- Hardcover: 472 pages
- Publisher: CRC Press; 1 edition (December 15, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0849310342
- ISBN-13: 978-0849310348
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,749,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Investigating Religious Terrorism and Ritualistic Crimes 1st Edition
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"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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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. This is not a coffee-table book; the photographs and symbols (germane to the topic, always) can be unpleasant. While there are those who find any expression of intolerance to be small-minded, social intolerance of crime - especially violent crime - is both sensible and lawful. One man's xenophobia is another man's kidnapping and cannibalism.
While the author's initial area of academic expertise was art symbolism and religious art, she has become an expert in the related field of physical evidence of ritual violence. For many practitioners of violent religious expression I suppose, their holy places are superior to the best available sacred art. Her book has grown out of her law enforcement consulting experiences, not the other way around. And, as a law enforcement professional, I'm glad she published it.
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.