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Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  511 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
The highly publicized Scott Peterson murder case captivated a public hungry for the answer to one question: Why would a man with no known history of violent crime or mental illness and with a pretty wife about to give birth brutally murder her and his unborn son? Forensic psychiatrist Keith Ablow's national media appearances, including a groundbreaking interview on Oprah, ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published August 1st 2005)
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Jun 18, 2009 Lori rated it liked it
"Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson" is an interesting, if possibly flawed, look at the psychological makeup of Scott Peterson. Dr. Keith Ablow, while never having interviewed or worked with Peterson himself, does make some fascinating points and conclusions. Background on the Peterson family, which I previously did not know, sheds some light on the dynamics of this dyfunctional family. Could the murder of Peterson's grandfather have led to Peterson himself becoming a murderer? There are some sim ...more
Dennis Littrell
Sep 28, 2015 Dennis Littrell rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Ablow, Keith. Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson (2005) ***
Not the best interpretation

Forensic psychiatrist Keith Ablow's thesis here is that "Laci and Conner lost their lives to a psychological 'perfect storm' that began gathering over the Peterson family over five decades ago and reached hurricane strength in the psyche of Scott Peterson." (p. 8)

In concrete prose (which is not Dr. Ablow's strength) the beginning of the storm was Scott Peterson's maternal grandfather being murdered by a disgrun
Apr 24, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it
Read in two days. Riveting. A genuine, in depth look at the events throughout generations of the Peterson family that led to Scott's sociopathy and the murder of his wife and unborn child. Almost flawless writing, however, the author was at times repetitive in his point of Scott being dead inside.
Oct 28, 2007 Dayna rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
This author really tried his best to get into Scott's head - what was he thinking? What were his motives?

Ultimately, I don't think he succeeded; I think he over-simplified Scott's motives and got a few of them flat-out wrong. (For example, the author contends that Scott was madly in love with Amber, but based on his actions during their "affair" I tend to think that she was just another one of his many marital affairs).

This book is worth its weight in gold, however, not for the author's assump
Jan 12, 2010 Amanda rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was a perfect account of the crime and everything leading up to it. It was interesting to get into Scott Peterson's head, to understand what kind of person he was and still is that led up to the murder of his wife and son.

I have read a few books on this case, written by his sister, his mother-in-law, and finally Amber Frey, but they were all personal standpoints and opinions. It was nice having an unbiased forensic psychologist take me through his life, step-by-step.

I truly
Dec 02, 2008 Natalie rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, thanatos
I was sick of the media oversaturation of the Peterson case, but a co-worker gave me this book and I finished it in about two work shifts. Keith Ablow, a forensic psychologist, makes a pretty good case for why Scott Peterson killed his wife Laci, which is something the media never really touched upon - too busy playing up the "pretty dead pregnant wife" and "slightly trashy mistress" angles, I suppose. Keith Ablow is a bit of a media whore himself, though, and I'm not sure if that casts suspicio ...more
Feb 19, 2014 andie rated it did not like it
Shelves: redrum
Horrible book. Keith Ablow begins by passively insinuating that Scott Peterson's paternal grandfather was murdered by his parents.

In the same chapters that he calls Scott a manipulative, calculating, empty shell of a person, Ablow makes the assumption that if Scott's first child had been born, perhaps Scott wouldn't have gone on to kill. Ablow also claims that Scott's relationship with Amber was genuine, the one thing in Scott's life he truly cared about, and he wouldn't have gone on to kill i
Oct 27, 2010 Tara rated it liked it
Some interesting insights were made but the writing was a little redundant at times. Dr. Ablow must have said that Scott Peterson was "a person impersonating a person" and that he was "already dead" at least a dozen times each, throughout the book. It was a quick read, though, and held my interest enough to finish it. I'd recommend it for things like airplane rides or over-night stays in hotels, etc.
Tami Urbanek
Jun 24, 2014 Tami Urbanek rated it really liked it
An in depth look into the sick twisted mind of this demented freak!!! I was brought to being physically ill at several points, when they described the conditions of their bodies was the worst one. when it was told in court this sick piece of crap didn't even flinch!
I have read a few books on this case and had actually begun to believe perhaps this was a freak accident and he over reacted but now, NO WAY IN HELL!!!
He is a sick demented freak (and I don't say this lightly) he deserves to die, sl
Joey Mauro
Jun 28, 2015 Joey Mauro rated it liked it
While extremely comprehensive and with some brilliant insight, where in the end I truly did feel I was able to comprehend the sort of person Scott Peterson is, Ablow has a tendency to be VERY repetitive and redundant, as well as a bit hokey. Sometimes the man's own bias both politically and personally gets in the way, and he is constantly hammering home the same ideas throughout this relatively short read.
Deborah Mitton
Jan 21, 2015 Deborah Mitton rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was preparing to write my first novel. The knowledge that Keith Ablow shares on a psychopath's method on handling day to day situations was just what I was looking for.

