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I Have Lived in the Monster: A Report From The Abyss
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I Have Lived in the Monster: A Report From The Abyss

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  542 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Before Robert Ressler coined the term serial killer, the crimes committed by these sociopaths were known as stranger murders. Set apart from all other murders, they are the most difficult to solve: where there is no connection between murderer and victim, nor between on victim and the next, there is no way to fathom the identity of the perpetrator. Since Ressler's retireme ...more
Hardcover, 223 pages
Published May 15th 1997 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 1997)
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A.J. Aalto
Oct 03, 2010 A.J. Aalto rated it it was amazing
An excellent read for anyone who wants to understand the psychology of the serial killer, includes interviews.
Dec 04, 2008 Catten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following his first book, Whoever Fights Monsters, Ressler's second book looks at more killers, in particular, serial killers.

Serial killer. These two words intrigue many people.

Once called stranger murders because of the lack of connection between victim and killer, this type of crime has become the popular topic of books, movies, and conversation. People fear the randomness and unpredictability of the serial killer. A victim is just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But there is a victimolo
Oct 01, 2008 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, crime
While there was some interesting information, I wasn't really sure where it was trying to go and it felt more like an excuse for the author to stroke his ego and lash out at critics or others who misunderstood or misrepresented him, which is okay, but I didn't find it fun to read. A lot I was familiar with already. Obviously the guy is well known and an expert in his field, and this may have been just a quicky shot at making some money, but it isn't the best book on the subject I have tried.
Sep 26, 2011 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had an obsession with this subject for a while so I read everything I could. This is a must read for anyone interessted in serial killers. Beyond the movie stereotype to real people. It's hard to believe they exist in the same world as us as they are so out there they seem fictional, but they are very real and very complex.
Mari Stroud
Sexual Homicide is an incredible book, useful to everyone who has an interest in the psychology of crime. I Have Lived in the Monster is Ressler picking fights with imaginary enemies and preening for the camera. I didn't think anyone could actually have a bigger ego than Douglas, yet there he stands.
Aug 21, 2015 Anna rated it really liked it
The last book from the late, great Mr Ressler. I had to take a breather during one of the chapters, so I can't imagine how he was able to interview such monsters hours at a time. Mr Ressler is a true hero of mine for all the hard work given in the pioneering field of criminal profiling and helping to co-create VICAP.
Zach Fortier
Jul 20, 2013 Zach Fortier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any fan of serial killer stories
Shelves: keeper
I have read all of resslers works, If you would like a real look into the FBI's serial unit. this is the work to read. It is not fo rthe faint of heart and it answered many of my questions. why it only has a 3.7 rating here is a mystery. It is an amazing book to read.
Royce Ratterman
Feb 08, 2016 Royce Ratterman rated it it was amazing
Most books are rated related to their usefulness and contributions to my research.
Overall, a good book for the researcher and enthusiast.
Read for personal research
- found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs.
Courtney Robley
Mar 14, 2011 Courtney Robley rated it it was amazing
This book is great if you are interested in serial killers and the interviews in this book are great. Also the stories are very detailed and interesting.
Jennifer Bradley
I found this fascinating, but somehow just not as readable as Whoever Fights Monsters or The Evil That Men Do. Still a great read and would highly recommend to students of human darkness.
This was an interesting read, albeit not as interesting as Ressler's first book, Whoever Fights Monsters.

