A Killer by Design: Murderers, Mindhunters, and My Quest To Decipher the Criminal Mind

Hachette. Dec. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780306924866. $28. CRIME
Burgess (professor at Boston Coll., Connell Sch. of nursing), a trailblazing forensic and psychiatric nurse, details her career working with victims of sexual assault and trauma and her recruitment by the FBI where she shaped the work of the Behavioral Science Unit, particularly regarding serial murders. This book, cowritten by Constantine (director of marketing, Connell Sch. of Nursing), centers Burgess’s experiences and perspective while incorporating the history of the BSU and insider details about FBI profiling of crime suspects. She takes care not to sensationalize serial murders and focuses instead on the development of criminal profiling and advocacy for victims. Burgess was often the only woman in these spaces, and she offers a refreshing perspective. Readers interested in the FBI’s profiling may also enjoy John Douglas’s The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI’s Original Mindhunter.
VERDICT An empathetic, insightful behind-the-scenes look at criminal profiling that will be appreciated by true crime fans and readers curious about forensic or criminal psychology.
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