Whoever Fights Monsters: A Book Review

Whoever Fights Monsters
Whoever Fights Monsters

The last Monday of each month will be Book Review Day here at Curiouser Editing. Whoever Fights Monsters is the true story of Robert Ressler’s twenty years in the FBI as a psychological profiler of serial killers.

Ressler takes credit for coining the term “serial killer.” He also takes credit for advising Thomas Harris on The Silence of the Lambs, for pushing the act of profiling, and for being better than any of his colleagues at his job.

Quite frankly, there isn’t much that Ressler doesn’t take credit for. I do not think I have ever read a book written by such a narcissistic author. Ressler loves himself, and he loves his awards (that he mentions in every chapter). I find him to be redundant, as well.

Now that I got the negativity out of the way, I want to point out how eye-opening this book was for me. I believe there is so much truth to what Ressler said about the personalities of these vicious killers. Take Ted Bundy, for instance. The man was witty, outgoing, charming, and even handsome. Every person wanted to be Bundy’s friend. He was highly intelligent.

He was also an animal. The man killed dozens of people. A brilliant personality cannot mask the villain inside. Bundy used his charismatic personality to win over followers to do his dirty work. He used his personality to capture women and kill them. His personality was his greatest skill.

What I also found fascinating was the in-depth explanation of how profiling works. It was shocking to me how well he and his colleagues could profile these serial killers. Contrary to what most people think about profiling, it wasn’t all about race. It was mainly geared toward the killer’s personality, his hygiene, and his family life. These profilers can tell how the killer likes his eggs—scrambled or boiled. That’s really not that much of an exaggeration.

While I learned about the personalities of these killers and the types of victims each one goes for, I do want to caution the reader. If you do not have a strong stomach, I would highly suggest leaving this one on the shelf. This book is about interviewing Edmund Kemper, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, and Sirhan Sirhan. The reading is grisly from beginning to end.

I give this book 3.5 stars.