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Books by Katherine Ramsland
Inside the Minds of Mass Murderers: Why They Kill

This is not just a comprehensive series of stories about incidents of mass murder, which is compelling enough, but this book also gets to the underlying psychopathology of these cases that other studies have missed.

 	  The Human Predator: A book review by Marilyn J. Bardsley

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone who’s riveted to television shows like CSI, you won’t find a better one than Dr. Katherine Ramland’s latest book, THE HUMAN PREDATOR: A Historical Chronicle of Serial Murder and Forensic Investigation (Berkley Hardcover; Oct. 4, 2005). It’s an extraordinarily well-researched book, written in a flowing, easy-to-understand style. You’ll not only learn about serial murder but also the historical background of forensic science in its response to this phenomenon.

Some 25 years ago, a terrifying creature burst into our consciousness: the serial killer, who looked just like you and me, appeared normal much of the time, but killed repeatedly for no apparent reason. Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy and the Green River Killer became household names. People started to look with a new apprehension at the next door neighbors, the postman, and the grocery store clerk. It was a new form of psychological terrorism.

And suddenly they seemed to pop up everywhere. The 1980s proved to be an important milestone in the chronology of serial murder, and Dr. Ramsland wrote this astounding statistic: during the ‘80s throughout the world, “a serial killer was caught, suspected, or in clear operation at some point on an average of one every three days.” Either serial killers were proliferating or police were becoming more adept at identifying them. The media coverage soon focused on the problem, helping to create an industry that includes scores of books and movies about serial killers.

Yet despite the enormous public interest in serial killers, there are still widely held misperceptions. For example, there’s a tendency to think of their emergence as comparatively recent phenomenon, composed primarily of white American males in their twenties and thirties, and that Jack the Ripper was the first one. Ramsland proves the error of these beliefs, as she uncovers serial killers of both sexes in every age group, in every era, and on every continent. Astonishingly, one is ten years old. And she’s female!

In all likelihood, serial killers may have always been among us, but the earliest documented offender was Locusta, a female poisoner who enjoyed the protection of Nero until she fell from favor and was executed in a particularly brutal fashion: She was torn apart by wild animals.

THE HUMAN PREDATOR is the first book-length chronicle of the serial killer from ancient Rome to the present day, and it becomes clear that cultural factors influence their manifestation. While not every killer could be included, lest the book become encyclopedic, key cases from different time periods are analyzed for the “specific cultural conditions, individual processing of those conditions, and opportunity” that affected that criminal’s development. In the Dark Ages, for example, wealthy nobles like French hero Gilles de Rais and the Countess Elizabeth Bathory made Jack the Ripper look like a Boy Scout.

Threaded throughout this absorbing narrative is how both science and psychology evolved alongside the history of the serial killer, providing not only the tools to catch these criminals but a growing understanding of their psyche. It is surprising how early these forensic sciences began to develop. For example, in 1247, a Chinese lawyer produced the first work of forensic science, which included instructions on how to tell the difference between a suicide, homicide and natural death. Even the word “forensic” is from the Latin, meaning “before the forum.” At the more recent end of the spectrum, the U.S. has led the development of a body of knowledge about serial killers, mostly through the FBI’s legendary Behavioral Science Unit (now Behavioral Analysis Unit) that played a key role in the most famous serial killer movie, The Silence of the Lambs. Ramsland knows firsthand the pioneering contributions of this important group of profilers, John Douglas, Robert Ressler and Roy Hazelwood, having written about and with them.

There are startling facts in this book as well. While the growing body of knowledge about serial murder is thought to be the province of law enforcement, Ramsland makes the frightening observation that serial killers study one another by reading the many books and articles that become increasingly available: They learn from the mistakes that caused other serial killers to get caught. That means that to catch the clever ones, law enforcement must refine its methods and procedures. The good news is that forensic science is making strides that even the smartest killers can’t yet fathom.

