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

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  4,748 ratings  ·  545 reviews
11 hours, 7 minutes

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
Audiobook, Unabridged , 12 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by HarperAudio
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  4,748 ratings  ·  545 reviews

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Start your review of The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI's Original Mindhunter
Sumit RK
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
In The Killer Across the Table :Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI’s Original Mindhunter , Mr. Douglas and co-author Mark Olshaker take a close look at four predatory killers while detailing the profiling process and strategies used to unlock the minds f some of the country’s most notorious killers. I had not read (or watched) Mindhunter before this book, so it was an entirely new experience for me.

The FBI’s former special agent and master of criminal profiling,
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The real-life FBI profiler who inspired the TV program, Mindhunter, reveals his secrets within these pages. He details some of his most high-profile cases and his interviews with the criminals. He delves deep into their crimes and their minds.

I’m a fan of true crime and of all things psychological. This was a disturbing look into some truly diabolical minds. Their utter lack of humanity and empathy is the stuff of nightmares. Are psychopathic killers born or are they made? And if made, what
Every so often a book sends shivers down one’s spine, makes one check the locks of the doors and windows of the house, and hunker down to listen to a book that is both harrowing and frightening all in the knowledge that this was all true. Needless to say, the saying life is stranger than fiction is ever so true and in the harrowing story of serial killers, one finds that the strange is also the horrifying.

Imagine the most frightening book you have ever read? It made you scared, creeping you
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Killer Across the Table not only takes you into the minds of serial killers but also into the minds of the profilers who examine and interview these murderers. John Edward Douglas has been with the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit for twenty-five years, making him a leading authority in his field. Researching what makes a killer tick is not for the faint of heart. Edward Douglas reveals the life and previous crimes of four of his cases, bringing the reader along to help understand what leads a ...more
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 ...more
Schizanthus Nerd
Ecstatic update: I just ordered a signed copy of this book! I’m going to own a signed copy of a John Douglas book! Need morning to come so it’s more socially acceptable to jump up and down with glee!

Have you ever considered who you’d invite to your fantasy Ultimate Dinner Party? John Douglas is one of my top five fantasy guests; although, introvert that I am, I’d much prefer a one on one conversation with him.

My main takeaway from my psychology degree was my obsession with criminal profiling.
FBI profiler John E. Douglas's latest true crime book, diving into the minds of various serial killers. He was the inspiration for the hit Netflix show Mindhunter, which I didn't see. I don't watch much tv. But he was also the inspiration for one of the characters, Jack Crawford, in Silence of the Lambs, which I did see. Many times.

I've been wanting to read more non-fiction and had this one on hold for ages from my library. I ordered up the audio and started it as soon as it came in. It's not a
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
Bill Kerwin

Together with longtime collaborator Mark Olshaker, John “The Original Mindhunter” Douglas is at it again, interviewing the iciest of killers to find out what makes their cold hearts tick. Since he is retired from his old home at the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, John—now an independent contractor—takes his four psycho-killer interviews wherever he can find them: one commissioned by the New Jersey State Parole Board, two for a prospective MSNBC pilot, and one for a six-part ID Network
Erin Clemence
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5, 10, 12 brilliant stars!

THIS NOVEL IS IT!!! I have found my perfect book soulmate!

“The Killer Across the Table” by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker is like a real-life Criminal Minds (my favourite TV show by the way). In this novel, former FBI criminal profiler John Douglas discusses four of his most prolific cases, and the criminal minds behind them. He uses his knowledge, background and FBI experience to try and understand why the criminals do what they do, what triggered their violent
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 ...more
Ellen Gail
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fucking fantastic. 100% recommend if you like true crime.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
John E. Douglas, one of the original profilers and partial inspiration for a whole slew more fictional detectives, has written another insightful and fascinating book.

Just to quickly get the negatives out of the way - you'll see it in other reviews of this book and his others, but Mr Douglas definitely doesn't have any confidence issues. He name drops chronically, and couldn't stick to a point if you paid him. Wait..

But that aside, the reason this author has names to drop and segues to slide
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Horrifying, yet fascinating on so many levels. I don't think I will read a better book this year.
Jiny S
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Manipulation, domination, and control.. the hallmarks of serial predatory killers.

In this shocking reveal of the investigation of a FBI criminal profiler, we get a glimpse of the inner workings of some of the most dangerous and psychotic criminals in history that would inspire crime stories in books and on the big screen. When it comes to acts of heinous crimes of the utmost degree, there are many assumptions out there. Some of them are correct, and others couldn’t be more off the mark.

There are
Great book for getting inside the mind of these killers. I appreciate the details.

