a series of similar looking paperbacks about American serial killers written by Harold Schecter. I didn't buy his books, but skimmed more than my fair share at the bookstore(sorry, Harold). I was hoping to find out more of the most interesting parts of the story when I bought this book.

What I got instead was a very smooth read, with the bonus of it being well-formatted for the kindle. I enjoyed the story, got through it in one sitting, and was duly horrified. Perhaps not as much as I'd like, though. Key aspects of the story's appeal were left out. For instance, the incredible three-story murder hotel Holmes had built to order, a fiendishly depraved construct if ever there was one, was described in vague detail. The same can be said for the relationship between Holmes and his murdered partner's wife and children, which became so close that they traveled together for extended periods, exchanged numerous letters, and Holmes considered himself akin to a father of the children he long planned to murder. Likewise as to Holmes's upbringing and psychology. We get next to no quotes from him or others he knew. What is it like to be not just a murderer, but so particularly vile a murderer? What made him tick? What was it like to know this man -- if you lived to tell the tale?

Ramsland's book instead concentrates on a single murder, not committed in the murder-hotel, and on the chase. Holmes leads detectives on a merry chase through the American South and Midwest, and seeing the extent of it is interesting, but not the marvel residing at the core of the man nor the story readers probably come to the book for. Finally, of course, he is caught.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great one! January 6, 2012
By Traci
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thrilled Dr. Katherine Ramsland has produced yet another great written piece of work. Having read everything Dr. Ramsland has published over the years, I can't wait for more of her work to be released. With the numerous publications available these days, knowing I can rely on an author to deliver a well-researched and interesting book consistently is important due to my limited time to read. Thanks for another publication, Dr. Ramsland! ~Vero Beach, Fl
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars True and scary
Scary,but true.It is horrible to know that there are people out there like this. Makes you want to hide.
Published 4 months ago by arty
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reads like a textbook for psychology students but very interesting.
Published 8 months ago by Coton de Tulear
3.0 out of 5 stars Wish the book were longer with more detail
This book analyzes serial killer H.H. Holmes, who admitted to 27 murders but probably killed many more. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Diane L. Lybbert
4.0 out of 5 stars behind the mind of a psychopath
Interesting study of how the mind works in some murderers. From the late 19 th century to today there are murderers whos brains are different, emotionless.
Published 16 months ago by Jean Stanley
2.0 out of 5 stars OK
Just didn't interest me. Wasn't my kind of story or of my kind of book. Maybe it was my mood at the time.
Published 18 months ago by Katherine Mcleister
3.0 out of 5 stars for the wife
I bought this for the wife's Kindle. She reads a lot and says this book gets a 3 star rating.
Published 20 months ago by cato0212
1.0 out of 5 stars This was so....
This book was so boring and bad that I absolutely could NOT make myself finish it. Nor do I plan to ever try reading it again.
Published 21 months ago by M. Swagert
3.0 out of 5 stars Thorough,clinical, yet very little new info
Anyone who has seen A+E documentary is familiar w/most of the info in this book except the dogged pursuit by the Pinkerton Agent + how he was able to come up w/a time line of... Read more
Published on May 4, 2013 by T. HACKETT
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing truth about humanity.
This is a well written book that is composed in sufficiently non-technical language, so that most lay people could follow along. Read more
Published on April 12, 2013 by John A. Bowlus
4.0 out of 5 stars Psychopath
It was good for a crime novel, read well and I finished it in one sitting! I love anything about Chicago !
Published on March 11, 2013 by tiaramom1
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More About the Author

Katherine Ramsland began her career as a writer with Prism of the Night: A Biography of Anne Rice. She had a bestseller with The Vampire Companion. Since then, she has published 40 books and over 1,000 articles, reviews and short stories. From ghosts to vampires to serial killers, she has taken on a variety of dark subjects. She holds graduate degrees in forensic psychology, clinical psychology, criminal justice, and philosophy. Currently, she teaches forensic psychology and criminal justice at DeSales University. Her books include The Forensic Psychology of Criminal Minds, The Human Predator: A Historical Chronicle of Serial Murder and Forensic Investigation, Inside the Minds of Serial Killers, Inside the Minds of Sexual Predators, and Inside the Minds of Mass Murderers. Her background in forensic studies positioned her to assist former FBI profiler John Douglas on his book, The Cases that Haunt Us, and to co-write a book with former FBI profiler, Gregg McCrary, The Unknown Darkness, as well as The Real Life of a Forensic Scientist with Henry C. Lee and A Voice for the Dead with James Starrs. She speaks internationally about forensic psychology, forensic science, and serial murder, and has appeared on numerous documentaries, as well as such programs as The Today Show, 20/20, 48 Hours, NPR, Coast to Coast, Montel Williams, Larry King Live and E! True Hollywood.


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