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The Profiler: My Life Hunting Serial Killers and Psychopaths

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3.03  ·  Rating Details ·  1,288 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
In 1990, a young woman was strangled on a jogging path near the home of Pat Brown and her family. Brown suspected the young man who was renting a room in her house, and quickly uncovered strong evidence that pointed to him--but the police dismissed her as merely a housewife with an overactive imagination. It would be six years before her former boarder would be brought in ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 18th 2010 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Petra Eggs
I had expected a totally different kind of book. I had expected to read of a woman who using all the clues was able to pin point exactly the traits a particular criminal would have, enough to be able to identify them and that arrest, trial and justice would follow. It wasn't that kind of book and so I was very disappointed.

Pat Brown was a self-taught profiler who did not work for the police but more for families and individuals where conventional means had failed to bring the perpetrators to ju
...more
Phoebebb
Jun 10, 2010 Phoebebb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disliked, nonfiction
I can't take this book anymore. It's misleading! I thought I was going to enjoy a book about profiling psychopaths, but instead I'm slapped in the face with an autobiography about an obsessive housewife trying to convince the world how clever she is; who happens to profile as a hobby. Every time she turns around she's being told she's a lunatic and she just chalks it all up to flaws in the justice system.

If I was to profile this woman I would suggest she suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorde
...more
noelle
Jun 14, 2012 noelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: do-not-own, ebooks
what a nonstop thrill ride in stupidity! here are some choice quotes: [trigger warning for rape, murder, etc.]-

"She was smiling at me when she signed it. I thought, You don't look too bent out of shape for a rape victim."

"As a female, I could tell you exactly why that girl had leggings hanging off her left leg. That’s because women who have sex in the backs of cars end up with leggings hanging off one leg."

"The police never quite proved Suspect #2 was in the area at the time of Sarah’s murder. O
...more
Eva
Mar 02, 2014 Eva rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow.
I can't honestly remember the last time I read a book that had me shaking my head, roll my eyes and groan in deep frustration on every second page.

To be perfectly honest, it was a bit my fault. I should have looked up the author's credentials before reading the book, but when a book has as its title "My Life Hunting Serial Killers and Psychopaths", it leads you to believe that the author a) actually does this as a job and b) is kind of successful at it - not the obsession of an autodidact wh
...more
Tara Chevrestt
While reading this book, I found myself eyeing my co workers and checking the psychopath trait checklist. It's unbelievable how many of them are running around! In this book, Pat Brown, self trained profiler talks about psychopaths, their traits, and what makes some of them cross the line to become serial killers.

Full review: http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2010/...
Sharon
I really wanted to like this book. I have read memoirs by John Douglas, William Bass and numerous other professionals in the fields of forensic and behavioral sciences (I am a forensic anthropology major).

Pat Brown's memoir just bothered me. First of all, she admits that she is "self-trained," and decided to become a profiler because a boarder in her home seemed like he might be a suspect in a murder. However, like every single case she discusses in her book, that man was never charged with anyt
...more
Neil Mudde
Apr 04, 2013 Neil Mudde rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rarely have I ever read such a self serving ego centric book, I am astonished this book got published.
Pat Brown, has a vision of herself of a caped crusader, I can see why her husband left her, good heaven this woman is obsessed, imagine walking into police stations, were thank goodness in most cases they would give her no access to active or even cold case files, I kept on reading hoping something would happen for her to change her mind, all the cases she mentions and has given her personal "pr
...more
Lisa
Oct 22, 2012 Lisa rated it did not like it
I didn't finish it; which is something I have done with a book I've begun, maybe three times in my life. I threw it down in frustration about half way through, although I wanted to, much earlier. My main bones of contention are the authors gross generalizations and statements of personal opinion that are presented as fact, especially in a field that is held to the standard of the scientific method. I couldn't take it anymore.

I will concede that the author, if she is to be believed(her credibilit
...more
Susan
Apr 15, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in criminal investigation
Recommended to Susan by: Tara
3 1/2 stars. Because of a murder that occurred in her community and a suspect who was a boarder in her home, Pat Brown became a profiler. Her book explains how she developed her career and chronicles some of the cases she worked.

