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Dark Dreams: Sexual Violence, Homicide and the Criminal Mind

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,676 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Profiler Roy Hazelwood is the world's leading expert on the strangest and most dangerous of all aberrant offenders--the sexual criminal. In Dark Dreams he reveals the twisted motives and perverse thinking that go into the most reprehensible crimes. He also catalogs the innovative and remarkably effective techniques--techniques that he helped pioneer at the FBI's Behavioral ...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published October 13th 2002 by St. Martin's Press (first published July 19th 2001)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  1,676 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Start your review of Dark Dreams: Sexual Violence, Homicide and the Criminal Mind
This is the best book on profiling I've ever read. The author takes you through the exact steps of profiling an unknown criminal in such a way that everyone could do. They wouldn't get the same results because experience, intuition and connections make all the difference. Being able to follow a recipe doesn't make you a Michelin 3 star chef.

The different sorts of killers, their evil and often psychopathic personalities, are illustrated by way of cases, some that seem very ordinary and some
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hmmm...I think the title of this one about sums it up.

At one point, even I was struck by the "darkness" in this least at points.

Unfortunately, you can't begin to understand the darkness Hazelwood has spent his career studying unless you're willing to confront it, and I think he definitely confronts it...head on.

So, not for the faint of heart or the easily offended. In addition to confronting some of this century's most heinous sexual predators and utilizing the tenets of abnormal
Feb 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-copy, true-crime
I have always been intrigued by the art of forensics and profiling, as well as the people who follow this career path. It always amazes me how they are able to decipher so much by analyzing materials and the people themselves. It was the motive behind the purchase of this book. I was a little tentative because of the content but I felt that if it was something that I couldn't handle I would just leave it.

Roy Hazelwood writes this book in a way that doesn't overwhelm you with information, his
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite interesting. Another book by one of the better FBI profilers, like Bob Ressler and John Douglas.

I have been developing a thesis that the mass shootings of the current period are a ‘development’ of the serial killers of the 70’s and 80’s. There, of course, in mass shootings, the sexual element is more diffused — like in arson (which is considered part of the ‘homicidal triad’, traits that are common to future serial killers in their youth —arson, bed-wetting, and cruelty to animals). From
Crisp, organized, and calmly analytical. I had the good fortune to attend a two-day workshop taught by Roy Hazelwood while working in a prison psychiatric hospital, and it was interesting to compare this book with his in-person presentation - this book reads like a much-expanded version of the notes from that training; he presented a lot of the same case histories and research results, but was less dispassionate in person. There aren't very many psychologists or psychiatrists whose contributions ...more
Leah Polcar
Excellent account of the psychology of serial murderers and sexual predators. Clear, engaging, horrifying, but not gratuitous, and informative.

If you are a fan of old school profiling, this should be right up your alley. It was up mine.

The narration of this audiobook was excellent and it really felt you were in a conversation with Hazelwood which was engaging.

Recommended for fans of the genre.
William G.
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Forensic Psychology
Dark Dreams is a brilliantly written, if disturbing, look into the mindset of sexual predators as told by one of the giants in the field of criminal profiling, Roy Hazelwood. It is one of those books you just can't put down, but at the same time does not needlessly sensationalize the rather dark subject matter. You get the dirty details essential to each case cited and the author explains the hows and whys behind the perpetrator's actions. Very readable and far less dry that most books of the ...more
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Two things happened when i read this book:
1) I couldn't sleep because i wanted to get to the next chapter
2) When i did sleep, it was next to a baseball bat and a knife under my mattress

This book is phenomenally written and offers a fascinating perspective on humanity (from the viewpoint of law enforcement). I recommend this book to anyone interested in forensic science.
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is my first real experience with true crime, read on a recommendation, and I really enjoyed this.

The writing was informative and educational while still being very accessible to someone like myself whose knowledge of the topic comes pretty exclusively from fictional television programs and films. I feel like I learned a lot about the people who commit the most heinous of rapes and murders. I feel like it gave me a lot new information on the professionals who study these crimes, how they
Ayesha U
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you are interested in knowing how FBI's Behavioral Science Unit profiles the formidable serial killers, sexual sadists and serial rapist then this is the book for you.

This book also discusses several classifications of sexual offender. By the end of this book, based on MO, you'd be able to tell if particular offender was a ritualistic sexual sadist or just an unorganized, impulsive killer. Whether a killing was homicide, suicide or a dangerous autoeroticism.

