The Mind Of A Murderer – A true crime essential read
‘Whodunnit’ doesn’t matter so much, not to a forensic psychiatrist. We’re more interested in the ‘why’.
In his 26 years in the field, Richard Taylor has worked on well over a hundred murder cases, with victims and perpetrators from all walks of life. In this fascinating memoir, Taylor draws on some of the most tragic, horrific and illuminating of these cases – as well as dark secrets from his own family’s past – to explore some of the questions he grapples with every day:
Why do people kill?
Does committing a monstrous act make someone a monster?
Could any of us, in the wrong circumstances, become a killer?
As Taylor helps us understand what lies inside the minds of his patients, using their own words to tell their stories, he presents us with the most important challenge of all: how can we find common humanity, even in the darkest of human deeds – and why it is so vital that we try?
THE MIND OF A MURDERER is a fascinating exploration into the psyche of killers, as well as a unique insight into the life and mind of the doctor who treats them. For fans of UNNATURAL CAUSES, THE EXAMINED LIFE and ALL THAT REMAINS.
Duffy’s thoughts on The Mind Of A Murderer
If you enjoyed Mind Hunter, or, are a murderino or true crime fan, you better buckle up and buckle in for this dark and fascinating ride!
Dr Richard Taylor takes us on a journey into some of that darkest minds, sharing his career history, experience and what triggers one human to take another life. Could it be a momentary moment of psychosis? A crime of jealousy? A partner who has lost control? Or, was the evil always there, lurking, being moulded by early childhood trauma and experiences? The Mind Of A Murderer assesses many cases and killers to unpick the last moments of someone’s life, gently coaxing convicted killers to reveal the thoughts, feelings, voices and urges that triggered their horrific crimes.
Why is forensic psychology so important?
London’s Metropolitan Police solve over 90% of murder case files which land on their desks. Pretty impressive. This gives forensic psychologists like Dr Richard Taylor plenty of case studies and subjects to study. This is important work. You may be in the camp that says ‘don’t give these evil people any more air time, just lock them up and throw away the key.’ However, by delving into the darkness, profiles can be built and improvements made in mental health care to prevent tragic endings and remove those who are a danger and place them in treatment before they kill.
Dr Richard Taylor tells it like it is, so be prepared to read things that may keep you up at night. Even a banal clue which becomes the undoing of a killer seems particularly dark and unsettling. Such as serial killer Anthony Hardy. He remembered to collect his Nectar Points at the check out when purchasing materials to dispose of his victim’s bodies.
The Mind Of A Murderer also reveals what it’s like for people who work with killers and those that are highly mentally disturbed. How do you switch from interviewing a terrorist such as Abu Hamza and to having dinner with your partner and children a couple of hours later?
I devoured this book. Whilst it was hard to read at times due to the subject matter, it was fascinating and an essential read for anyone interested in forensics and true crime.