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The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI's Original Mindhunter

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  33 reviews

The legendary FBI criminal profiler, number-one New York Times bestselling author, and inspiration for the hit Netflix show Mindhunter delves deep into the lives and crimes of four of the most disturbing and complex predatory killers, offering never-before-revealed details about his profiling process, and divulging the strategies used to crack some of America’s most challe

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Dey Street Books
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  144 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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May 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Douglas is undoubtedly a fascinating man. Right at the forefront of criminal profiling, he's sat across the interview table from some of the most infamous and prolific serial killers of our time. Yet this is a light offering, repetitive and covering ground well trodden. The cases are, of course, horrific, especially the first: the rape and murder of 7 year old Joan D'Alessandro. The problem is that he can't let those bigger fish go, instead their stories seep into this book at every possibl ...more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Killer Across The Table is the latest book by John Douglas, pioneer in behavioural sciences at the FBI, and the inspiration behind the character of Holden Ford on Netflix’s Mindhunter. In this latest book he examines four different murderers, ranging in victims and signature, as he delves into their mind and discusses the why, what and how of their crimes.

Douglas always has an interesting way at examining these kinds of crimin
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By all intents and purposes, John E. Douglas is an interesting character with a fascination for interesting characters. He was one of the FBI's first criminal profilers and a celebrated serial killer "whisperer" for the duration of his career. In this book, he delves into criminal psychopathy and attempts to answer questions such as: are killers born or made but also investigates the reasoning for their offences and how the offender themselves tries to justify their actions. Douglas’s great insi ...more
Donna Hines
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, netgalley
What determines the propensity to kill?
Could it be the nature v nurture theory?
Could there be an insanity clause utilized?
Is there clear cut signals, warning signs, patterns (ie. M.O. - Modus Operandi) to illustrate more clearly the violent progression from childhood to adulthood?
Yes, there is and predators, serial killers, and toxic individuals with a need for power and control know all too well that it exists!
These individuals whether you speak of BTK Dennis Rader, Son of Sam David Berkowitz,
Linda Lipko
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this vividly detailed book written by the famous FBI Profiler who was instrumental in developing studies slanted just for serial killers, at a time when the phrase wasn't fully in our vocabulary. Helping to hunt the Green River Killer, David Berkowitz "the son of sam," as well as providing an in depth study of Ted Bundy, the man who targeted the same look in a woman, and got away with his killing spree for too long.

Finding the similarities and then some of the differences within the personali
Susan Hampson
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being a keen reader of crime books I felt that I was like a bee to a honeypot from the very first chapter. John Douglas worked for the FBI delving into some of the most high profile minds that there has ever been trying to find out what makes a serial killer tick. He looks at, if it is the way a child or adult is treated that sends them over the edge or if a killer is born that way.
The thing that stands out in the book is his ability to get these killers to talk with ease to him, he has his own
SJ Reads
Writing style: 4
Authors intentions and success of showing it: 4
organisation: 2
enjoyment: 3
overall rating: 3.5

- The academic tone, there was no romanticism
- The fact that the four main cases were not known to me, aka not the biggest cases around

- The organisation was all over the place, muddled by John name dropping some of the big fish he had interviewed.
-at times it felt like a money grab. There was not much in there other than showing what these killers were l
J.H. Moncrieff
John Douglas is one of my all-time favourite writers. His books are about the only ones where I will purchase each new release, sight unseen, before they hit the shelves. I can read each Douglas book over and over again, and always discover something new.

That said, there was something missing in this long-anticipated release. I can't put my finger on it, other than to say it's missing the same "heart" as the other books. It wasn't as gripping, perhaps because Douglas isn't relating stories about
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having recently started watching Manhunter on Netflix, my interest in the FBI officers who pioneered criminal profiling has grown. One of the most renowned FBI profilers, a man who is a legend within the Bureau (and indeed wrote the book the NetFlix show is based on and is a consultant for the show) is John Douglas. Douglas has written a number of titles about his experiences of criminal profiling, not least his most famous book, Manhunter (again, the basis for the show). The Killer Across the T ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a book for the faint of heart. It is surprising that I have not picked up books by this author(s) before, considering that I have watched multiple serialized versions of their findings on TV and NetFlix. It was a little hard to get through the first section because of the detailed descriptions of the crime but the other three were comparatively less brutal.

This book consists of four cases of killers with references to other similar ones within the section itself. John Douglas details
Abby Morris
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is hard to resist Douglas and Olshaker. I have to give a big shout out to True Crime Garage (an essential for this true crime junkie). They’ve raised my standards on how the story of a crime is told, and I especially enjoyed Nic’s interview with Douglas. Like the book, it was both true to the reality of these tragedies while also sensitive in giving us an ugly but honest glimpse into the human condition.
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the Mindhunter series, and this book (very satisfyingly) touches on some of the cases from that series. Plus, the audiobook is narrated by Jonathan Groff, who played the Douglas character in the show.
Sophie Rayton
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant and important.
Unfortunately, killers walk among us and I salute the people who strive to understand them in an attempt to make the world a safer place. This book was very well done and I plan to read more from this author.
Courtney Lavallee
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
This book was so much more than I thought it would be.

