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Inside the Mind of BTK: The True Story Behind the Thirty-Year Hunt for the Notorious Wichita Serial Killer

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,669 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
A dramatic and compelling true-crime psychological thriller

This incredible story shows how John Douglas tracked and participated in the hunt for one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history. For 31 years a man who called himself BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) terrorized the city of Wichita, Kansas, sexually assaulting and strangling a series of women, taunting the

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Kindle Edition, 365 pages
Published (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mic
Jan 07, 2008 Mic rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with no idea
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Unreadably self-congratulatory. It might be an interesting book, but I couldn't get past the "wow, I'm brilliant!" that is all over the start of it.

Grow up, fella.
David
Jul 12, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: serial killing dog-catchers, retired FBI agents missing their glory days
John Douglas is a former FBI profiler - he's written several previous bestsellers, and reminds us frequently in this book about his pioneering work as a profiler and all the other books he's written. I suspect his earlier books are better, as this one, while interesting, seemed like it was very much written to fill a publication slot. Douglas's own connection with the BTK case is tenuous - he provided some advice to police detectives during the initial investigation of the BTK serial killer when ...more
Jenna
Apr 12, 2009 Jenna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've liked John Douglas other books, but this one left me annoyed and disappointed. Douglas states quickly at the start of the book that he had little involvement in the actual capture of the serial killer known as BTK, but I still expected a detailed analysis of BTK's pathology. Instead, the book was mainly "filler", flushed out with stories of Douglas past exploits. BTK's story doesn't really begin until the middle of the book, and most of it is information already reported in the press. The w ...more
Carrie
The author may be smart, maybe even a genius profiler, but, damn, is he full of himself. Why didn't he just call this a memoir?
Katherine
The story and the details of BTK are extremely fascinating in a you-cannot-look-away-because-it-is-too-horrifying kind of way. On the other hand, I kind of hate John Douglas. The cases he works are gruesomely interesting and he has access to all of the details and suspects and witnesses and friends and family, and ok, he was one of the pioneers in the field of criminal profiling (and he WILL NOT let you ever forget that) but he has a very arrogant and self centered style of writing that I find o ...more
Maggie
Mar 15, 2011 Maggie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, non-fiction
I was hoping for more information on criminal profiling. The book itself wasn't well written, sometimes to a laughable degree. Still, it was a quick read and creeped me out before bed, so it gets a couple of stars.
Cynthia
Jan 18, 2017 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Creepy and predictably dark. I was struck by the fact that he was clumsy and nervous and inept. interesting to see the killers perspective. amazed that he wrote so prolifically.
Angus McKeogh
Pretty interesting stuff although Douglas wasn't a part of the Witchita Police force. But a fairly fascinating read on how one of America's sickest individuals was tracked and taken down. Maybe not the best writing however. But a good read.
Erik Lazier
Dec 24, 2015 Erik Lazier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must say I'm surprised by the negative reviews. Whatever one thinks of John Douglas & his considerable ego, where else can you find so much first-person writing by a serial killer about his own crimes, in pages which were never intended by their author to be made public (& are thus less likely to represent misdirection?) Douglas could have framed it any way he wanted and it still would be a page-turner, simply by virtue of the inclusion of so much material taken directly from Dennis Ra ...more
Sidney Prescott
I'm a big true crime buff. I thought I knew a lot about BTK. Then I read this book.

Inside the Mind of BTK is an information packed, incredible detail, long winded non fiction book. But I wasn't bored once. John Douglas does an amazing job of sharing every bit of information you could imagine and feeds your true crime craving.

I've noticed a lot of the reviews on here talk about John Douglas being too self-congratulatory but I have to disagree. It didn't bother me. Sure, he speaks a lot about his
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Lauren
Sep 10, 2010 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written book by one of the FBI profilers that helped bring down BTK. Having read a few crime books before this one, I found BTK to be really interesting in the fact that he managed to elude police for so long and the strange way he killed his victims. He was not a rapist, just played out a very disturbing fantasy with every victim in his mind. It was sad to read about how working on this case nearly killed the author and consumed much of his life. Crazy to think that this killer was a wel ...more
Todd
Jan 31, 2014 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very dark book and not one I would recommend (nor read too much in public) but my rating stems more from the author this time. I have read some of John Douglas's earlier works which I thought were very good but it seems now that he is much more interested in trumpeting his predictions and abilities. There is no question he is among the best at profiling serial killer prospects but I think I admired him more when he let his cases do the talking rather than through self promotion.
Emily
Apr 17, 2008 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Worst Douglas book. I was disappointed. The information was good but the writing annoyed me. I blame the new co-writer.
Kristen Doherty
Oct 28, 2008 Kristen Doherty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: true crime readers
I like this book and I learned more about the BTK then I heard from the media.
Clare
Listened to in audio format.

John Douglas was a.profiler for the FBI, he was not actively involved in the investigator.

When serial killer Dennis Radar was finally arrested the FBI discovered Dennis /BTKS journals.

