Book Recommendation: The Anatomy of Motive

“There are certain crimes that are simply too cruel, too sadistic, too hideous to be forgiven.”

-John Douglas-


Publisher: Pocket Books

Reissue Edition: July 1, 2000

Page Number: 432

There are many reasons why I read this book, but the main three were to understand better the personality traits of certain small pocket of society.  The other reason was to gain insight into exactly what motivates these people as the title suggests although I had my own theories.  The last reason was to get a more intimate view of a character for a future story I want to write in the faraway future.  While I didn’t agree with everything mentioned by Douglas, most of it rang true.  He covers motives and mentalities of people who take part in school shootings, arson, poisonings, hijacking, assassinations, etc.  He posits these people are usually part of one of the following three kinds of killers: serial, mass murderer, or spree.  He speaks of narcissism, antisocial personality, violence, and escalation of sociopathic tendencies such as lack of empathy, manipulation, hostility, impulsiveness, cruelty, and instant gratification.  The flip side of this book is the detective or agent who needs to find the person(s) responsible.  He covers the who done it and why did s/he do it.  The last chapter gives you the chance to test your ability as a quasi profiler where you make a conclusion to the motive and kind of killer you’re up against.  If you like this kind of stuff, you won’t have trouble reading it.  If you don’t like this kind of stuff, why are you still reading this blog post.  It’s easy to think these kinds of people are roaming the streets in every city, but the top ten leading causes of death from WorldAtlas aren’t listed in this book.  These types of killers are few and far between so focus on your health because the top nine causes of death are all medical related except the last one of road injury.  Getting back to the book, it’s informative in many ways.


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