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America's foremost expert on criminal profiling provides his uniquely gripping analysis of seven of the most notorious murder cases in the history of crime -- from the Whitechapel murders to JonBenet Ramsey -- often contradicting conventional wisdom and legal decisions.
Jack the Ripper. Lizzie Borden. The Zodiac Killer. Certain homicide cases maintain an undeniable, almost mystical hold on the public imagination. They touch a nerve deep within us because of the personalities involved, their senseless depravity, the nagging doubts about whether justice was done, or because, in some instances, no suspect has ever been identified or caught.
In The Cases That Haunt Us, twenty-five-year-FBI-veteran John Douglas, profiling pioneer and master of modern criminal investigative analysis, and author and filmmaker Mark Olshaker, the team behind the bestselling Mindhunter series, explore the tantalizing mysteries that both their legions of fans and law enforcement professionals ask about most. Among the questions they tackle:
Was Jack the Ripper actually the Duke of Clarence, eldest grandson of Queen Victoria, or perhaps a practicing medical doctor? And did highly placed individuals within Scotland Yard have a good idea of the Ripper's identity, which they never revealed? Douglas and Olshaker create a detailed profile of the killer, and reveal their chief suspect.
Was Lizzie Borden truly innocent of the murder of her father and stepmother as the Fall River, Massachusetts, jury decided, or was she the one who took the ax and delivered those infamous "whacks"? Through a minute-by-minute behavioral analysis of the crime, the authors come to a convincing conclusion.
Did Bruno Richard Hauptmann single-handedly kidnap the baby son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the most famous couple in the world, or was he an innocent man caught up and ultimately executed in a relentless rush to judgment in the "crime of the century"?
What kind of person could kill six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey on Christmas night in her own home? Douglas was called in on the case shortly after the horrifying murder, and his conclusions are hard-hitting and controversial. Why, in the face of the majority of public, media, and law enforcement opinion, including former FBI colleagues, does Douglas believe that John and Patricia Ramsey did not murder their daughter? And what is the forensic and behavioral evidence he brings to bear to make his claim?
Taking a fresh and penetrating look at each case, the authors reexamine and reinterpret accepted facts and victimology using modern profiling and the techniques of criminal analysis developed by Douglas within the FBI. This book deconstructs the evidence and widely held beliefs surrounding each case and rebuilds them -- with fascinating and haunting results.
FBI veteran Douglas is best known as the inventor of criminal profiling as an investigative tool, and in this superbly written and narratively taut new work, he teams up again with Olshaker, his coauthor on the bestselling Mindhunter, to look at eight murder cases that have transfixed the popular imagination. By systematically applying the most advanced techniques of criminology to the information available, he provides new insights and suppositions, even into cases as well trod as that of Jack the Ripper, in some cases identifying who the murderer is, in other cases only who it is not. The cases involve Lizzie Borden, the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the Zodiac killer (who went on a murder rampage throughout the San Francisco Bay area about 30 years ago), the Black Dahlia Murder, Bambi Bembenek, the Boston Strangler, and the still unresolved murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey on Christmas 1996 (Douglas has served as a consultant and an expert witness for the grand jury in this case). In the Ramsey case, although he cannot identify the killer of JonBenet, Douglas is adamant that the parents, John and Patricia Ramsey, did not commit the crime. He profiles the killer as a young man or teen with a personal and specific grudge against John Ramsey. Agent, Jay Acton.