I find the subject fascinating and am glad I read the book. For my tastes, it fell short in a couple of areas. The first 80 or so pages was devoted to the first case and how Brown became involved. While the case was interesting, there was just too much irrelevant detail.
...more
Cynthia
Apr 23, 2012 Cynthia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So badly written and generally terrible that I needed to comment. Like many people, I checked out this book because of an interest in profilers brought about by watching Criminal Minds and the like.I assumed the author would be someone with the requisite training and who actually worked with law enforcement. This is not so. At least within the parts of the book I read, it became clear that she has absolutely no relevant education or training.

The writing style is awful. The author tends to includ
...more
Maggie
Jul 28, 2011 Maggie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love serial killer/profiling/true crime/etc. This book sucks. The author comes across as arrogant and stupid--never a good combination. It was really hard to finish; I did so only because I thought there would have to be SOMETHING to warrant her self-proclaimed expertise. Wrong. She draws conclusions based on opinion & then complains about the police not doing their job. She uses a premise as fact and then bases the rest of her "proof" on that shaky foundation. She seems to have no idea of ...more
Audiaa
According to this book, anyone can be a profiler; all you have to do is read a bunch of books, create a web site, and get lucky. That's what happened to the author, and her website happened to be found in a search during the D.C. Sniper case, she was asked to be on T.V., and became famous as a profiler even though she had no qualifications and no experience. Additionally, most of the cases she discusses in the book do not involve potential serial killers; there are suicides, x-spouses, and child ...more
Ashley
Sep 27, 2010 Ashley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, review-copy
I'm really struggling right now. I WANT to write a review of this book. I have a lot to say about it.

BUT. I am finding that it is impossible to review this book without making it sound like a personal attack against the author. Which, since it's a memoir makes sense, but I'm trying to find a balance here.

But- In short, just to take away today, do not waste your time. PLEASE. Seriously. Anyone who uses an appearance on the Montel Williams show to establish credibility and expertise is not worth
...more
Naomi
Jun 10, 2010 Naomi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't waste your time with this book! This writer has an ego the size of New York City. She was all-knowing, while those around her, including the police and some victims families, were misdirected and ignorant. If you love profiling books, stick to those of John Douglas and Roy Hazelwood (or really any Quantico trained profiler), they tend to be much better written and focused on the facts of the case and less on emotions and ego.
Sheila
Sep 06, 2010 Sheila rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I found the first half self-righteous and irrelevant, full of little details about what a great person she is and how wrong everyone else was (her husband, cops, other profilers). So I quit and flipped to the second half, which was...boring. How it can be boring when real life people suffered and died, I don't know, but I did not care about the people or the cases at all, especially when her profiling never led to an actual arrest. And how many families of victims aren't speaking to her? Fishy.
joolz
Apr 17, 2012 joolz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This was interesting and insightful, but I was also rather confused and disappointed in this book, until I'd virtually finished it and saw some comments (see spoiler) that helped me understand Brown's purpose in writing it. So please carry on until the end of the book. Alternatively look at her website Pat Brown Profiling and read about her first, so you don't make the same assumptions that I did.

The book gives a fascinating description of how you can figure out so much information a crime scen
...more
Kristina
The second half of this book is better than the first. The author spends way too much time talking about her personal background (being a housewife, her kids, etc.) than necessary. It's really not all that interesting. Brown also repeats herself a lot. Some of the cases she discusses are interesting but I'm wondering how she she pays for her expenses since she says she doesn't charge for her profiling work when contacted by families. I also think it's fascinating that she has little training in ...more
Sharon
Jun 23, 2012 Sharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
1.5. Not a common score--if you hate it that much, are you actually going to parse how much you dislike it? But really, the extra 0.5 is because I got what I asked for--stories of a profiler solving crimes by thinking them through.

