Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet

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JOHN DOUGLAS -- THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF MINDHUNTER AND THE UNDISPUTED MASTER PROFILER OF SERIAL CRIMINALS -- TELLS THE CHILLING TRUE STORY OF JOHN ROBINSON, THE INTERNET'S FIRST SERIAL MURDERER.
In Olathe, Kansas, a balding, pudgy father of four sits in prison convicted on three counts of homicide -- two of capital murder -- and suspected in at least five other disappearances. During the last half of the 1990s, John Robinson exploited the Internet's active world of sadomasochism with horrific results. By haunting chat rooms, he pinpointed vulnerable women who were looking for romance and stalked them on-line, nefariously convincing them of his maturity, sensitivity, and financial stability. He seemed like the perfect man. He enticed these women with offers of a solid relationship and a lucrative job, persuading them to move to his hometown. Once they arrived in Kansas, the women invariably disappeared.
After a dramatic trial and days of intense jury deliberation, Robinson now faces the death penalty. Disturbing as his crimes may be, what's most alarming is how he selected and lured his victims and how willingly they responded. John Robinson expanded the hunting ground, the techniques, and the technology of the sexual predator. He is the world's first-known Internet serial killer.
Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and the coauthors of Anyone You Want Me to Be have struggled to unravel the enigma that is John Robinson. They reveal what can go wrong in a world where relationships are devoid of physical contact, showing how easily mainstream Americans can be drawn into the dark underground of cybercrime. The Internet has drastically expanded the realm of fantasy -- from the limited confines of physical reality to the worldwide stage of virtual reality -- and anyone can become involved in an on-line seduction. Erotic fantasies, which were once socially off-limits and extremely private, are now instantly accessible. This rapidly growing community masks a sinister truth: With only a computer, an Internet connection, and a knack for creativity, criminals have the power to reach millions of unsuspecting victims while remaining in complete control of their own -- often false -- image. John Robinson was a true innovator in this variety of crime. Through interviews with law enforcement specialists, Web experts, and others, John Douglas and Stephen Singular illustrate, with this case, a much larger -- and more frightening -- pattern of Internet sex and violence.
As technology proliferates in the twenty-first century, so do opportunities for enterprising criminals like John Robinson. No one is better equipped than John Douglas and Stephen Singular to expose the underworld of the Internet and to warn people about the dangers of cyberspace. A cautionary and educational tale about being wary of strangers and false intimacy, Anyone You Want Me to Be is also a terrifying, high-tech story of crime and punishment.
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About the author

John E. Douglas is a former FBI special agent, the Bureau’s criminal profiling pioneer and one of the creators of the Crime Classification Manual. He is currently a consultant on criminal investigative analysis and the author, with Mark Olshaker, of Journey Into Darkness, The Anatomy of Motive, The Cases That Haunt Us, and Law & Disorder, among others.

