The Devil's Dozen: 12 Notorious Serial Killers Caught by Cutting-Edge Forensics

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What led authorities to the murder castle of H. H. Holmes? What cast a cloud of suspicion over cannibal Albert Fish? What drove Russia’s Killer X to confess?
How many victims were actually buried on that Vancouver pig farm?
 
In The Devil’s Dozen, Katherine Ramsland explores the true stories of twelve of the most notorious serial killers of the last century and the cutting-edge forensics that delivered their downfalls. Through their compelling case histories, she traces the fascinating evolution of forensic investigation. What clues did these killers unwittingly leave behind? How were the unpredictable twists and turns of their criminal behavior thwarted by the weapons of science and logic?
 
From the developing stages of the nineteenth century’s earliest investigative tools and ingenious police procedures to the first DNA dragnet to the remarkable twentieth century CSI advances, The Devil’s Dozen provides a fascinating window into the world of those who kill—and those who dedicate their lives to bringing them to justice.
 
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About the author

Dr. Katherine Ramsland has master’s degrees in forensic psychology, clinical psychology, and criminal justice, and a Ph.D. in philosophy. She has published forty-six books, including SNAP: Seizing Your Aha! Moments, The Forensic Psychology of Criminal Minds, The Mind of a Murderer, and The Forensic Science of C.S.I. With former FBI profiler Gregg McCrary, she coauthored The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators Among Us; with Dr. Henry Lee, she coauthored The Real World of a Forensic Scientist; and with Professor James E. Starrs, A Voice for the Dead. She wrote biographies of Anne Rice and Dean Koontz, and her Crimescape e-book, Psychopath, was a #1 Wall Street Journal nonfiction bestseller. In addition, Ramsland has published more than a thousand articles on serial killers, criminology, and criminal investigation. She is a professor of forensic psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania, appears on numerous true crime documentaries, and writes a regular blog for Psychology Today.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Apr 7, 2009
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781101028940
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Forensic Psychology
Social Science / Criminology
True Crime / Murder / Serial Killers
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A chilling investigation into the deviant mind, “so powerful and provocative, you cannot put it down” (Rita Cosby, New York Times–bestselling author).
 
We know the names: Ted Bundy, Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, among them—serial killers transformed by the media into ghoulish celebrities. Likewise, the success of their fictional counterparts—from Norman Bates to Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Hannibal Lecter to Dexter—reveal just how eager we are to watch a psychopath in action. But why? Are we curious about the root of their unfathomable compulsions? Might it be the same reason we morbidly stare at a catastrophic automobile accident? Or it is something more? Why We Love Serial Killers “attempts to solve some of these mysteries . . . What made serial killers this way? Why did they kill, and why did they do it so gruesomely? How are they different from us? (Please let them be different from us)” (The Atlantic).
 
In exploring our powerful appetite for the macabre, criminology professor Dr. Scott Bonn also provides a unique perspective into the world of the serial killer, having corresponded with two of the most notorious examples: David Berkowitz, aka Son of Sam, and BTK predator, Dennis Rader. In addition, Bonn examines the criminal profiling techniques used by professionals to identify and apprehend serial predators, discusses the charisma of the sociopath, the rise in “murderabilia” collecting, and examines how and why these killers often become pop-culture icons, escalating both our fears and our fascination. The result is “powerful and a must-read . . . Insightful, compelling, and an excellent source of myth-busting information for laymen and professionals alike” (Burl Barer, Edgar Award–winning author).
Thrilling, true tales from the Vidocq Society, a team of the world's finest forensic investigators whose monthly gourmet lunches lead to justice in ice-cold murders

Three of the greatest detectives in the world--a renowned FBI agent turned private eye, a sculptor and lothario who speaks to the dead, and an eccentric profiler known as "the living Sherlock Holmes"-were heartsick over the growing tide of unsolved murders. Good friends and sometime rivals William Fleisher, Frank Bender, and Richard Walter decided one day over lunch that something had to be done, and pledged themselves to a grand quest for justice. The three men invited the greatest collection of forensic investigators ever assembled, drawn from five continents, to the Downtown Club in Philadelphia to begin an audacious quest: to bring the coldest killers in the world to an accounting. Named for the first modern detective, the Parisian eugène François Vidocq-the flamboyant Napoleonic real-life sleuth who inspired Sherlock Holmes-the Vidocq Society meets monthly in its secretive chambers to solve a cold murder over a gourmet lunch.

