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Twenty-two years in the FBI, sixteen of them as a member of the Bureau's Behavioral Science Unit. Thousands of homicides, rapes, suicides, and other gruesome crimes. Roy Hazelwood, like many investigators, has seen it all. But unlike most, he's gone further -- into the dark and twisted psyches of serial killers and sadistic sexual offenders -- and has emerged as one of the world's foremost experts on the sexual criminal.
Now, acclaimed true-crime writer Stephen G. Michaud takes you into the heart of Hazelwood's work through dozens of startling cases, including those of the Lonely Heart Killer, the "Ken and Barbie" killings, the Atlanta Child Murders, and many more. Here Michaud and Hazelwood go beyond the lurid details, to a deeper understanding of the depraved minds behind the grisly crimes, in a stark, startling, and fascinating work you will not soon forget.
Michaud documents the unique career of criminologist Hazelwood, a retired member of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit (little known to the public until Thomas Harris wrote The Silence of the Lambs). Hazelwood was one of the co-founders of VICAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program), the FBI's program to profile serial killers, with Robert Ressler and John Douglas. In the wake of books by Douglas (the bestselling Mind Hunter) and Ressler (Whoever Fights Monsters), Michaud recounts Hazelwood's career and explains his specialty--exploring the psychology and motives of sexual predators, from rapists to serial killers. Sexual crime investigation was a "scorned and degraded facet of police work" until Hazelwood transformed it into a professional discipline at the FBI. "There'd been hundreds of rape studies done," according to Hazelwood, "but no one had ever looked at serial rapists." To do so, he combed prison records of 12 states, locating 41 men who, cumulatively, had committed 837 known rapes and attempted 400 more. The book relates Hazelwood's involvement in several headline cases of both alleged and confirmed sexual crimes (Tawana Brawley in 1987, the Atlanta Child Murders that first came to light in 1979, the explosion that killed 47 aboard the USS Iowa in 1989) and the numerous accounts of unfamiliar criminals are equally, if grimly, absorbing. Michaud is most interesting when he ably summarizes Hazelwood's groundbreaking work and least interesting when he slips into simple hagiography of the dedicated lawman. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.