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My Life Among the Serial Killers: Inside the Minds of the World's Most Notorious Murderersby Helen Morrison
Synopses & Reviews
Over the course of twenty-five years, Dr. Helen Morrison has profiled more than eighty serial killers around the world. What she learned about them will shatter every assumption you've ever had about the most notorious criminals known to man.Judging by appearances, Dr. Helen Morrison has an ordinary life in the suburbs of a major city. She has a physician husband, two children, and a thriving psychiatric clinic. But her life is much more than that. She is one of the country's leading experts on serial killers, and has spent as many as four hundred hours alone in a room with depraved murderers, digging deep into killers' psyches in ways no profiler before ever has.
In My Life Among the Serial Killers, Dr. Morrison relates how she profiled the Mad Biter, Richard Otto Macek, who chewed on his victims' body parts, stalked Dr. Morrison, then believed she was his wife. She did the last interview with Ed Gein, who was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. John Wayne Gacy, the clown-obsessed killer of young men, sent her crazed Christmas cards and gave her his paintings as presents. Then there was Atlanta child killer Wayne Williams; rapist turned murderer Bobby Joe Long; England's Fred and Rosemary West, who killed girls and women in their "House of Horrors"; and Brazil's deadliest killer of children, Marcelo Costa de Andrade.
Dr. Morrison has received hundreds of letters from killers, read their diaries and journals, evaluated crime scenes, testified at their trials, and studied photos of the gruesome carnage. She has interviewed the families of the victims — and the spouses and parents of the killers — to gain a deeper understanding of the killer's environment and the public persona he adopts. She has also studied serial killers throughout history and shows how this is not a recent phenomenon with psychological autopsies of the fifteenth-century French war hero Gilles de Rais, the sixteenth-century Hungarian Countess Bathory, H. H. Holmes of the late ninteenth century, and Albert Fish of the Roaring Twenties.
Through it all, Dr. Morrison has been on a mission to discover the reasons why serial killers are compelled to murder, how they choose their victims, and what we can do to prevent their crimes in the future. Her provocative conclusions will stun you.
An expert's chilling, first-hand account of a harrowing odyssey into the twisted minds and lives of the world's most horrific killers:
Richard Macek: "The Mad Biter"
For most of her professional life as a forensic psychiatrist with a law degree, Dr. Helen Morrison has been on a mission to discover (or at least lay the groundwork to discover) the reasons why serial killers are compelled to murder. Many law enforcement officials say they have become hardened to killings. This is something Dr. Morrison will not allow herself to do. "It won't work if I treat a murder as through it is anything routine. I have to keep my emotions completely open in order to advance my theories and help eradicate the phenomenon of serial killing," says Dr. Morrison.
This will be a one-of-a-kind memoir by a female forensic psychiatrist who has profiled 80 seial killers in nearly thirty years of work. Some of her profiling-with killers including Richard Macek (known as the Mad Biter), Ed Gein (the inspiration for Hitchcock's Psycho), John Wayne Gacy (upon whom she performed an autopsy as well), Wayne Williams and others-involved 400 hours of interviews. (In fact, she was first to profile serial killers using methods of forensic psychiatry.) She will also provide "psychological autopsies"of serial killers throughout history, from the 15th century through today, demonstrating that this is not a recent phenomenon and these cases help us better understand the serial killers of today.
Dr. Morrison will write the stories of her work with these killers as she takes us inside the interview rooms and pushes the killers until they break and reveal their true natures. She takes us out into the field and into the crime scenes as she struggles to profile a killer. The dramatic stories also provide her with the opportunity to explain her theories as to why they do what they do (and it's not, she says, because they were abused as children). While she's not an FBI agent, she has been hired to work on a number of their cases, as well as with other state and city organizations.
At the end of the day, she goes home to her husband and two children in a quiet
About the Author
Helen Morrison, M.D., is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology for general psychiatry as well as child and adolescent psychiatry. She is also a certified forensic psychiatrist. She is the editor or coauthor of four academic books, as well as the author or coauthor of more than 125 published articles in her field. Dr. Morrison has worked with both national and international law enforcement, and has made presentations in more than fifteen countries. She lives in Chicago with her husband and children.
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