Dennis explained in his journals how he planned and executed the murders. Not surprisingly he seemed to be a wannabe. His life was full of disaapointment, he wanted to be a policeman but ended up a dog ranger. The amazing thing was he managed to stop his killing
Spree, when his wife caug
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Joe Carnage
Feb 16, 2017 Joe Carnage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal. Mind blowing, well written, intimate, with tons of twists and turns, I definitely couldn't put this one down. Very in-depth.
Regina
Feb 22, 2017 Regina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Douglas is a former FBI profiler - he's written several previous bestsellers, and reminds us frequently in this book about his pioneering work as a profiler and all the other books he's written. I suspect his earlier books are better, as this one, while interesting, seemed like it was very much written to fill a publication slot.
Howard
Feb 25, 2017 Howard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Audible
Desire
Sep 29, 2016 Desire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really gives you insight into the world of profiling. It also truly gets the reader an inside look into the mind of a serial killer. Great read.
Erica
Oct 10, 2012 Erica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
If you're looking for a really comprehensive, descriptive, in-depth look at BTK, this is a pretty good book. The dissection of BTK's personal writings are nearly exhaustive and include information I've never found anywhere else, and the comparison of early profiling vs. the actual profile of Dennis Rader was fascinating to me.
However, Douglas just rubs me the wrong way as a writer and a law enforcement professional. I've also read his other book, "The Cases That Haunt Us," and also came away wit
...more
Teresa
Mar 19, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In "Inside the Mind of BTK," John Douglas explores the grip of terror in which serial killer, Dennis Rader, held Wichita, KS.

I started reading this book for a few reasons. John Douglas was the premiere FBI profiler and I'm a great fan of his books. But more than anything else, I lived in Wichita in the late 70s/early 80s, so this story strikes a very personal chord in me.

For more than 20 years, Rader targeted young women around the Wichita area with which to fulfill his sick need to bind and tor
...more
Christy
In a twisted way, I enjoyed reading this. It's like watching a graphic true crime TV show - you're disturbed, but it's thrilling, and you come away feeling educated. The author, John Douglas, says this about his reasoning for presenting such an in-depth portrait of a sexual serial killer:

"People often ask me why I want to write books about inhuman monsters like Dennis Rader. My answer is always the same: I've ways believed that by taking the sensationalism out of the crimes, I can destroy the m
...more
Jaybar
May 24, 2016 Jaybar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Guys, this book kinda scared the shit out of me. Anybody that breaks in, then fu*king HIDES in there, waits for you to come home, then waits some more, until you're asleep to come quietly out of the closet to kill you is enough to make me want to build a tree house at the top of the tallest tree I could buy. THAT does it for me. The "hiding" bullshit. Ugh. Whew. Geez... Anyway, that aside, this was really in-depth, well written, and almost read like a work of fiction at times. Since reading this ...more
Jami
Aug 18, 2012 Jami rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nearly two and a half months later and I am FINALLY finished with this book. I have always been interested in criminal psychology and had only briefly heard about BTK. I've seen John Douglas' books on the shelf and decided to read this one. I found this book to be mostly boring, a long, drawn out tale of a nobody who, fortunately, more often screwed up then followed through with his warped, disturbing "projects". The most interesting part was the revelation that Rader kept indepth journals about ...more
Kathleen
Awhile back I went on a true-crime binge and read everything by John Douglas that I could possibly get my hands on. I think this was the most disappointing of the bunch; this or the Unabomber one.

John Douglas is an FBI profiler who's written several bestsellers before, and I think he's at his strongest when not describing a specific case for an entire book. His books like Mindhunter and The Anatomy of Motive are great, but Inside the Mind of BTK is largely a blow-by-blow procedural as to how the
...more
Sarah
Jul 16, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is only my second John Douglas book, but I am definitely going to call myself a fan of the profiler. He's a good writer with a flair for detail (albeit gross details) and I enjoy that in a crime author. When I started this book I read a bunch of reviews on here with people complaining or getting aggravated at the author for his "they couldn't have solved this without me" attitude. I honestly wasn't put off by Douglas's personal stories, his reflections or his feelings. I think he's earned t ...more
Brandon Burrup
I've enjoyed most of John Douglas's books so far but this one goes a little too far for me. There is no doubt that the work of Douglas and his counterparts in building the BSU has been invaluable in capturing many criminals and solving countless crimes, but Douglas seems to let this go to his head. In writing a book about a serial killer who's case he was hardly involved with at all, he still comes across as if he is the number one expert on the subject simply for reading the case files. And I c ...more
Rachelccameron
The events detailed in this book are so horrifying that they don't feel real. To me, it is unfathomable that one person could think and act like this is real life. This is one of the reasons I read true crime; I find it interesting knowing how other people think. Similar to Helter Skelter, John Douglas was so close to the crimes that he provides a detailed and accurate account of the case beginning in the 1970's until 2005. I had no idea that the BTK case had ended so recently.

This book reads li
...more
Phillip Harben
Nov 22, 2016 Phillip Harben rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook review:
I've previously enjoyed John E. Douglas' work in "Mindhunter," which was fascinating. This, however, was dull, amateurly written and terribly narrated.

The lack of modesty and excessive arrogance written here is particularly grating and Mr Douglas comes across as a complete douche. The narration was monotonous and reminded me of when school children are asked to read aloud in class. Added to that, the recording appears to have occurred in a public convenience, with its echoes an
...more
Miriam Städtler
Jun 07, 2015 Miriam Städtler rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is more about the author than the criminal - full of unnecessary details that can possibly only be interesting to friends and family. The author clearly finds himself brilliant and assumes everyone else does too. Sadly there was little of his (apparently) so celebrated insight to be found when it came to the truly interesting and revealing descriptions that BTK himself left about his crimes. One would feel a student of criminal psychology would be interested in that, but apparently not ...more
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John Edward Douglas is a former United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent, one of the first criminal profilers, and criminal psychology author. He also wrote four horror novels in the mid 1990s.

-Wikipedia
More about John E. Douglas...

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