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Real-Life Monsters: A Psychological Examination of the Serial Murderer

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0313397844
ISBN-10: 0313397848
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I believe that one will leave this book with a better understanding of and increased interest in gaining additional knowledge of the horrific topic of serial murderers―as well as some increased insight into one's own attraction to and repulsion from the frightening phenomenon. The book reads as a lively case discussion with an astute colleague rather than a text or a polemic providing data from an emotional distance." - PsycCRITIQUES

About the Author

Stephen J. Giannangelo is special agent supervisor for the Illinois Department of Revenue's Bureau of Criminal investigation.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 193 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (July 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313397848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313397844
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,431,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Steve Giannangelo is one of the best researchers I've come across, and it shows in his book. Most books on the subject of serial killers are consistently watered down with same old crime scene descriptions and attempts to simply scare the reader.

Giannangelo takes the ultimately rare approach of observing everything to do with the biological and environmental make-up of some of the world's worst monsters. This book proves through facts and clever observation that it's neither nature versus nurture that drives these select few to serial murder, but both.

Also, the mystery killer section is an extremely fascinating addition to an already fascinating book. I couldn't recommend this more emphatically!
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Format: Kindle Edition
(hardcover version purchased on another amazon site)

This is a serious book but highly readable for anyone interested in the 'why' of serial murder. This is one of the best books on this topic that I have read and I have read a great many! It offers a comprehensive review of the different areas of research into serial murder. Most books on this subject will be by people with a myopic view of the issue centred around their area of expertise which almost always suffers from tunnel vision. The author considers nature/nurture aspects, reviews eight case studies, develops a model and proposes serial murder as a diagnosable condition.

There are no wasted words in this book and reads like a much thicker book. There's just no filler and every sentence has some meat to it. Wording is very concise and clear and the book is well organized and referenced.

Refreshing!
One of the things that really stands out is the author's willingness to be flexible in his thinking; to reconsider his theory when new information comes along including what a serial killer has to say! It's a refreshing change to read a book by someone in this field who comes across as genuinely interested in contributing to the solution with no egotistical agenda in sight or defensive posturing unlike some books I could name.

Riveting!
The conversations he has with the un-named serial killer are riveting both for what the killer has to say and for the interaction between the two of them. The serial killer is an unusual one; not your typical grandiose, attention seeking, self-absobed psychopath. I would love to hear more! I hope there's a sequel.

There's a review/summary of the book by Katherine Ramsland, on her blog called Shadow Boxing on Psychology Today. The article is entitled "Homicidal Pattern Disorder". I found it helpful.

As Ramsland says, it's a serious book but it's a fascinating one too!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the best books on serial killer analysis. Giannangelo looks at the biological/environmental factors. One of the best features is that this author does not write a blow-by-blow detailed account of each killer's deeds. We all know these individuals and most who are interested in this subject already know the details. It's where he goes from there that counts. Another plus here is an interview with an unnamed serial killer who was willing to talk. Not like Bundy, who offered catchy glimpses in the third person, nor an "If I did it" tease. The guy seems just as bewildered by his actions as the rest of us. Finally, the author outlines some ideas for subsequent follow up books which could flesh out the many mysteries still held within these people. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great reading
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