Since I did the audiobook version, I especially loved that Johnathan Groff was the narrator (he plays Holden in the netflix show Mindhunter) and that he did an interview with John Douglas at the end of the book.
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
A wonderful, insightful audiobook narrated by Jonathan Groff himself. I could listen to him narrate audiobooks until the end of time. He really brought the story to life and made me feel like I was listening to MINDHUNTER. While I was only really invested in the first two cases, this was still very informative and interesting to see John Douglas’ thoughts about certain cases he’s dealt with.
Linda Quinn
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
For fans of true crime or the Mindhunter series on Netflix, The Killer Across the Table continues John Douglas's tales of sitting conversationally with convicted serial killers.
Natasha Niezgoda
Okay... this is heavy. So be warned.

The Killer Across The Table is written by John Douglas (Mindhunter dude) and narrated by none-other than Mindhunter actor Jonathan Groff! Which is rad. But it covers cases that need more attention (unlike the Mason's and Bundy's of the world). And horrifically, most of the cases discussed in this book revolve around child crimes. (EEEK).

It's extremely well presented, but the tragedy is grave. And the sinister nature of these cases isn't for the faint of
Legendary former FBI profiler John Douglas, through countless interviews, unveils the history, psychology and motive behind some of the most horrendous criminal offenders of the modern era. With the utmost control, Douglas methodically and meticulously peels back the layers of thought, impulse and desire while exposing the most corrupt and deplorable human depravity known to man. For those who have enjoyed the Netflix show Mindhunter (which was based on Douglas' work) or Thomas Harris' Hannibal ...more
Donna Hines
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
May 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Did you know John Douglas was the inspiration for Netflix's Mindhunter? He's certainly not going to let you forget it.

Although this billed as a deep dive into the psyches of four killers Douglas has studied, Douglas constantly going off topic to recap stuff from Mindhunter. It jumps from the case at hand to ones from his past from one paragraph to the next, and it's easy to confuse where the investigation is or which criminal he's referring to. Two of the four murderers profiled are child
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
May 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: botm-selections
Totally not was I was expecting. I expected the 4 broken up parts to be exclusively about the subject he was interviewing for each section. They were, but weren’t. It was super distracting in the middle of talking about a particular case to jump to 5 other previous cases he’s worked on and reference those. It made it confusing and rather convoluted. I think I’m going to try watching the show instead. Totally bummed about this one. ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this title from the Publisher. It does not impact my review.

I don’t often read Non-Fiction, but profiling has always fascinated me. Mindhunters has also been on my Watch List, so when I realized John Douglas is the inspiration for that show, I knew I had to read The Killer Across the Table.

John Douglas is a pioneer in profiling for the FBI. He and his colleague, Bob Ressler, started interviewing violent criminals to learn more about their motivations, which can ultimately
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, arc, crime
"The Killer Across the Table" is not the first and will likely not be the last written venture for John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. As one of the pioneers behind behavioral analysis in the FBI, Douglas has written about, interviewed, and studied some of the most fearsome criminals in America. While I've always been interested in true crime and behavioral analysis, I was most drawn to the book because of his portrayal (as the character Holden Ford) in Mindhunter on Netflix.

Douglas explains
Weaving Fiction ( Sj )
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
Creepy is this book about killers who happen to live in someone's neighborhood and happen to murder some of their innocent neighbors. That creeps me out more than anything else.

The author looks at particular cases, including a neighbor who decided, on a whim, to destroy the life of a little Girl Scout who came to his door to sell cookies. I remember being asked by my school to sell chocolate Easter eggs to help raise funds for a new annex. Thankfully, I was hesitant and didn't get very far, as
B Schrodinger
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hoo boy.

This book is a must for murderinos and fans of Mindhunter. John, former FBI agent and leader in criminal behaviour, takes an in depth look at four different serial killers and includes details of his interviews with them.

This is heavy and traumatising stuff, not for the faint-hearted. You'll need time to decompress and discuss after listening to some of this stuff. But, like Mindhunter, it is fascinating and engrossing.

The bonus here is that the audiobook is narrated by one of the actors
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a hard book to read because two of the four high profile killer in the book raped and killed small children. And while reading I marveled at the author's ability to sit across from them calmly and be nonreactive. I know he is a consummate professional because I know I would have ripped out their still beating hearts and shown them to the killers.

If you haven't seen the Netflix show Mindhunter about the beginning of the BSU and you enjoy true crime you should check it out. It definitely
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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. -Wikipedia

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
“Within just about every serial predator, there are two warring elements: A feeling of grandiosity, specialness, and entitlement, together with deep-seated feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness and a sense that they have not gotten the breaks in life that they should” 2 likes
“This is often the way crimes get solved- through a side door. The clue that led to New York’s “son of Sam” killings was a parking ticket David Berkowitz was issued for parking his Ford Galaxie too close to a fire hydrant near the site of his final murder” 1 likes
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