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The Serial Killers

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  335 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
An ordinary family house in a quiet West Country town - 25 Cromwell Street, Glouster. Now known throughout the world as the House of Horror: The home of Fred and Rosemary West and the scene of one of the most shocking cases of serial murder England has ever seen. United by acts of unimaginable cruelty, the West's partnership was one of the most deadly in criminal history.
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Paperback, 349 pages
Published January 16th 1997 by Virgin Books (first published 1990)
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Paul
Dec 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book is not worth the time it took to read it.
There is plenty of gory detail, for fans of that sort of thing. But the book jumps from topic to topic with no perceptible logical structure. And the author makes sweeping generalization without a scrap of evidence to back them up. For example, he announces that political radicals have the same motivation for their actions as serial killers.
But worst of all are the errors in basic factual information. He states that Ted Bundy almost always drove
...more
Elementary Particle
Sep 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: english
The book referrs to most of the well-known serial killers and it does not spare the usual gory descriptions. It also has a few "smart" referrences (as I would call them), to Abraham Maslow, William James, Auguste de Villiers de I'sle-Adam and others.

However, there are some referrences that made me dislike the book because they are sending it straight into the mud of pseudoscience/paranormal. First off, the author seems to endorse the idea of demonic posession in the case of a certain killer. Se
...more
Harry Tidby
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
this book is undoubtedly a good introduction to the understanding of the mind of a serial killer, but i do have a couple of criticisms:

firstly, the book spends too much time on the less interesting topics within it, namely the profiling section, and not enough on the actual psychology of the killers themselves.

secondly, the structure of the cases can sometimes jump around too much and leave the reader confused and unable to coherently follow the events, as their order is not clear.

thirdly, there
...more
Shin Toyotomi
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Crime is near to us. And we are living ordinary world, however psychopath destroys easily. To know real crime and understand why they did such things is very important for us.
Jay
So, where to start?

There's nothing inherently bad about this book, except for the fact that it is. Most of it, especially the first few stories of serial killers, feel as though they were written by high schoolers for their final essay. The chapters are riddled with grammar, punctuation and occasionally even spelling errors, which makes me wonder just what sort of editing process it was put through. Some of the chapters are also just based on myths, which makes me wonder what the point was.

The q
...more
Stephen McQuiggan
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fascinating account of the history of sex crime and the explosion of the serial killer in the late 20th Century which eventually led to the breakthrough of profiling in Quantico, Virginia; painstakingly drawing clues from seemingly 'clean scenes', and finally getting some sort of handle on what appear, on the surface, to be unsolvable crimes. And what debauched crimes they are - Cameron Hooker taking a severed head into a shower, in particular, is one of those moments when you realise truth re ...more
Elisa
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history-of-crime
The book referrs to most of the well-known serial killers and it does not spare the usual gory descriptions. It also has a few "smart" referrences (as I would call them), to Abraham Maslow, William James, Auguste de Villiers de I'sle-Adam and others.

However, there are some referrences that made me dislike the book because they are sending it straight into the mud of pseudoscience/paranormal. First off, the author seems to endorse the idea of demonic posession in the case of a certain killer. Se
...more
Rebecca
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am hoping I've picked the right book as mine does not have a second writer names on it :-/
My copy details forensic investigations and profiling of serial killers in a way to see how they tick and can be recognised. I found this extremely interesting. How many times have seen a case on the news and been left thinking why? This book goes some way to explaining the why, ot to the point that you end up feeling sorry for the killer (oh yes there are books like that out there), but you begine to und
...more
Fabio Pontiggia
Capita, a volte, di salvare dal macero libri che amici/parenti/conoscenti/biblioteche avrebbero destinato alla discarica. L'animo di lettore prende il sopravvento: non si può fare, è contro natura!
Ecco, a volte capita che, letto il libro, un dubbio se la scelta sia stata quella giusta possa anche venire.
Ma no: non si può diventare serial killer di libri. Neppure di quelli inutili e scritti male.
Sammie
Aug 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating, yet disturbing. You can't really discuss the psychology of serial killers without talking about their crimes, and some of the people featured in the book did some horific things. If you like watching TV shows like Criminal Minds, it is along the same lines but more disturbing, since it is all true.
Alice
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fascinating, yet a little disturbing. I really enjoyed reading about the history of serial killers and about some of the specific past cases such as Jack the Ripper and Ted Bundy. Also about the profile of a serial killer and the possible reasons why people become them. Overall it was a genuinely intersting read with some good ideas and lots of information.
Ashley
Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it
A bit plodding. Lots of repetition of information. I'm a sucker for the grisly details but even with those peppered in, I still got bored with the tedious writing style.
Cat
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
really interesting read - why did they do it...answers a lot of questions.
Lavaughn
Colin Wilson is always interesting and detailed in his analysis of crimes and criminals.
D.
The Serial Killers: A Study in the Psychology of Violence by Colin Wilson (2007)
Michelle
I will never open my front door again after reading this.
Jon Lewis
May 03, 2011 rated it liked it
As interesting as it was disturbing. It highlights the importance of psychological profilling.
Saskia
Nov 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating insight into the psychology of serial killers. Haunting and horrifying, yet deeply interesting.
Phil Slattery
Excellent history of the most despicable killers and their psychology by two of the crime genre's most respected authors.
Daniel Davies
rated it it was ok
Jan 14, 2017
crazingonmanga111
rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2013
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Colin Henry Wilson was born and raised in Leicester, England, U.K. He left school at 16, worked in factories and various occupations, and read in his spare time. When Wilson was 24, Gollancz published The Outsider (1956) which examines the role of the social 'outsider' in seminal works of various key literary and cultural figures. These include Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Her ...more
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