Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert K. Ressler

Whoever Fights Monsters

Face-to-face with some of America's most terrifying killers, FBI veteran and ex-Army CID colonel Robert Ressler learned form then how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us--and put them behind bars. Now the man who coined the phrase "serial killer" and advised Thomas Harris on The Silence of the Lambs shows how is able to track down some of today's most brutal murderers.Just as it happened in The Silence of the Lambs, Ressler used th...

Details Whoever Fights Monsters

TitleWhoever Fights Monsters
Release DateMar 15th, 1993
PublisherSt. Martin's Paperbacks
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery, Psychology

Reviews Whoever Fights Monsters

  • Jackie
    An interesting enough book, but I found myself frequently distracted by the desire to make an armchair diagnosis of the author himself, who spent a good 10% of the book either patting himself on the back via cheesy quotes from letter of commendation, or digressing into the settling of petty scores over past slights. (For example, he spends a good page-and-a-half explaining why he was late for his orientation as a new FBI agent, why it wasn't his ...
  • Sara
    I’ve read a few of these FBI non fiction murder books now, most noticeably Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, which I found more interesting than this. Unfortunately I found Robert Ressler not as charismatic as Douglas in his examination and explanation of various cases - although his knowledge is undeniable. He’s just a bit more sedate and academically inclined compared to Douglas’ more sensationalist approach. I will sa...
  • ElphaReads
    So I guess I'm on a true crime kick at the moment. Thanks, MY FAVORITE MURDER podcast! It's like I'm sixteen again. This time I read WHOEVER FIGHTS MONSTERS by Robert Ressler, an FBI agent and profiler that has spoken and worked with numerous notorious serial killers over the years. I think that the character of Jack Crawford from THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is based off of him as well, but don't quote me on that. I got this book on ILL through the ...
  • Mariah Roze
    This book was suggested to me by a friend because I really enjoyed the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit and my friend did not disappoint! This was a fantastic read and it only took me 1 day to read it all :)"Face-to-face with some of America's most terrifying killers, FBI veteran and ex-Army CID colonel Robert Ressler learned form then how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us--and put them behind bars. Now t...
  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    Audio # 26Beginning in the 70s with the infamous Ted Bundy and ending in the 90s with Jeffrey Dahmer, this is the tale of the burgeoning BSU and the man who made friends with some of the most notorious killers the USA has known. Certain cases are studied and details are provided on how criminal profiles were developed. This book is a bit dated. At the end one realizes Gacy and Dahmer were still alive; Harris had just released Silence of the Lambs...
  • Tess Taylor
    3- Robert Ressler was an FBI agent who spent the majority of his career profiling murderers. His claim to fame is that he coined the term "serial killer." During his time at the bureau, he worked on many of the top crime cases and interviewed many of the most notorious humans of the 20th century. His career is fascinating, but I found his autobiography to be lackluster. I wanted (and expected) to like Whoever Fights Monsters, but I had a hard tim...
  • Katherine Addison
    This is exactly what it says on the tin: Ressler's memoir of being an FBI profiler. He talks about a great many murderers, and has a wonderfully practical, commonsense style, both in writing and in his approach to analyzing homicidal psychotics and psychopaths. In his hands, the "organized/disorganized" schema makes sense and is a useful analytical tool. (He bemoans the fact that all his students want a checklist, a black box they can put their d...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    Whoever Fights Monsters was disturbing as heck but incredibly detailed and well-written, definitely worth reading if you're a fan of true crime, behavioral analysis, police procedural or psychology.
  • Arun Divakar
    There is a friend of mine who is fascinated with the whole concept of serial killers and we have had long conversations about this topic. A few questions we endlessly debate are : What factors create a serial killer ? Why is society so fascinated with them ? For all their morbid and brutal history, why do people flock to read true crime books, fictional accounts and movies about these characters ? Even after brooding over this for a while now, we...
  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    This is a really interesting one because I've read Douglas's memoir about it and watched Mindhunter. Overall, I like Ressler better. Douglas is a bit outlandish, for me, but Ressler shows the science of it and how they did the research, along with exactly how they had to wine and dine to make sure they got the funding they needed. It's an interesting book full of cases -- some I've heard of, some I haven't -- that highlight what he's interested i...
  • Andre Dumas
    I literally could not put this book down..AND at the same time wanted to read it slowly so that it would never end. For a lot of people this will seem weird as the book is very gruesome and terrifying but I just found it pretty damn interesting.Whoever Fights Monsters details Robert Ressler's career with the FBI in his revolutionary quest to fine tune the process of profiling serial killers. If you're not familiar with Ressler then just know this...
  • Jessica
    Woefully dated opinions and attitudes abound this book. He utilizes the completely ridiculous body type analysis and even says that while this method of psychology/physiology is no longer considered valid he feels it has it’s value. He spends a lot of pages blaming mothers for creating the serial killers he talks about in this book, while he does briefly touch upon the fathers role it is clear that he feels it is the female’s duty and respons...
  • Leksa
