Reviews for The killer's shadow The fbi's hunt for a white supremacist serial killer. [electronic resource] :

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Fast-paced tale of the search for a racist serial killer in the early days of criminal profiling. As an FBI agent and instructor, Douglas largely invented the criminal profile, a branch of psychology of the sort that fuels TV shows like NCIS and Criminal Minds. He gained a reputation for ferreting out likely perpetrators by means of patterns. For example, when a young woman was murdered in the Georgia woods, he specified a subject in his 20s, with a military record ending in a dishonorable discharge, a smug attitude, a blue-collar trade, and a dark vehicle—the last because, he and Olshaker write, “I had observed that orderly, compulsive people tended to drive darker cars.” Bingo: He perfectly described a subject whom the Georgia police had just interviewed. These skills come into play when the narrative turns to the search for the virulently racist Joseph Paul Franklin, who targeted Jews, Black men, and, more pointedly, White women who dated the latter. Sometimes his victims were Black children, targets of opportunity. “Though it still wasn’t part of the cultural lexicon,” write the authors, “by then we were already using the phrase serial killer to reference a predatory offender who killed three or more victims at different times and places.” They found Franklin also was implicated in the shootings of Larry Flynt, who published pornographic images of interracial couples, and Vernon Jordan, the civil rights leader. Douglas and Olshaker carefully lay out the trail of evidence but come to unsettling conclusions. Although such killers are marked by a sense of powerlessness and alienation, the racist murderer at the heart of this book has also inspired other killers such as Dylann Roof. As the authors write about Franklin, “his unwavering dedication to fomenting hate made him a potential inspiration and symbol to others with similar orientation.” A taut, terrifying view of White supremacy taken to murderous extremes, now all too common. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.