From expert witness Dr. Stanton E. Samenow, a brilliant, no-nonsense profile of the criminal mind, updated to include new influences and effective methods for dealing with hardened criminals
“Utterly compelling reading, full of raw insight into the dark mind of the criminal.”—John Douglas, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Mind Hunter
In 1984, this groundbreaking book offered readers an illuminating window into the workings of the criminal mind and a revolutionary approach to “habilitation.” In 2004, armed with twenty years of additional knowledge and inside, Samenow explored the subject anew, using his vast expertise to explain the thought patterns of those who commit the crimes we were most concerned with in the new millennium, such as domestic violence, Internet victimization, and terrorism.
The fields of criminal behavior have expanded, demanding another updated version, which includes an exploration of computers as a vehicle for criminal conduct; new drugs and pharmaceutical influences; exposure to the rawest forms of violence in video games, films, and television broadcasts; social media as an arena for illicit activities; and updated genetic and biological research into whether some people are “wired” to become criminals. Throughout, we learn from Samenow’s four decades of experience how truly vital it is to know who the criminal is and how he or she thinks differently. Only once equipped with that crucial understanding can we reach reasonable, compassionate, and effective solutions.
This revised edition of a 1984 study is long on assertion and short on evidence. Dr. Samenow, a clinical psychologist, is legitimately disdainful of explanations of criminal behavior that blame everyone (society, family, violent television, etc.) but the criminal for his actions, but his counter-arguments will persuade few. He makes frequent sweeping generalizations ("Even the most hardened criminals who spout anti-police rhetoric to one another recognize society's need for police"), and provides nothing other than anecdotes in support of his position that all criminals break the law consciously and deliberately. A short new chapter on terrorism illustrates perfectly the limits of the author's"methodology"--he defines the issue down to link Al Qaeda with any criminal whose actions frighten someone, and then simply discounts any outside influence as meaningfully contributing to the making of a criminal.