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Dark Dreams: Sexual Violence, Homicide And The Criminal Mind Hardcover – Jul 19 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (July 19 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312253427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312253424
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.8 x 24.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #494,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"This book tells it all."--Robert K. Ressler, bestselling author of I Have Lived in the Monster and Whoever Fights Monsters

"Hazelwood's authentic and unique perspective pierces a darkness most of us would like to believe doesn't exist."--Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files

"Take it from me: Roy's insights and experience prove that he is an expert in crime analysis. The story he has to tell is well worth listening to."--John Douglas, New York Times bestselling author of Obsession and Mindhunter

About the Author

Roy Hazelwood spent twenty-two years in the FBI, sixteen of them as a member of the Bureau's Behavioral Science Unit. He is now associated with the Academy Group, Inc., a forensic consulting firm with clients in government, industry, and the criminal justice system. Hazelwood lives in Virginia with his wife, Peggy.

Stephen G. Michaud has written extensively on criminal justice topics. His previous books include Lethal Shadow, a study of sexual sadism, and The Only Living Witness, an acclaimed portrait of serial killer Ted Bundy that the New York Daily News listed as one of the ten best true-crime books ever.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I started reading about serial killers after the sniper deaths in Washington D.C. and Maryland. "Dark Dreams" is an interesting and horrifying look into the minds of serial killers, mostly American, although there is the obligatory chapter on Jack the Ripper.
In a previously read book, "Serial Killers" by Joel Norris, the author attempted both a psychological and biological profile of these murderers with emphasis on both nature and upbringing. Hazelwood and Michaud do not attempt to decipher the 'why' of serial killers in "Dark Dreams." They concentrate on the different types of 'how,' and what the 'how' reveals about the serial killer.
For instance, one of the authors' major themes is the narcissism of serial killers. Many of them come to believe that they are too smart for the police to catch, and start taking unnecessary chances. Some even write taunting letters to the police, e.g. the Zodiac Killer, or commit a crime under the very noses of their pursuers. An example of the latter type of behavior was demonstrated by the stalker, Andrew Johnstone, who stole his victim's underwear out of a Salvation Army box that the police had under twenty-four hour surveillance. The authors point out that a safer method to obtain the same result would have been to steal his victim's bras off of her clothesline.
A few other common characteristics of serial killers that the authors spend some time with are their ritualistic behavior, their employment of paid or compliant partners to 'practice' on, and their use of detective magazines as 'how to' manuals.
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By A Customer on Feb. 25 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was hoping for better when I picked the book up and purchased it. I was disappointed. Perhaps I just listened to well to my profs who said "don't believe everything anyone who says they have authority tell you. Make them prove it."
First I had to go to the web to find any qualifications for Hazelwood. Second I still have no clue as to his educational background. Third lots of good rubbernecking details but lacking sadly on proof of any of his statements. I can tell you what I saw working in 14 years of Forensic Psych but it doesn't mean I am right without hard stats to prove my point. He doesn't yield them. Might they be locked in a safe somewhere because I haven't seen valid proof of some of his theories yet. I can't say they are wrong but I can't say they are right. I need numbers to back up what he says. He also has a very "Christian" start using one of the early Christian writers to exemplify his model of certain behavior. It didn't fly. The parallels were too vague and too cultural centric of a Purtain background. At no time did I feel he was an impartial observer but had an agenda to "prove" something. If he didn't it was the strong impression the book gave. There were some interesting theories that would have been better presented in another manner.
Is it worth the read? For all the faults, yes. It does present some interesting theories that while they might be unfounded in the end [give me some hard stats please] are worth examining.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read many true crime, criminal psychology and profiling books and I must say this one is definitely worth while. This book goes beyond the call of duty by not only describing specific cases but also offering insights into the psychology of the offenders. All types of sexual offenders (whom are the subject of this book) are examined and explained. Ranging from simple voyeurs to serial sex slayers, the authors provide a wealth of information about the nature of such deviance and how the offender's personality will be reflected in his or her crime/s. The short and eye opening section at the end, in which Roy Hazelwood provides his view on why the problem of sex offenders has grown out of control might be a call to action for some. A call to take responsibility as a member of a society whose attitutes and perhaps even entertainment foment and tolerate unholy sexual fantisies. P.S I have edited this review to state that it IS NOT my opinion that movies, music, television or any other form of entertainment are responsible for criminal acts of any kind. I simply thought that it was of value to potential readers of this book to know that the author, as an authoritative expert on criminal behavior has included his opinions and speculations as to why sex crimes are on the rise.
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Format: Hardcover
I sent the following e-mail to Roy after reading his book. I'll share it with you to give you some idea how much I enjoyed his book. In addition to being a great learning tool, it was also a very entertaining book.
Roy, I just returned to work from vacation. While on vacation I read your new book, DARK DREAMS! GREAT BOOK!!! This really is a textbook for investigators! As you know, I supervise a group of sexual assault investigators for a mid-size Sheriff's Department in California. As I read your book, I highlighted specific points so I could return to them later and share them with my troops. I now own a book full of yellow highlights. What a great insight! As I think back on past cases, I see where having this information may have been a big help. My next step is to request my department buy a copy of your book and make it mandatory reading for all our sex and homicide investigators.
Thanks for a great book. I've recommended it to people in my department and other departments, as well as my retired law enforcement friends. I'm sure this book will be making the rounds. I'll have to keep careful track of it so I don't lose it. Any cop worth his salt will want this book in his/her library.
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