Importantly, at least to Americans, Ramsland dispels the myth that the U.S. is home to an overwhelming percentage of the world’s serial killers. In fact, there are serial killers wherever there are people, but many societies are not yet proficient at identifying them (and some under-report them). In her chronicle, she points out cases all over the world and from every continent, but also explains in language the layman can readily grasp the societal and psychological context in which they have operated. This book is unique in the field. For anyone interested in either forensic science and psychology or serial murder, this book is unique in the field a must-have.

The Unknown Darkness

In a book that combines engrossing writing with seasoned insight, McCrary, a 25-year veteran of the FBI and a former criminal profiler in the bureau's renowned behavioral science unit, has teamed up with Ramsland, a forensic psychologist and writer, to produce a detailed account of criminal investigative analysis. Describing 10 cases that provoked frenzied storms of media attention in their time-including the kidnapping, videotaped torture and murder of 15-year-old Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy; the senseless massacre of Buddhist monks in Arizona; and the case of Jack Unterweger, a celebrated Austrian writer, who killed numerous prostitutes while vividly covering the story of the murders in the local media-the book offers plenty of shockingly grisly and strange details to fascinate and horrify.

The Criminal Mind

examines the fundamentals of psychology and law, theories of criminality, and character disorders that can lead to criminal behavior. Writers will learn how criminals think and how forensic psychology is used to catch them.

The Forensic Science of C.S.I

This fascinating new book - written by an acclaimed biographer with a master's degree in forensic psychology - goes behind the crime-solving techniques dramatized on the CBS TV show "Crime Scene Investigation" to examine the reality of these cutting-edge procedures.

From DNA typing and ballistics, to bitemark and blood pattern analysis, here are detailed accounts of the actual techniques used in today's crime investigations. Prominent experts in the field offer rare glimpses into cases ranging from missing persons to murder.

Cemetery Stories

Bestselling author of The Vampire Collection with Anne Rice, Katherine Ramsland goes undercover and has conversations with mortuary assistants, gravediggers, funeral home owners, and other so that readers can delve into the fascinating and often morbid world of cemeteries. From the moment a hearse gets called to embalmings to putting bodies in the ground, Cemetery Stories gathers funny, strange, and often disturbing tales from cemeteriesand other places of the deadall over the world.

Piercing the Darkness

Going beyond the scariest imaginings of Anne Rice, clinical psychologist and journalist Katherine Ramsland takes youon a mesmerizing, personal tour deep inside the little knownyet growing "vampyre" subculture that exists today in cities like your own. Discover a society you never believed existed. Find out what these people do, and why they do it. Visit members-only clubs where "liquid electricity"bloodis the favored currency of intimate exchange, and share in "feeding circles." Meet lovers whose sex toys are razors and straps and others who reject normality the way many denounce the practices they hold sacred. You may think you've seen or heard everything. You may even think you're unshockable. You're wrong.

Ghost Investigating the Other Side

With the same open and personal style that won her much praise for Piercing the Darkness, Katherine Ramsland turns her keen and curious eye to the phenomena of ghosts to uncover the truth behind a number of supernatural "sightings". Written in the bold tradition of participatory journalism, Ramsland's extraordinary investigative memoir takes readers directly into the world of ghost hunting and paranormal activity, offering an unflinching account of this mysterious world. On the track of an authentic "haunting," Ramsland encounters psychics, shamans, voodoo practicioners, and high-tech ghost hunters eager to reveal how to contact spirits. But through her own daring experiments, Ramsland is able to penetrate the supernatural mystery that has inspired paranormal investigations worldwide.

Bliss - Writing to Find Your True Self

You can attain bliss and experience greater personal fulfillment by learning who you really are and what you really want. Author Katherine Ramsland shows you how, mixing practical advice with dozens of illuminating writing activities. With bliss, and the enlightened perspective that comes with it, you'll discover the career and personal paths that will lead you to a happier, more productive life.

The Art of Learning

Much has been written for teachers recently on new theories of interactive education; here is a guide for college students. Ramsland (philosophy, Rutgers U.) explains how students can take responsibility for their own education by moving beyond passive processing edition (unseen).