This study was certainly a great help to me.
Chelsea Davis
Mar 18, 2014 Chelsea Davis rated it liked it
Interesting insight into the mind of a heartless killer. The story progressed well, but the writing style was over dramatic and very repetitive. It put me off from reading another book by this author.
Apr 01, 2016 Tracy rated it it was amazing
This book was so good I could not put it down. In my opinion, this is the best book on Scott Peterson. The author is an exceptional writer. This book will blow your mind!
Feb 04, 2014 Jk rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Lots of information from a forensic pschiatrist. Well researched and the author takes care to explain Scott Peterson and his actions.
Jan 09, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it
If you prefer s more literary investigation into the life and mind of a killer, ala Dreiser, this may not be for you, but for a quick and fascinating trip through a murder case that I made all of us stop and think, and Feel something important about life, death and the fascinating mysteries behind unthinkable human behavior, this is a must. If you read this book you should probably never be put on a jury because you can't help seeing generations of victims here. Absoluting fascinating read. Low ...more
Jan 21, 2016 Alexander rated it liked it
I didn't agree with a lot of the author's theories but it was very interesting so I give it 3.5.
Dec 27, 2012 Juli rated it liked it
Kenneth Ablow gives an interesting look at the background of Scott Peterson and what may have led him to take the lives of his young wife and future son. Although Dr. Ablow does provide a great deal of family and personal background information on Scott, the book is rife with "what if's" and suppositions. While I concur that forces that were set in motion even before Scott was born could have had an impact on Scott's later actions, I feel that the author used too much artistic license to lead th ...more
Jul 26, 2010 Sherman rated it liked it
This book written by a forensic psychiatrist goes into the mind of Scott Peterson who killed his wife Laci and unborn son Connor. It describes his childhood and how his mother gave up two babies before him and then smoothered him to the extent he never developed his own personality and self. How he never could love anyone because he didn't know how, and in the end never showing any remorse for the crime he committed. What really went wrong with this family and this man?
Apr 15, 2009 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Fabulous book about Scott Peterson, and a keen insight into how he developed into a narcissist and sociopath. His family of origin was hugely dysfunctional, and Dr. Ablow made it easy to see how Peterson turned out to be a killer. The book also gave insight into how Laci's personality and family of origin led her to choose a guy like Scott. He was not the first abuser she had been in a relationship with. She had also lived with a guy who beat her prior to Scott.
Lara Crawford
May 31, 2008 Lara Crawford rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: true crime lovers
For those of us who experienced abusive childhoods, this book opens the door on examining the generational impact of abuse. I call it the gift that keeps on giving. Yes, some sarcasm here.

As an author (see books by L.F. Crawford or Louise Crawford), reading a biography like this one is very helpful for climbing inside my sociopathic characters, like Lucien Andreas in BEVERLY HILLS VOODOO, or "Ice Pick's" point-of-view in FORTUNE COOKIE KARMA.
Mar 17, 2010 Katie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone working with disturbed children
I started reading this book because a co-worker recommended it. I found it insightful as far as how children develop or in this case, don't develop a conscious. According to Dr. Ablow, Scott Peterson is just a hollow shell of a man. And after reading this it makes more sense to me on why he did what he did. He is where he should be, but it is sad to think what could have been had he been raised by someone who cared.
Dec 29, 2008 Tree rated it liked it
My daughter was born within days of Laci's and Connor's deaths, so I've been captivated by the terrible story from the start. This book does present some background on Scott that is sad and disturbing, though the author does seem overly confident in his psychological background. I got very tired of reading his hypothesis of Scott being "a dead man" over and over.
Jul 05, 2012 Emma rated it really liked it
Keen insight into a sociopath and malignant narcissist by a forensic psychiatrist. Though he never interviewed the subject himself, it's not hard to track Scott Peterson's psychopathy through his own reactions/behaviors, his family's recollections, court papers and public records as well as his heinous crime and his ensuing actions. A quick and fascinating read.
Jun 28, 2010 Elesha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
I have been following this case since I first heard about it. I've read countless books about the case also from many perspectives and without a doubt my firm belief is that Scott Peterson indeed did kill his wife and unborn child. I enjoyed every detail about this book and the analysis that experts give on Scott Peterson's motives of doing what he did.
Dec 07, 2013 Sae-chan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I wasn't familiar with the case, but I wasn't really convinced by analysis given in this book. Just by looking at his expression, I think I believed he thought that he was smarter than everybody else and he wouldn't ever get caught.

It is true that nothing is unexplainable, but our knowledge is not yet perfect.
Jan 11, 2011 lunaticprophet rated it liked it
*** Very interesting insight into the mind of Scott Peterson. I pretty much avoided the entire circus surrounding this case while it was going on, so much of the information was new to me and Ablow's analysis of Peterson is very interesting.
Dec 24, 2012 Marina rated it liked it
This book had some good ideas but really should have been written as an article. The author repeats himself dozens of times just to fluff it out to be long enough to be a book. Made me feel like he assumed his readers were idiots.
Mr. Crusader
Oct 03, 2009 Mr. Crusader rated it really liked it
Prior to reading this book, I was convinced Scott Peterson was innocent. Dr. Ablow does a great job explaining the true Scott Peterson, not the handsome, charming, golden boy I thought he was.
Sep 01, 2008 Beth rated it it was amazing
Three generations of the Peterson family and how within this family system, Scott became who he is. Dr. Ablow treats the subject with truth and universal compassion.
Mar 09, 2008 Christy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A psychologist tackles the inner workings of Scott Peterson. One of my favorite books on the case, although Ablow may give Peterson a bit too much credit here.
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Keith Russell Ablow is an American psychiatrist, New York Times best-selling author, and television personality.
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