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Profiles in Murder:
"Profiler" Russell Vorpagel looks back at a career that encompasses some of the most horrific crimes in the FBI's files. The gruesome accounts throughout the book--from the former mental patient who eviscerated his victims and drank their blood because he believed that his own blood was turning to powder, to the middle-aged woman found half-naked amid strewn sex toys in a burning house--are held together by the framework of a class taught by Vorpagel to students (including police officers, FBI agents, and attorneys) trying to learn more about how he and other FBI profilers analyze a crime scene and determine, with sometimes frightening accuracy, what sort of person did it. The techniques used by Vorpagel and his associates allow them to determine the age, sex, race, physical appearance, and habits of some of the most deranged killers so accurately that several suspects have been identified based almost exclusively on their profiles. The book is a fascinating and often disturbing glimpse into the minds of people who kill for reasons most of us can't even fathom. --Lisa Higgins [via]