Dean Koontz - A Writer's Biography

One of today's most popular writers, whose novels have sold over 200 million copies worldwide and of which twenty-nine have appeared on international bestseller lists, Dean Koontz has never fully revealed his most dramatic story: his own. From his difficult childhood in rural Pennsylvania, through his years as a teacher striving to get his work published. To his spectacular breakthrough to worldwide literary fame, Dean Koontz's life has been filled with struggle. Koontz generally shuns the celebrity associated with being a bestselling author and guards his privacy fiercely. Katherine Ramsland is the first biographer with whom he has ever cooperated. Although she interviewed him extensively, he did not influence or guide her work and the result is a ruthlessly honest view of one of today's most widely read authors. Koontz talks freely about his dark and troubled life as a child and the major psychological obstacles he has had to overcome. For Koontz's many fans, this is the first chance to read about their favourite writer- they will seize it with enthusiasm.

Prism of the Night - A Biography of Anne Rice

Now completely updated, here is the fascinating biography of the woman behind the most richly conceived "children of the night" in the history of vampire literature. Includes new material on the writing of Lasher and the filming of Interview with the Vampire. 16 pages of photos.

The Vampire Companion -The Official Guide to Anne Rice's

Written with the full cooperation of Anne Rice - and now with more than 1,200 entries - The Vampire Companion offers an insightful exploration, appreciation, and interpretation of all the characters and events, names and places, symbols and themes in the five volumes of The Vampire Chronicles, including more than one hundred pages of new entries on Rice's latest vampire novel, Memnoch the Devil.

The Witches Companion - The Official Guide to Anne Rice's

Created with the full cooperation of Anne Rice, The Witches' Companion features detailed character breakdowns, from the present-day enchantress Rowan Mayfair to the lustful spirit Lasher; a complete genealogy of the Mayfair family; a chronology of events; a guide to geographical locations; the intriguing origins of the Mayfairs' extraordinary clan; revealing observations from Anne Rice herself; and much more.

The Roquelaure Reader - A Companion to Anne Rice's Erotica

In The Roquelaure Reader, Katherine Ramsland, Anne Rice's acclaimed biographer as well as close friend, describes not only the Roquelaure novels but two other erotic novels Anne Rice wrote as Anne Rampling. She places this body of erotica within the context of Anne Rice's life, thought, and work, profiles the key characters, and details the special features of each novel. She discusses the novels' relationship to the erotic literary tradition and to feminist and sexual libertarian values. She provides wonderful trivia quizzes for Roquelaure readers, and includes two chapters cut from the novel Exit to Eden.

The Science of Vampires

Since Bram Stoker's Dracula was published in 1897, the concept of the vampire has evolved from supernatural creature of the night to reluctant bloodsucker to the sympathetic vampire of today's popular culture. Featuring interviews with forensic experts, creative artists, and real-life bloodsuckers, The Science of Vampires offers a fascinating investigation into the myths and realities of the vampire, exploring every aspect of the dark force that has played host to our fears of infections, depletions, alien influence, and disease. From vampirism's roots in ancient legend, through its postmodern redefinition in contemporary films and novels, to its scientific evolution as a very real mental disorder, Ramsland proves just how immortal, enigmatic, and seductive the lure of blood can be.

The Unknown Darkness
The Unknown Darkness

A former FBI Profiler examines his most fascinating - and haunting- cases. Look for this book to be available soon.

The Anne Rice Reader - Writers Explore the Universe of Anne Rice

A collection of the most fascinating essays, articles, and interpretations of bestselling author Anne Rice's complete works, by a variety of journalists and scholars. It includes a history of vampire literature, a professional dominatrix's examination of Rice's erotica, and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film version of Interview with the Vampire.

The Human Predator: A Historical Chronicle of Serial Murder and Forensic Investigation

From ancient Rome to the 21st century, a look at human predators — and those who hunt them down. Ramsland presents a chronological analysis of serial killing in the context of specific historical periods. She aligns with this a discussion of the development of forensic science and psychology, which gradually enabled law enforcement to better identify those who commit these heinous crimes — and perhaps begin to understand their motivations.

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