In order to define those
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
An enlightning look at profiling through the eyes of one of the FBI's original profilers.
It's hard to know how to rate these, mostly because while the content is interesting, it is also horrific and disturbing. Though, to be fair, some of the people who write books like this are often also consultants for some of the mysteries and thrillers that I love, like The Bone Collector, Criminal Minds, or Silence of the Lambs. So, it's interesting to see what portions of their process and the general criminology and profiling make the transition from reality into fiction, film, and TV. And ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting (and unsettling), but ultimately extremely informative!
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Entertainingly informative.
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reading
Dark Dreams offers an in-depth and often troubling look into the minds of some of the most dangerous sexual predators and serial killers of our time. Criminal profiler Roy Hazelwood has dedicated his career to perfect criminal profiling in an effort to create the most accurate picture of potential offenders. Profiling has been used to both discover the warning signs of violent behavior before they become a real threat and to point investigators towards likely suspects in murder cases. Leaving ...more
Bruce T Ridinger
Some pioneering forensic case reviews by Roy Hazelwood, FBI BSU Profiler, of a long-standing breed, which I have subsequently named the 'double-skin' or 'double-lifer'. They have a potpourri of psychiatric diagnoses and criminal tags. And their secret methods delve into a competitive sub-animal depravity.

Such prolific major crimes recidivists hide in plain sight and often blend-in among us until a growing hidden compulsive, inner-force takes over intermittently. Ted Bundy called this primal
Stephen Newman
Jan 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
I borrowed this book from the library in the hopes of gaining insight into the psychology of the most violent types of offenders. The author represents himself as a premier FBI profiler and seems to have the credentials to give me that. Instead what I got was something which was far too graphic for my taste, perhaps unnecessarily so. I think he could have made the same points without reading all the gritty details of the crimes cited. Tell my why they did what they did, not how. He seems to ...more
Jacob Dill
Nov 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very clinical book. Not a good read for a first time true crime reader. John Douglas' work is more readable for the avg. person that hasn't read a lot of this kind of stuff before. I like this book a lot but I've been into the genre for a while.
Ann M
Aug 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Could be better written, but I gave it 5 stars because there really isn't that much, or much that is as good, on the subject.
Thorkell Ottarsson
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is better than The Evil That Men Do: FBI Profiler Roy Hazelwood's Journey into the Minds of Serial Killers (which was very much like someone took a power point presentation and turned it into a book). It gives a great insight into the mind of sexual criminals (often really scary and dark) but at times I felt the views of the authors was way too puritanical. They lists any sexual act outside of the Biblical norm as perverse. Homosexual desires. Any form of games. Fantasies... It is ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
i am a huge fan of true crime and i waited a very long time for this book. always a "fan" of Roy Hazelwood and his gift/talent for determining how the criminal thinks, what makes a criminal think and why the criminal thinks.
although this book could be considered "flat" by some, a true crime buff will consume the details, the methodology, and the explanations of the how, the what and the why. Roy Hazelwood specializes in the sexual criminals and their crimes. he can predict so much of their
Lora Shouse
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very informative. It was written by one of the early pioneers of the discipline of criminal profiling. He describes several high-profile crimes by various serial killers. But he also gives information on how profiling works, what it is, and how it is used to solve crimes. He lists several classes of serial killers and also goes into how to tell the difference between murder, suicide, and accidental death – it’s not always easy to tell the difference.

I found this book on Scribd.
Patricia Atkinson
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
roy hazelwood from fbi profliling who worked with john douglas explains why theunsubs commit the crimes that they do with using examples of different crimes to show what he means a lot of technical terms but if your interested in criminal psychology and behaviors its a great book its one of the ones we used when I took my school course.
Heather Powell
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. Hazelwood gave insightful information regarding the behaviours and thought processes of violent offenders, especially violent sexual offenders. As a person who is interested in pursuing the field of forensic psychology, this book was a great introduction into the world of criminal profiling.
Lexi Mag
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I was really hoping this would be more like Mindhunter and John Douglas books, but it fell short. It's hard to parse out why it's so different. I felt like it was more concerned about the brutality of the crimes than the psychology behind it- though this was filled with that, too. This is probably a better book to read than listen to.
D.R. Bartlette
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It's a bit dated, but still has some fascinating case studies. It's really like listening to Hazelwood chat about some of the different kinds of cases - not always serial killers - he's been involved with over the years.
Great reading for any hard-core forensics and/or true crime buff, but may be a bit dry for the general public.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book helped open my eyes to the kind of people that can be living or driving through the same city as you. This book is disturbing but in my opinion well worth the read. Hopefully I don't ever need the information I gleaned from this book but if I do I'll be glad I have it!
Hemhek Song
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Has some really insightful ideas.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating career review Of Hazelwood becoming one of the early profilers and the crazt crimes he investigated.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book,couldnt put it down once i started
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“Just as Saint Augustine recognized that sin begins as an intention, we profilers saw that violent sexual crimes originate in fantasy. Our next challenge was to understand why certain individuals allowed their fantasies to lead them to cross the normal bounds of acceptable behavior. To do that, we had to examine their motivations.” 1 likes
“Many people mistakenly believe that rape is a sexually motivated act. In fact, a rapist doesn't commit the crime because he is "horny" or because his wife cheated on him, although he may use those factors as excuses. The rapist uses sex as a tool of aggression. The sexual assault is an assertion of power or an expression of anger, or it may be a combination of the two. In any event, sexual assault primarily serves nonsexual needs.” 1 likes
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