Stephen Singular has authored or coauthored seventeen previous books, including numerous New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestsellers. His titles include Presumed Guilty: An Investigation into the JonBenet Ramsey Case, the Media, and the Culture of Pornography; and Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet, coauthored with legendary FBI profiler John Douglas. Formerly a staff writer for the Denver Post, he lives in Denver. Visit his website at www.stephensingular.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
May 27, 2003
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780743257640
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Criminal Law / General
Psychology / General
True Crime / General
True Crime / Murder / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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America's foremost expert on criminal profiling provides his uniquely gripping analysis of seven of the most notorious murder cases in the history of crime -- from the Whitechapel murders to JonBenet Ramsey -- often contradicting conventional wisdom and legal decisions.
Jack the Ripper. Lizzie Borden. The Zodiac Killer. Certain homicide cases maintain an undeniable, almost mystical hold on the public imagination. They touch a nerve deep within us because of the personalities involved, their senseless depravity, the nagging doubts about whether justice was done, or because, in some instances, no suspect has ever been identified or caught.
In The Cases That Haunt Us, twenty-five-year-FBI-veteran John Douglas, profiling pioneer and master of modern criminal investigative analysis, and author and filmmaker Mark Olshaker, the team behind the bestselling Mindhunter series, explore the tantalizing mysteries that both their legions of fans and law enforcement professionals ask about most. Among the questions they tackle:
Was Jack the Ripper actually the Duke of Clarence, eldest grandson of Queen Victoria, or perhaps a practicing medical doctor? And did highly placed individuals within Scotland Yard have a good idea of the Ripper's identity, which they never revealed? Douglas and Olshaker create a detailed profile of the killer, and reveal their chief suspect.
Was Lizzie Borden truly innocent of the murder of her father and stepmother as the Fall River, Massachusetts, jury decided, or was she the one who took the ax and delivered those infamous "whacks"? Through a minute-by-minute behavioral analysis of the crime, the authors come to a convincing conclusion.
Did Bruno Richard Hauptmann single-handedly kidnap the baby son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the most famous couple in the world, or was he an innocent man caught up and ultimately executed in a relentless rush to judgment in the "crime of the century"?
What kind of person could kill six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey on Christmas night in her own home? Douglas was called in on the case shortly after the horrifying murder, and his conclusions are hard-hitting and controversial. Why, in the face of the majority of public, media, and law enforcement opinion, including former FBI colleagues, does Douglas believe that John and Patricia Ramsey did not murder their daughter? And what is the forensic and behavioral evidence he brings to bear to make his claim?
Taking a fresh and penetrating look at each case, the authors reexamine and reinterpret accepted facts and victimology using modern profiling and the techniques of criminal analysis developed by Douglas within the FBI. This book deconstructs the evidence and widely held beliefs surrounding each case and rebuilds them -- with fascinating and haunting results.
Praise for Crime Classification Manual

"The very first book by and for criminal justice professionals in the major case fields. . . . The skills, techniques, and proactive approaches offered are creatively concrete and worthy of replication across the country. . . . Heartily recommended for those working in the 'front line' of major case investigation."
—John B. Rabun Jr., ACSW, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

"[CCM] is an outstanding resource for students pursuing forensic science degrees. It provides critical information on major crimes, which improve the user's ability to assess and evaluate."
—Paul Thomas Clements, PhD, APRN-BC, CGS, DF-IAFN Drexel University Forensic Healthcare Program

The landmark book standardizing the language, terminology, and classifications used throughout the criminal justice system

Arranged according to the primary intent of the criminal, the Crime Classification Manual, Third Edition features the language, terms, and classifications the criminal justice system and allied fields use as they work to protect society from criminal behavior.

Coauthored by a pioneer of modern profiling and featuring new coverage of wrongful convictions and false confessions, the Third Edition:

Tackles new areas affected by globalization and new technologies, including human trafficking and internationally coordinated cybercrimes Expands discussion of border control, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Homeland Security Addresses the effects of ever-evolving technology on the commission and detection of crime

The definitive text in this field, Crime Classification Manual, Third Edition is written for law enforcement personnel, mental health professionals, forensic scientists, and those professionals whose work requires an understanding of criminal behavior and detection.

In the #1 New York Times bestseller Mindhunter, John Douglas, who headed the FBI's elite Investigative Support Unit, told the story of his brilliant and terrifying career tracking down some of the most heinous criminals in history. Now, in Journey into Darkness, Douglas profiles vicious serial killers, rapists, and child molesters. He is straightforward, blunt, often irreverent, and outspoken, but takes pains not to glorify any of these murderers. Some of the unique cases Douglas discusses include:

-The Clairemont killer
-The schoolgirl murders
-Richmond's First Serial Murderer
-The brutal and sadistic murder of Suzanne Marie Collins
-Polly Klaas' abduction and murder by Richard Allen Davis,
-The tragedy that lead to the creation of Megan's Law

With Journey into Darkness, Douglas provides more than a glimpse into the minds of serial killers; he demonstrates what a powerful weapon behavioral science has become. Profiling criminals helps not only to capture them, but also helps society understand how these predators work and what can be done to prevent them from striking again. Douglas focuses especially on pedophiles and child abductors, fully explaining what drives them, and how to keep children away from them. As he points out, "The best way to protect your children is to know your enemy." He includes eight rules for safety, a list of steps parents can take to prevent child abduction and exploitation, tips on how to detect sexual exploitation, basic rules of safety for children, and a chart, based on age, which details the safety skills children should have to protect themselves.