    This is a hard book to review. On the one hand, it was completely fascinating and the author's experience and expertise was a totally new perspective for me.On the other hand, the author is not very likeable from a modern and liberal standpoint. A couple asides about gay relationships and women making false rape accusations both left a bad taste in my mouth. He places a ton of weight upon confessions extracted under intense questioning, referenci...
  • Steve Parcell
    Simply astounding insight in to the mind of a FBI profiler who helped catch guys like Bundy. Yet Ressler is a fascinating individual who although emotionally affected by what he has seen and who he has interviewed still maintains an aura of calm. I can imagine him chatting to a Bundy or a Dahmer as he has discussing murder rather like you would be chatting to a friend. Awesome
  • Kai
    While some aspects of this work have become outdated in the twenty-odd years since it was published, it still deserves its spot as one of the foundational works in criminal profiling. Ressler offers almost unsettling levels of insight into criminal minds without any of the sensationalism that creeps into many criminology works.
  • Lynda Kelly
    A great book from a guy who's always been dead close to the "action" if you like, and knows all the ins and outs of a lot of serial murders.
  • Brien
    There was some good information and some interesting stories in this book. But most of it was the author patting himself on the back. That got boring pretty quickly.
  • Lisa
    I don’t know how I’d never heard of this book before. First hearing about it on My Favourite Murder, I’d already read and loved Mindhunter, by Robert K Ressler’s sometime partner John Douglas. Having loved that, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Whoever Fights Monsters was even better.Robert K Ressler was the FBI agent who pretty much started the whole profiling ball rolling, when he took it upon himself to start interviewing some o...
  • Nancy Brady
    Creepy and fascinating...the tales told from the perspective of Robert K. Ressler, an FBI agent who tracked down multiple serial killers by profiling them. His interviews and insights into the minds of those convicted of serial killings. Knowing the difference between organized and disorganized serial killers was truly insightful. This took me months to read as the shudder factor was too strong, and I had to look away and read something light in ...
  • Eve
    DOPE!!!!!to all my fellow criminal minds , dateline , and law & order SVU junkies out there - this one is for you. (PS totally watching mindhunter now)
  • AC
    In addition to many interesting and morbid details, this book contains (in ch. 4) a profound and insightful ‘deep-dive’ into the inner workings of serial mind. It will be of interest to anyway trying to understand the nature of psychopaths of whatever sort. Ressler also explains the meaning of the term ‘serial killer’, which he coined — not simply a numerical series, but an evolutive series in which fantasy and act develop into an ever ...
  • Katie
    Interesting but clearly dated. I found myself chuckling every time the author said something like “as of 1993…” The book makes a distinction between organized and disorganized murderers and the different traits between each. The rest of the book focuses on the actions of various serial killers such as Edmund Kemper and John Wayne Gacy.Recommended for those who like Mindhunter on Netflix or are interested in learning more about criminal prof...
  • Colona Public Library
    I've recently discovered I enjoy true crime. I finished all of Buzzfeed's Unsolved Series and It's pretty funny and they have some light takes and jokes about unsolved crimes and mysteries. This book is a bit more heavy. If you enjoy true crime I recommend it highly, otherwise if you are sensitive to violent subjects or have a weak stomach I would skip. I've never heard of Robert K. Ressler before this book, which is surprising because it sounds ...
  • Lady ♥ Belleza
    This is another of those books that has been on my to-read list for a long time. As noted above, Robert Ressler has been tracking serial killers with the FBI for 20 years and his experience shows. He is rather humble and admits that ‘Profilers don’t catch killers. Cops catch killers.’ Profiling is just a tool to help them.This book is part auto-biography and part the history of profiling. The auto-biography part is not extensive, just enoug...
  • Forrest
    "It's surprising how many murderers are (sexually) aroused by the fantasy and act of murder by itself." Robert K. Ressler, FBI Criminal Profiling Expert, 1988A very interesting and horrifying peak into the minds of serial killers, particularly the worst of the worst. I learned a lot about killers I had never heard about until now. Everyone has heard of Manson, Ted Bundy, and the most recent in this book, Jeffrey Dahmer. But some of these others w...
  • Rachel
    this was a pretty fascinating book. there is a lot of information on individual serial killers and their stories, from the eyes of the man who started the behavioral science unit within the fbi. although sometimes he writes in a little bit of a big-headed way, the information and stories he presents are very interesting to read. the main problem is that it is outdated: it was published in 1991, and he talks about things such as jeffery dahmer, wh...
  • k. willows
    This book encompasses 90% of my fascination with True Crime, as it deals primarily with the psychology of serial killers. Ressler, a real life Will Graham, chronicles his interviews with notorious criminals as well as some ideas about how they turned out that way. My biggest issue with this book was Ressler's ego - there were some sections and anecdotes that were unnecessarily defensive and seemed to serve no greater purpose but to build up Ressl...
  • Casey
    Pretty interesting. About a man that made a study of serial killers (in fact he's the one that coined the phrase). He breaks down the different kinds of killers; organized or disorganized, and what it takes to fit into each catigory. He goes through some case studies and bits of the interviews, how the men will still try to control and manipulate.It's and older book and I found myself checking up on some of the guys and what's happening with them...
  • David
    While this book is over 20 years old, it's still an excellent read and a look into the real life of an FBI profiler. Ressler is the man who coined the term "Serial Killer" and helped create the ViCAP program. His insights into serial killers both well-known and more obscure are fascinating, as is his portrait of working for the FBI.