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

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  816 ratings  ·  50 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 p

Kindle Edition, 365 pages
Published (first published 2007)
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if you bought john douglas for what he thought he was worth, and sold him for what he is really worth... you'd make a killing. this book would have been really interesting if john douglas would have just stuck to writing about the killer and not himself. i didn't pick up the book, "btk killer and other musings about my life" by john douglas.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Jan 07, 2008 Mic rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Worst Douglas book. I was disappointed. The information was good but the writing annoyed me. I blame the new co-writer.
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?
Kristen Doherty
Nov 02, 2008 Kristen Doherty rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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
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
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
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
I don't typically quote "the author on the author," but I think something from the last few pages of the book is very illustrative: "People often ask me why I want to write books about inhuman monsters like [BTK:]. My answer is always the same: I've always believed that by taking the sensationalism out of the crimes, I can destroy the myth. I describe the gory details out of their crimes, but never try and sensationalize their actions." I think that about sums it up. The book is detailed, and in...more
There's nothing like a good serial killer book. Douglass has taken a lot of heat for focusing on himself too much in this work, but I found his personal journey helpful. It reminded me that I wasn't reading the work of an investigative journalist, but that of an FBI profiler with 30 years of experience tracking serial murderers. His frustrations and intuitions allowed me to understand the complexities and myths of what goes on in the mind of these troubled souls.

While there are plenty of flaws i...more
Overall, the book is pretty good and does a very good job of explaining what was different about this particular criminal that made him so difficult to capture. A pretty fascinating glimpse into both what made this serial killer tick, but what makes the author himself tick--and frankly, what they both have in common sometimes. After a while, I began to question some of the offhanded comments the author seemed to feel compelled to include in his book--comments about wishing he could take some vig...more
Definitly a good read. It reads like non-fiction which just goes to show how crazy BTK actually is. But I think the author (former FBI profiler) took some story lines a little too far, making me roll my eyes because I know that what the author was writing was probably pretty far from non-fiction (regarding the authors own experiences, not anything BTK related), for example, was the author really sitting in a cemetary alone late at night thinking about the case when he suddenly hears something, r...more
Lashay w.
Dennis Rader was a married 61 year old guy with 2 kids.He had a problem with killing any type of women.It took people years to catch the BTK but one day he came out of the blue and said he feels like no one cared about him and that he commited more crimes then they could ever thnk of. I think it was a good book about telling what goes through poeples heads. Poeple who like to read about true happings and fcats about poepls lives would like this book. But if i had a quastion to ask the BTK I woul...more
Jaime Hay
Reading about serial killers may not be everyones.favorite activity, but this was a good account of BTKs life and killings. Divided into three parts, the first is a general telling of each murder by Douglas, the second by BTK himself and the third is the exclusive interview. Douglas almost seems to focus the story on himself more than BTK. He takes a stance where it seems he played a huge role in the investigation, when other than his interview the case basically just crossed his desk. The writi...more
John E. Douglas usually satisfies my occasional urge for a true crime book, but this was very disappointing. Instead of being an active member of the team that hunted down BTK over the years, Douglas was a fringe enthusiast. So the "plot" of the book was essentially Douglas reading a file and summarizing his findings. An incredibly weak approach, especially when you compare it to something like Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit.
I got to page 286 and wasn't very good, and the writer was very arrogant and made it sound as if he single handedly solved the mystery of BTK even though he really had very little to with the actual profiling of BTK and nothing to do with the solving of the case. I also didn't need all the details about the writer. The book is entitled "Inside the Mind of BTK," not, "John Douglas ~ How I Single Handedly Solved the Mystery of BTK and Everything Else You Ever Wanted To Know About Me!"...more
Not the typical John Douglas book since he was not directly involved with the case from the start, this one is more of a research project on John's part than a first-hand account. The descriptions of him researching seem a bit contrived/fictionalized to me and it was a bit distracting.

However, that's not the important part of the book of course and the BTK story is quite gripping because of the sheer brutality and the fact that he basically won. Yes, we was caught and is locked up, but for 30 y...more
Kelly Sheridan
Love this book! Its sick and twisted but worth it.
Lisa B
This terrifying account of the BTK Killer by John Douglas was so gripping I couldn't put it down despite my feelings of horror. On one hand, I kept thinking "this is so awful so evil, I shouldn't be reading this!" I would cry imagining what the victims went through and double check my doors were locked at night. Yet I couldn't stop reading it. I have read many true crime novels but none as disturbing as this one.
Casey Keen
Okay, let me start by saying this book will make you lock your doors and look over your shoulder every night. Not only is it scary, it is disturbing. The author painted a vivid picture of how the BTK's crimes affected his victims and their families. Since I love true crime, this intrigued me, but if you're not a true crime junkie, pass on this one...unless you don't mind sleeping with the lights on!
BTK was very well written. The author does not waste time on "fluff" and gets right to the point. Only when evidence and research is lacking does he interject his theory. I will be purchasing "Mindhunter" and "Obsession" shortly! The only shortcoming I felt, was the lack of psychological research and testing. This information would be useful to the background/childhood of Dennis Rader.
Brett Starr

This book is an intense and intriguing read all the way through. John Douglas does not disappoint!

Reading this book will make you cringe at the thought of how brazen Dennis Rader (BTK) was. He didnt sneak around in the dark, he walked calmy in broad daylight and you invited him right in your front door!!

Freaky stuff, great book!!
Good, informative read. If you're interested in true crime books, this is worth picking up. Douglas not only goes through some of the behind the scenes goings on at the FBI and how he came to his profile of BTK, but also each crime in detail, and a mini-biography of BTK going back to childhood.
John Douglas does a wonderful job explaining who BTK is and what he did. travels alot to see the person who cracked the case of BTK after he tried to. A read more about why he did it, but doesn't really explain all of the deeds done by BTK. You will hate this man to death after reading this.
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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.

More about John E. Douglas...
Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit The Cases That Haunt Us The Anatomy of Motive: The FBI's Legendary Mindhunter Explores the Key to Understanding and Catching Violent Criminals Journey Into Darkness Obsession

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