In his review for Mindhunter in The New York Times Book Review, Dean Koontz said, "Because of his insights and the power of the material, he leaves us shaken, gripped by a quiet grief for the innocent victims and anguished by the human condition." Journey into Darkness continues this perilous trip into the psyche of the serial killer, but also offers a glimmer of hope that profiling may enable law enforcement to see the indicators of a serial killer's mind and intervene before he kills, or kills again.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, USA TODAY, AND CHICAGO TRIBUNE • A masterly work of literary journalism about a senseless murder, a relentless detective, and the great plague of homicide in America

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Economist • The Globe and Mail • BookPage • Kirkus Reviews

On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes.

But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift.

Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder—a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities—and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped.

Praise for Ghettoside

“A serious and kaleidoscopic achievement . . . [Jill Leovy is] a crisp writer with a crisp mind and the ability to boil entire skies of information into hard journalistic rain.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Masterful . . . gritty reporting that matches the police work behind it.”—Los Angeles Times

“Moving and engrossing.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Penetrating and heartbreaking . . . Ghettoside points out how relatively little America has cared even as recently as the last decade about the value of young black men’s lives.”—USA Today

“Functions both as a snappy police procedural and—more significantly—as a searing indictment of legal neglect . . . Leovy’s powerful testimony demands respectful attention.”—The Boston Globe

“Gritty, heart-wrenching . . . Everyone needs to read this book.”—Michael Connelly

“Ghettoside is remarkable: a deep anatomy of lawlessness.”—Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal

“[Leovy writes] with grace and artistry, and controlled—but bone-deep—outrage in her new book. . . . The most important book about urban violence in a generation.”—The Washington Post

“Riveting . . . This timely book could not be more important.”—Associated Press

“Leovy’s relentless reporting has produced a book packed with valuable, hard-won insights—and it serves as a crucial, 366-page reminder that ‘black lives matter.’ ”—The New York Times Book Review

“A compelling analysis of the factors behind the epidemic of black-on-black homicide . . . an important book, which deserves a wide audience.”—Hari Kunzru, The Guardian


From the Hardcover edition.
To all appearances, Dennis Rader was a model citizen in the small town of Park City, Kansas, where he had lived with his family almost his entire life. He was a town compliance officer, a former Boy Scout leader, the president of his church congregation, and a seemingly ordinary father and husband. But Rader's average life belied the existence of his dark, sadistic other self: he was the BTK serial killer.

The self-named BTK (for Bind, Torture, Kill) had terrorized Wichita for thirty-one years, not only with his brutal, sexually motivated crimes, but also through his taunting, elusive communications with the media and law enforcement. In 1974, BTK committed his first murders -- torturing and strangling four members of the Otero family -- and wrote the police an audacious letter declaring his responsibility for the Oteros' deaths and labeling himself, for the first time, BTK. Thus he established a pattern -- stalking and killing a series of ten victims, then bragging and claiming ownership of his crimes -- that ended in 1991 but left law enforcement confounded and the public with deeply troubling memories. Until, that is, he resurfaced in 2004 with another string of letters that would finally lead to his arrest.

Drawing from extensive interviews with Rader's pastor, congregation, detectives, and psychologists who worked the case, and from his unnervingly de-tailed thirty-two-hour confession, bestselling author Stephen Singular delves into the disturbing life and crimes of BTK to explore fully -- for the first time -- the most dangerous and complex serial killer of our generation and the man who embodied, at once, astonishing extremes of normality and abnormality.

