The Forensic Psychology of Criminal Minds
Katherine Ramsland
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Buy *The Forensic Psychology of Criminal Minds* by Katherine Ramsland online

The Forensic Psychology of Criminal Minds
Katherine Ramsland
Berkley Trade
320 pages
February 2010
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Anyone who has ever watched Criminal Minds will want to read Katherine Ramsland's latest. The author has written 35 books on the subject of serial murder, and on these pages she outlines why the evil do what they do. On the television series, killers and murderers are hunted down by the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit), a talented group of professionals who travel the country and assist law enforcement agencies by examining the crime scenes, providing profiles of the killers, and finally aiding in the arrest and interrogation of these animals.

Not to pop anyone's bubble, but life doesn't imitate art. On TV, every murderer is tracked down and jailed. It doesn't happen that way. A forensic psychologist aids in the capture of serial killers in a pretty straightforward fashion.

"Forensic psychology focuses on psychological issues and situations in the law, by the law, and of the law. Professionals in this field use their expertise with human behavior, motivation, and psychopathology to provide assessment services for the courts and may also consult in criminal investigations."
That is how, according to the author, law enforcement and forensic psychology become married together.

The chapters here detail Criminal Profiling: Its History and Purpose; Varieties of Deviance; Psychological Autopsy and Victimology (understanding who the victim is and how she may have come into contact with the killer is a key component of profiling) and others. This doesn't read like a psychology book but is based on real people and real murders.

A bit macabre, a bit strange, but if you always pick out the killer in a detective movie or know who did it before anyone else, you might want to read this book.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2010

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