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The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators Among Us

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  403 ratings  ·  24 reviews
From one of the country's most preeminent criminal profilers comes this gripping, behind-the-scenes account of America's most disturbing and complex serial killer and murder investigations. A former Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, Gregg McCrary takes us deep into the minds of the nation's shrewdest and most sinister predators. In The Unknown ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 2nd 2003 by William Morrow & Company (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm a fan of true crime. I'm a fan of psychological thrillers. I'm a fan of books that explore behavior and why we do the things we do (both normal and abnormal psychology).

AND so...

I really enjoyed this.

The Unknown Darkness was written by Gregg McCrary with the help of Katherine Ramsland. McCrary, the narrator, is a former Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit and considered "one of the country's preeminent criminal profilers," or so the book claims.

I personally enjoye
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is among the most useful books in my crime library. Gregg McCrary and Katherine Ramsland have written a fascinating can't-put-it-down study of his cases while he was an FBI profiler - one of the best and most well-known of a distinguished group of people.

It's exceedingly well told and tightly written, and the cases themselves are stunning - none more so than the story of German serial killer Jack Unterweger, the most terrifying murderer I have ever read about. Mr. McCrary's role in the inve
Mar 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
I have read all of John Douglas's books (I think) and a couple by Robert Ressler, so I was intrigued to come across this book written by someone who worked in the same unit as both men. Douglas and Ressler clearly had a falling out, as they tell overlapping stories with little or no acknowledgement of the existence, let alone input, of the other. I was hoping McCrary's book might shed some light on that. To my disappointment and his credit, it really didn't.

Several of the stories recounted here
Rachel Wilson
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Unknown Darkness is definitely a good read! I highly recommend it if you're really interested in psychology and criminology. So far, this is the best profiling / crime book I’ve read. This book goes in depth about the mind of psychopaths and how you can learn to think like them. It teaches you techniques along the way of how you can learn to be one step ahead of the criminal. He writes about his accomplishments, and even his failures. This book is good for information of what it’s like to be ...more
Jun 02, 2011 rated it liked it
I have read a lot of profiler books and this was pretty good. I find that profiling books are really more about the actual case then they are about the actual process of profiling. This book went into a little more detail about profiling and how they've come up with the data they have and how they make determinations on suspects. It was an easy read and was pretty informative. I liked that the author integrated other literature into his assessments and addressed some of the major critiques about ...more
May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Looks into habits of Psychos and how they can be caught. Dont read if you are squemish about descriptive murders and such....... however this book is highly intellectual
Jason Morrison
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow! I absolutely could not put this book down and did not want it to end.

I found this by just browsing the true crime section in the Middletown library and it was such a great find, just tucked away on the shelf.

The author does a fantastic job of laying out in tremendous details some truly horrific cases he worked as a profiler for the FBI. While there were a few cases I had never heard of, there were some more well known ones, such as Arthur Shawcross and David Koresh. It was both frightening
Jennifer M
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5. Interesting subject matter, but the writing was riddled with cliches in certain areas. I also didn’t find the connection between his martial arts practice and his work to be a compelling one. It seemed forced, and those sections were tedious.
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book. Specially if you enjoy detailed crimes and how they were solved.
Steven Belanger
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Greg McCrary's book (with Katherine Ramsland, MD--who is never mentioned in the text) is a good book about criminal profiling (though he dislikes the term) and the procedures that come before and after it. But overall it pales in comparison to the books by John Douglas, his former boss, partner and mentor.

It seems like McCrary is cashing in a little bit on his former boss's popularity, and he goes out of his way often to mention him, and his books. McCrary doesn't have anything to add to the pro
Nov 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
The book I read is called The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators Among Us by Gregg O. McCrary. It is a true crime book. The main theme is crimes that happen in every day lives that you don’t hear about and how you solve them by following an investigator through his job.

In the book there are a series of different stories that connect by one thing the investigator. Gregg O. McCrary investigates serial rapes, mass killings and hangings.Throughout the book he brings in these stories while inv
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a pretty solid book. McCrary worked some very interesting cases and not only does he have a lot of fascinating things to say about them, but he's also able to make his work approachable. It's easy to understand how he worked each case and reached his conclusions. He's also good at keeping his ego in check: some of his colleagues are prone to breaking off their books to take potshots at other agents or prop up their own egos. McCrary takes a balanced view, and doesn't hesitate to admit wh ...more
Aug 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Gregg McCracy is a profiler with the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit (made famous by "Silence of the Lambs") and here, he takes us behind the scenes of notable FBI investigations including the Sam Sheppard and Arthur Shawcross cases. He explains the steps of a normal criminal investigation and how profiling fits in. He also delves into religiously-based offenses such as David Koresh's standoff with the ATF in 1993 and the massacre of Buddhist monks at a temple in the United States. Along the way, ...more
Oct 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is fascinating. If you like the TV show Criminal Minds, you'll love this. It's written by a former FBI profiler and it gives whole new insight to the Waco (David Koresh), Sam Sheppard, Scarborough Rapist and other less well-known cases.

There are clearly criminal types who need to be identified early and never allowed to roam the free world. These are psychopaths, dangerous people who cannot be rehabilitated. Therapy often makes them more dangerous because they take what they learn to better
Madonna Analla
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book! It offered a new perspective on some well known crimes. The perspective was from the inside, of someone personally involved in the cases and that made it very interesting. I would recommend this for anyone who reads true crime.
McCrary, a former FBI profiler, talks about his most famous cases, including a Buddist temple massacre, a serial rapist who becomes a killer, and a re-examining of the Marilyn Sheppard case.

Enthralling, though a little hard to read. Sometimes a little disjointed, but stands on its own.
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: criminology
Very insightful and interesting.
Marianne Jay
May 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
I am a real true crime nut. This book was awesome.
Sep 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book written in almost a textbook style. A truly great analysis of the Sam Sheppard case at the end.
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pretty good! There were spots at the beginning that dragged just a little, which is pretty much all that kept it from being five stars, but it is well-written and interesting
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very good read, graphic details and informative narratives. Written in a way that is easy to understand and light for reading. Recommended for CSI enthusiasts.
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Terrifying. If you want to stay awake tonight, read this book! Written by a former FBI profiler, The Unknown Darkness takes you through his most memorable cases. Very good.
Tiffany M
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in behavioral criminology
Shelves: finishedbooks
I took a class with Gregg McCrary (the author) for my masters and it was excellent. I highly recommend this book.
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Heidi Blakeslee
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Nov 26, 2019
Tyler Waitt
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Nov 19, 2014
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