In Unholy Messenger, Singular recounts the year prior to Rader's arrest, in which the BTK killer reemerged, and the aftermath. Woven throughout are the details of his crimes, elaborate schemes, and bids for public attention, and the wrenching impact his deception had on his family, church, and heartland community.

The result is a chilling story of a man considered a "spiritual leader" by his pastor and congregation, who turned out to be the devil next door. More than just true crime, Unholy Messenger is a powerful, thoroughly engrossing examination of the intersection between good and evil, and of the psychology and spirituality of a killer in whom faith and bloodshed converged.
This time the chips are truly down for Hollywood Jake Donovan. A government scientist, Dr. William Rush, has been found dead in a North Carolina state park; he'd been doing sensitive research -- possibly a weapons project -- and he'd been brutally murdered. His colleague, Janice Callahan, is also missing...A crime of passion? Or a threat to national security? Jake Donovan -- down on his luck after being mysteriously yanked from the investigation of an assassination attempt on the First Lady -- and his Broken Wings team are assigned to the case by their wealthy benefactor Mrs. De Vries, who also happens to be Janice Callahan's aunt.
But it's not going to be easy for Jake. As he digs deeper into the mystery he is shot at, his car is blown up, and his fingerprints keep turning up where they shouldn't. His personal life is no picnic either: His Broken Wings colleague and girlfriend Katie leaves him for her ex-husband; his former wife has had it with the danger his work brings to her and their two children; and he is plagued by nightmares of the Black Diamond kidnapper, the one criminal whom he has never been able to catch. But the worst blow comes when Donovan's adored son, Eric, is abducted right out of his own bed. Hollywood Jake Donovan finally knows what it's like to be a victim.
In their efforts to save the country, as well as the offspring of one of their own, the Broken Wings team races across America on the trail of a complicated conspiracy. Can they get to the center of the web in time? Once again, John Douglas has delivered a mesmerizing and edge-of-the-seat ride into the world of criminal profiling.
Why?
In this eagerly anticipated new book from the international bestselling authors of Mindhunter, Journey into Darkness, and Obsession, legendary crime fighter John Douglas explores the root of all crime -- motive.
Every crime is a mystery story with a motive at its heart. Understand the motive and you can solve the mystery. The Anatomy of Motive offers a dramatic, insightful look at the development and evolution of the criminal mind. The famed former chief of the FBI's Investigative Support Unit, Douglas was the pioneer of modern behavioral profiling of serial criminals. Working again with acclaimed novelist, journalist, and filmmaker Mark Olshaker, the collaborator on his previous three bestsellers, and using cases from his own fabled career as examples, Douglas takes us further than ever before into the dark corners of the minds of arsonists, hijackers, bombers, poisoners, serial and spree killers, and mass murderers.
From seemingly ordinary men who suddenly kill their families or go on a rampage in the workplace to dedicated murderers who embark on the kind of spree that resulted in the death of fashion designer Gianni Versace, John Douglas helps us understand what causes violent sociopathic behavior. In chapters such as "Playing with Fire," "Name Your Poison," and "Guys Who Snap," he shows how criminals use and react to the media and how the motives behind hijacking and terrorism have evolved through recent history.
For the first time, Douglas identifies the common building blocks contributing to the violently antisocial personality, showing the surprising similarities and equally surprising differences between various types of offenders. Douglas profiles notorious assassins, examining that particular personality and how it applies to other types of crimes. Drawing on cases from today's headlines, he looks at recent sniper incidents at schools and other public places to penetrate the minds and motivations of mass killers. As Douglas tracks the progressive escalation of these criminals' sociopathic behavior, he also shows the common elements in many of their pasts that link them together.
Through riveting profiles and a narrative that reads like the best mystery fiction, The Anatomy of Motive analyzes such diverse killers as Lee Harvey Oswald, Theodore Kaczynski, and Timothy McVeigh, and helps us learn how to anticipate potential violent behavior before it's too late.
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