The focus this time is more on international crimes than domestic ones, and the cases covered are from Ressler's post-FBI consulting rather than his in bureau investigations. While this does allow coverage of some lesser known/media-exploited crimes; overall, I found these cases less satisfying both in a cultural and a psychological context than his bureau investigations have been ... perhaps
Mar 26, 2011 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Written by an ex FBI agent who is the world's most famous explorer of the serial murderer's mind. Pretty interesting. I especially liked the chapter about the Japanese foreign exchange student on his way to a Halloween party, who stopped at the wrong house and was shot to death. I mean, I didn't LIKE it - it is an excellent example of anecdotal evidence for gun control. There are also some interesting cases where the author (who was a detective supervisor in the army's criminal investigation div ...more
Oct 06, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED the interviews within the book, that really take a good look into the minds of serial killers. It's also interesting to read about the links between so many different kinds of serial killers. I felt that the author did put in a lot of personal opinion, however, and I do not like that. I feel that politics should stay out of a book that is supposed to be based on facts. The facts of guns and media causing violence is solely an opinion of the author. None of the killers had blamed their ac ...more
Steve Parcell
Dec 18, 2014 Steve Parcell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-killers
Wow talk about disappointing. The first book Whoever Fights Monsters is a truly fascinating insight into the FBI and their development of the unit who caught serial killers.
It was thrilling and completely blew me away. Robert Ressler was a man I looked up to as a pillar of wisdom and justice.
This book? It is a blatant rip off. It is a complete rehash of various parts ogf the first book and other stories they probably left on the editing floor.
I was so disgusted I left it on the train.
Jul 29, 2009 Beth rated it it was ok
I have read almost of all of John Douglas' books, so I figured I would like this one too, since Robert Ressler was in the same unit, at the same time, with Douglas. Ressler's tales are interesting, but his constant whining and ego-stroking, make this read incredibily frustrating. I found myself wishing that he would stop talking about himself and explaint he processes in which he develops a profile and catches the criminal. I don't think I'll be reading any more books by him.
Sep 07, 2014 Alyssa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the majority of the stories are interesting, I almost gave up on the book several times due to the tone of the author. He seems to take great pride in sharing his numerous achievements and stressing how helpful he was in each case. He also seems to take great pride in putting down others: former colleagues, police he has worked with, etc. His narration was very off putting, and I would rather hear someone else tell the stories.
Jul 04, 2009 Tom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An account of Ressler's Career in the FBI's behavioral science unit, and his work pursuing the nation's worst serial killers. Ressler was a cohort of John Douglas. Reading this book, and some of Douglas' work, I am struck by how egotistical these guys are. I guess they have to be, to deal with the kinds of crimes they deal with.
Rob Tripp
Mass murder in Japan, by sarin gas, intimate conversations with notorious serial killers, the mechanics of profiling - there's plenty of insider revelations here. I came away with new insight – the knowledge that serial/mass killers are impossible to pigeon-hole or stereotype and that we are still struggling to understand what motivates them and how to stop them.
Aug 11, 2010 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, craziness
Mr Ressler is apparently quite good at what he does and doesn't mind telling you that at every opportunity. The book was a disappointment; the author didn't have much in the way of new material and resorted to including excerpts of interviews with serial killers as filler.
Mar 28, 2016 Neal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, criminology
Nothing less vivid, educating and thrilling compared to standard criminology textbook. But nothing more than that. Afterall, I do not particularly feel like spending additional bucks on the first book of Robert Ressler, Whoever Fights Monsters, at least for now.
Melinda Elizabeth
I think that this book hasn't held up too well under the strain of years of research and theories into criminality. It seems tired and dated, and also a little self indulgent on the authors part. Best bit was not the theorizing, but the interviews with serial killers Gacy and Dhamer.
Edwina Callan
Nov 20, 2013 Edwina Callan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book, 2008
Another fascinating look into the minds of madmen ... just don't look too deep or they will give you nightmares.
Jan 26, 2012 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Weirdly braggy.
Jun 21, 2008 Scubabarb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I quit reading this one after about 100 pages. Although I love books about serial killers, this one included a lot of information I already read/heard about.
Mirna Lorena
Feb 03, 2013 Mirna Lorena rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring... It seems like he thinks a lot of himself...I like reading about killers but i couldn't read this book a easily as others, its too boring....
Okay, so it was close by the chair I sit in to feed the baby. So I read it. Twisted minds....
Amber L
Jan 03, 2013 Amber L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book with fascinating interviews.
Interesting but rather chaotic. If you want to read only one book by Ressler, "Whoever Fights Monsters" is a better choice. MUCH better.
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