Against the Medical-Psychological Tradition of Understanding Serial Killing by Studying the Killers.

David Wilson (Corresponding / Lead Author), Craig Jackson (Corresponding / Lead Author), Baljit Kaur Rana (Corresponding / Lead Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article considers the origins and development of offender profiling and its contribution to the arrest of a specific type of mass murderer known as a“serial killer”. It does this through a critical analysis of a recent and best-selling book on the subject.Inside the Mind of BTK: The True Story Behind the Thirty-Year Hunt for the Notorious Wichita Serial Killer was written by John Douglas, one of the originators of “offender profiling” in the United States, and is largely concerned with his part in the apprehension of a notorious American serial killer called Dennis Rader, who was dubbed by the press,“BTK”. Douglas is well-placed to write a book of this type. As an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States, he was one of a number of agents who gave prominence both to the phenomenon of serial murder and offender profiling as a means to apprehend this type of murderer. (See, for example,Douglas et al., 1986; Douglas and Munn, 1992; Douglas and Olshaker, 1995; Ressler et al.,1988; Ressler et al., 1992;Ressler and Schachtman,1992.)

    (6) (PDF) Against the medical-psychological tradition of understanding serial killing by studying the killers. Available from: [accessed Apr 10 2024].
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8-16
    Number of pages9
    JournalAmicus Journal
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2010

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