Why wasn't it good? All sorts of reasons. Not very well-written--clearly the coauthor had plenty of work to do in just organizing the author's points coherently and keeping it from looking like a report. Aside from a few canned phrases of support, she paints the polic
...more
Christina
Jan 15, 2012 Christina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
While the cases and Pat Brown's profiles were very interesting, I found the book a bit disappointing. In almost every case, even though Brown presents realistic and likely profiles (supported by existing evidence - she has a great eye for detail), the detectives and/or prosecuting attorneys aren't interested in pursuing any new leads. It seems as if they all say, "That's nice, dear." and tuck her files into a drawer somewhere, never to be seen again.
If I found that frustrating, I can only imagin
...more
Julie
Jul 05, 2011 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not very well written, and the author seems to suffer from the same narcissism and god complex she accuses her (better educated and trained) colleagues of being hindered by. For some reason, despite the fact that she's always the one person to arrive at the right conclusion, almost all of the cases she outlines in the book are still unsolved. What she seems to think is a big "shame on you, justice system" narrative comes off as arrogant and oblivious.
Frank778
Aug 29, 2010 Frank778 rated it liked it
Interesting for anyone who likes True Crime. The book needed a better editor. Quite a bit of redundancy.

At first I found it disconcerting that none of the presented cases had clean, redemptive endings. But a good contrast to fictional TV shows and True Crime shows that depict neat conclusions.
Bfg1971
Jul 18, 2011 Bfg1971 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Shelves: non-fiction, crap
Pat Brown is a loon and this book is terrible. The only thing that keeps me reading it is to see what kind of crap she's going to come up with next.
Suzie Flohr
Feb 14, 2012 Suzie Flohr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one. Highly recommend to anyone with a true crime interest.
Koren
May 21, 2017 Koren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
At first I thought this was going to be an awesome book. I was really interested in how she became a profiler. After that she talks about individual cases that she has worked on. It was really frustrating because she talks about her opinion of who the suspect is but there are no arrests or facts to back up her theories. Most of the cases remain unsolved. If you are interested in criminal profiling there are a lot better books out there.
Charles Cornell
While we sit in our warm, comfortable suburban family rooms, there are dangers lurking in the parks & streets outside, even in the best neighborhoods. The most dangerous is the psychopathic serial killer. What would you do if rather than being on the outside, you suspected a serial killer to be inside your home, in fact living with you and renting one of your rooms? The first half of 'My Life Hunting Serial Killers' is the autobiographical story of how Pat Brown came to the realization that ...more
Kelsey
Dec 27, 2015 Kelsey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There were many things wrong with this book. The first one being that the author thinks she is the only one to have had these "groundbreaking" views of how the criminal justice system does not work. Had she an education that would lend itself useful to her chosen career path, she would know that scholars have been aware of the many issues she brought up, and have been trying to fix the system for decades. She is not revolutionary.

The second issue I had with this book was that the author contrad
...more
Cassie
Dec 14, 2010 Cassie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one really...
I'm on the fence about this book. I thought that the whole profiler thing was interesting and I agree that there is something drastically wrong with our criminal justice system. However in all the cases it felt as if the author was saying "I'm right right right! And the police are wrong or stupid or uneducated or lazy or inept (or a combination of all those things)" I'm glad that she has all the time in the world to work on analyzing crimes and fighting to change the criminal justice system but ...more
John Brown
Mar 09, 2011 John Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's 1990. You're a housewife, homeschooling your children, and renting a room upstairs to a young man to make ends meet. There are a few odd things about the young man, but you overlook them. Then one day a woman is strangled on a jogging path near your home, and your first thought is that the young man living in your house has something to do with it.

What do you do?

Pat Brown found herself in this exact situation. She voiced her suspicions to her husband, but it was all too farfetched. However,
...more
Jesse
This book is not for the faint of heart or stomach but is for a fan of the show Criminal Minds. Pat Brown is a criminal profiler based in the DC metro area.

Her book is divided into two parts; the first details Brown’s life, background, and how she came to be a profiler and the second goes into detail about various cases. I think my favorite parts about the first section were how Brown suspected a man renting a room from her or murder and why (it was fairly logical) and how she trained to be a p
...more
Chris
Jun 16, 2013 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Anyone who has ever watched the animated sitcom "King of the Hill" will see a great many similarities between Pat Brown and Peggy Hill. Both are women with a tremendously inflated ego and sense of self worth, who rather than present facts and let those speak for themselves, instead gush on and on about how clever they are and that us gibbering neanderthals can never understand their genius.

Peggy Hill could very well be an expy of Pat Brown in this regard. Brown presents profiles of the typical p
...more
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