This book is a must read for any mystery and true crime novel aficionado. The page and a half introduction pulled me in so successfully that I didn’t put down the book again until I was over halfway through.
‘The Profiler: My Life Hunting Serial Killers and Psychopaths,’ written by Profiler Pat Brown with Bob Andelman, is the best true story crime book I’ve ever read. And with all the books I read, using the word ‘best’ is really saying something.
Admittedly, I don’t go out of my way to read true crime books, but when three relatives are crime novel junkies, these books seem to find me anyway. True crime novels usually don’t do much for me. They’re frequently depressing, but real, and I have always thought that as a reader of the typical true crime novel that really what’s important is to be a witness to these kinds of tragic true life stories.
Pat Brown’s book however is refreshingly different. Pat Brown was originally a stay-at-home Mom, who inadvertently stumbled into Criminal Profiling when she had a possible serial killer actually living in her house! The entire story of how she tried to bring the man to justice, and, to all appearances, failing in that endeavor, is extremely thought provoking and suggests inadequacies in the current ways crime is investigated.
In the book, Pat Brown explains how she became known as a Profiler, and goes into detail about many different cases. The tone of the book is that of a smart, honest, and an extremely empathetic woman who feels strongly about helping victims learn the truth of what happened, and if possible, assist them in getting justice.
One of the cases Pat talks about is one of ‘Sarah.’ Sarah was a young military woman who was badly sexually assaulted and killed. The original theory was that it involved a drug deal gone bad, and involved a local gang.
The family had questions though. This didn’t make any sense to them. Their off-duty military daughter – involved in a drug deal? What kind of local gang would she have run into?
As Pat Brown starts profiling the case, I found myself internally arguing with her. “That doesn’t prove it’s a van – it could still be a military vehicle – or what about a station wagon, or a jeep? ” Her methodology is so interesting that whether you’re convinced or not that she found the right person, you can see all the steps she took to get there.
And as most of the stories go, the reader may gradually feel discouraged by the number of unsolved crimes that continue out there.
If there is a fault to this book, it is that there seem to be very minor leaps without giving the reader enough information. However, 90% of the time you do get the information and can join Pat Brown in following the criminal’s tracks, completely losing yourself in these fascinating cases.