I loved the way they analyzed people and explained how they came to their thought process.

It was very interesting and kept me hooked, I love reading about true crime. I also enjoy learning about serial killers in general, especially when it comes to the way their minds work.

I definitely recommend this book if you are looking for an in-depth view at some serial killers, or just murderers in general and how the FBI processes work.
Grace Nielsen
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I count myself as a true crime fan I have never read many books on true crime instead I tend to watch documentaries and listen to pod casts. After reading this I am definitely going to pick up more true crime books! This book was incredible, fascinating, shocking, repulsive, gripping and more. I had not heard of the 4 main killers the interviews focused on which made it more interesting. I really liked the no nonsense approach from the writers and I think it had the perfect balance of s ...more
Darcia Helle
While this book has some interesting content, I was disappointed by the overall presentation and tone.

The basis of the book is an overview of four killers Douglas interviewed. We learn about their lives, from childhood up through their crimes, and then we're told about the interviews Douglas later did with each of the men. Direct quotes are included, so we get a good sense of their thought processes. I found these parts informative and interesting.

Unfortunately, the content gets kind of messy as
Jolene Grace
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last week I finished reading The Killer Across The Table, by world renowned FBI criminal profiler John Douglas (The Mindhunter) and Mark Olshaker. Douglas examines four notorious serial killers in his latest well-written and thought-provoking book.

No, I’m not talking about Ted Bundy or the BTK Strangler, though, they are briefly mentioned in the book as a comparison to Joseph Kondo, Donald Harvey, Todd Kohlepp and Joseph McGowan.

Douglas sat with each killer, interviewing and profiling them, in t
Michelle Tackabery
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Well done audiobook, narrated by the actor Jonathan Groff, who plays a version of John Douglas in the Netflix miniseries Mindhunter. A patiently paced retelling of interviews with three imprisoned murderers whom Douglas interviewed prior to publication: Joseph Condro, Donald Harvey, and Todd Kohlhepp.

The overall theme of the book is a focus on the stated motives of the killers, who all blame part or all of their homicidal actions on other people, childhood experiences, or circumstances beyond t
Lisa Jordan
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
arc provided for impartial review

3.5 stars (rounded up.
I bounced between 3 and four stars for this one, so settled on 3.5.

Lacking the wide eye wonder I experienced when reading John Douglas' first book, I found this one more slow going.
Still packed full of interesting scenarios and criminals, there was plenty new to learn and experience, but I found I could only read it in small doses.
Overall still worth a read, but not his best work.
Not groundbreaking, but if you have enjoyed his previous work
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A “work biography” about Douglas’s career and how he created the role of FBI “profiler” in murder cases across the country. These are in-depth looks at four of the killers he interviewed over the years, and through those descriptions we learn about the methods and techniques Douglas developed to understand the way certain criminals think and act. (Douglas, of course, is particularly interested in crimes that go far beyond your average robbery — crimes for financial gain do not interest him).

At t
Greg Butler
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Killer Across the Table is quite the journey through some of the most scariest mental neighborhoods you can dream of. Douglass does a great job of sharing his interpersonal descriptions of the time he has spent with some of the evilest killers alive today. The book does a great job of detailing each case and then finalizing the specifics with some in-depth discussion with that killer.

Great stuff.
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t think Kohlhepp’s crimes worked in this book: they somehow lacked an intensity felt with the other killers’ crimes. Also, although I appreciated the inclusion of various other short examples of serial killers throughout the book, I believe they made the main ‘stories’ feel more disjointed.
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating insight into, and exploration of, criminology and its application. The authors demonstrate professionalism and a valuable understanding of criminal minds whilst remaining respectful of the victims. A very enlightening read.
Deanne Smith
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was intoxicating! I loved how the authors focused on the stories of a few main killers, but peppered those stories with “mini stories” of her different killers who somehow related. I could not put this down and finished it in one day!
Jane Thompson
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
True Crime story

Another interesting book by John Douglas explaining how he interviews serial kiillers. He is able to demonstrate his
methods and shows his patience as he learns.He explains and demostrates however the information.
Mary Corwin
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved It

Non stop interesting but also educational. John Douglas does an amazing job with a lot of scary people. He always seems brilliant and compassionate in his books.
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, psychology
loved this. A great tie in to the Mindhunter series and a super addition to the John Douglas books.
May 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not like this book. It seemed more like a brag book about all of the serial killers he's interviewed rather than anything interesting. Not a fan.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Repetitive. Many of the key findings on predators I have read in other books. Nothing new that I saw here. Don't get me wrong I like John Douglas and how he tells his stories.
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last 2 Profiles were not as compelling as the first 2.
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During his twenty-five year career with the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, a name he later changed to The Investigative Science Unit (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). John Douglas became the leading expert on criminal personality profiling and the pioneer of modern criminal investigative analysis. Through his research with serial criminal’s, Douglas learned how criminals think and what makes them do ...more