The Murder Room draws the reader into a chilling, darkly humorous, awe-inspiring world as the three partners travel far from their Victorian dining room to hunt the ruthless killers of a millionaire's son, a serial killer who carves off faces, and a child killer enjoying fifty years of freedom and dark fantasy.

Acclaimed bestselling author Michael Capuzzo's brilliant storytelling brings true crime to life more realistically and vividly than it has ever been portrayed before. It is a world of dazzlingly bright forensic science; true evil as old as the Bible and dark as the pages of Dostoevsky; and a group of flawed, passionate men and women, inspired by their own wounded hearts to make a stand for truth, goodness, and justice in a world gone mad.
Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, as one judge described her, was “a coldly calculated criminal recidivist and serial killer.” She had experienced a lifetime of murder, mayhem, and mental illness. She killed two boyfriends, including one whose body was stuffed in a freezer. And she was convicted in one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s strangest cases: the Pizza Bomber case, in which a pizza deliveryman died when a bomb locked to his neck exploded after he robbed a bank in 2003 near Erie, Pennsylvania, Diehl-Armstrong’s hometown.

Diehl-Armstrong’s life unfolded in an enthralling portrait; a fascinating interplay between mental illness and the law. As a female serial killer, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was in a rare category. In the early 1970s, she was a high-achieving graduate student pursuing a career in education but suffered from bipolar disorder. Before her death, she was sentenced to serve life plus thirty years in federal prison.

In Mania and Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, Jerry Clark and Ed Palattella examine female serial killers by focusing on the fascinating and tragic life of one woman. This book also explores mental illness and forensic psychology and provides a history of how American jurisprudence has grappled with such complex and controversial issues as the insanity defense and mental competency to stand trial. The authors’ account shows why Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was unlike any other criminal – man or woman – in American history. Accounts of Diehl-Armstrong’s travails – her difficult childhood, her murder trials, her hoarding – are interpolated with chapters about mental disorders and the law.
There are many cultural myths about serial killers, often propagated even by mental health professionals. Many assume there is a profile of a serial killer, that serial killers always go for the same victim type or always use the same MO, that they are more clever than ordinary people, and that they are inevitably charming and attractive. The truth is not as simple as that. There are different types of serial killers, and while there are many books that discuss the serial killer phenomenon especially in relationship to victim types or context, researchers have not yet been able to come up with a definition, or type, that covers the broad spectrum of serial killers and their complex psychological dynamics. Ramsland looks at the variety of serial killer types, illustrating that it is difficult to accurately depict these elusive, intriguing, and dangerous killers.

There are many cultural myths about serial killers, often propagated even by mental health professionals. Many assume there is a profile of a serial killer, that serial killers always go for the same victim type or always use the same MO, that they are more clever than ordinary people, and that they are inevitably charming and attractive. The truth is not as simple as that. There are different types of serial killers and while there are many books that discuss the serial killer phenomenon especially in relationship to victim types or context, researchers have not yet been able to come up with a definition, or type, that covers the broad spectrum of serial killers and their complex psychological dynamics. Ramsland looks at serial killer types, illustrating that it is difficult to accurately depict these elusive, intriguing, and dangerous killers.

This book examines a variety of serial killers, from sexual predators to psychotic killers, from murder teams to odd eccentric stalkers, in order to present the distinct psychological dynamics that set serial killers apart from other violent murderers. Among the motives addressed are lust, control, glory, profit, thrill, delusions, rage, the desire for company, the need to please a partner, and even murder as an intellectual exercise. Serial killers live double lives, hiding their violence even from those who live with them, so along with a study of motives are chapters devoted to how close associates have described killers, including parents, siblings, co-workers, lovers, and survivors. There is no profile of a serial killer, and this book establishes that in vivid and frightening detail.

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