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Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson

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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  349 ratings  ·  42 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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Lori
"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
Dayna
Oct 28, 2007 Dayna rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
...more
Amanda
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
...more
Natalie
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
Andie Cee
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
...more
Tara
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.
Dennis Littrell
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
...more
Tami Urbanek
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
...more
Chelsea Davis
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.
Jk
Excellent. Lots of information from a forensic pschiatrist. Well researched and the author takes care to explain Scott Peterson and his actions.
Wendy
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
Juli
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
Sherman
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?
Rebecca
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 4 of 5 stars
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.
Katie
Mar 17, 2010 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Tree
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.
Emma
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.
Elesha
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.
Sae-chan
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.
lunaticprophet
*** 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.
Marina
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
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.
Beth
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.
Christy
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.
Laura
Great insight into Scott Peterson's mind. I gave this only three stars because it is very repetitive. It felt like it could have been half the length.
Kathy
I bought most of the books on this case but this is the only one that couldn't keep my interest. It was ok but the one Lacis mom wrote was by far the best!
Jenny
This was a good book. I learned a lot that I didn't already know. If you don't already know about sociopaths, you'll learn a lot by reading this book.
Biosyd
It is rare that someone can get into the head of someone like Scott, but Keith nailed it on the head. It is unbelievable how stupid people can be.
Erin
A quick and easy read. Forensic Psychologist Dr. Keith Ablow adds some interesting insights into the "life story" of this severely disturbed man.
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Keith Russell Ablow is an American psychiatrist, New York Times best-selling author, and television personality.
More about Keith Ablow...
Psychopath (Frank Clevenger, #4) Denial (Frank Clevenger, #1) The Architect (Frank Clevenger, #6) Compulsion (Frank Clevenger, #3) Murder Suicide (Frank Clevenger, #5)

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