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Publisher's Summary

In the number-one New York Times best seller Mindhunter, John Douglas, who headed the FBI's elite Investigative Support Unit, told the story of his brilliant and terrifying career tracking down some of the most heinous criminals in history. Now, in Journey into Darkness, Douglas profiles vicious serial killers, rapists, and child molesters. He is straightforward, blunt, often irreverent, and outspoken, but takes pains not to glorify any of these murderers. 

Some of the unique cases Douglas discusses include:

  • The Clairemont killer
  • The schoolgirl murders
  • Richmond's first serial murderer
  • The brutal and sadistic murder of Suzanne Marie Collins
  • Polly Klaas' abduction and murder by Richard Allen Davis
  • The tragedy that lead to the creation of Megan's Law

With Journey into Darkness, Douglas provides more than a glimpse into the minds of serial killers; he demonstrates what a powerful weapon behavioral science has become. Profiling criminals helps not only to capture them, but also helps society understand how these predators work and what can be done to prevent them from striking again. Douglas focuses especially on pedophiles and child abductors, fully explaining what drives them and how to keep children away from them. As he points out, "The best way to protect your children is to know your enemy." He includes eight rules for safety, a list of steps parents can take to prevent child abduction and exploitation, tips on how to detect sexual exploitation, basic rules of safety for children, and a chart, based on age, that details the safety skills children should have to protect themselves.

In his review for Mindhunter in The New York Times Book Review, Dean Koontz said, "Because of his insights and the power of the material, he leaves us shaken, gripped by a quiet grief for the innocent victims and anguished by the human condition." Journey into Darkness continues this perilous trip into the psyche of the serial killer, but also offers a glimmer of hope that profiling may enable law enforcement to see the indicators of a serial killer's mind and intervene before he kills or kills again. 

©1997 John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about Journey into Darkness

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Great book hate the narrator

The book is great but who ever read this book need to do something else it drove me crazy

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Difficult subject, but we'll worth looking into..

Narrator was very engaging, great voice well aligned with subject matter. Crime and punishment two opposites that unfortunately too often come together and often the second does not match severity of the first. Difficult and challenging carrier that cost the author much health loss and pain, but his passion to stop the evil is well appreciated at least on my end. Great read, I would recommend it to everybody who has interests in human mind and justice.

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It's fine but pick a topic

I'm a huge fan of his books but this one missed the mark for me. It felt very disjointed and like I was reading sections of several different books. He starts with a rape/murder then diverts to child targeting offenders and child safety before jumping back to the original case in minute detail before raging about the criminal justice system then discusses the OJ Simpson trial and finishes off with his views on capital punishment and criminal justice reform. I had a hard time staying focused when it felt all over the place.
I'd recommend spending your money elsewhere, his other books are more cohesive.

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Repetitive with Mind Hunter...

The narrator was ok. a few times I felt the need to forward as it was already published in the Mind Hunter book.
Otherwise, the book is okay.

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  • Adam
  • 2019-10-21

I returned this book because it disturbed me

I rarely ever return books. I think this is only the second one I've ever returned. I listened to about half this book and decided I simply couldn't finish it. The details and crimes are too disturbing and I no longer wanted to think about them. I have absolutely no problem with gory or explicit content in fiction because I know it isn't real. It never, ever bothers me to read or watch a violent book, or video game, or movie. It never gets in my head. It turns out that isn't the case for me for true crime. I find the details of violent crimes, especially violent crimes against children, too disturbing and can't deal with it. I found that listening to this book made my mood dark, depressed me, and I had trouble getting to sleep. I simply couldn't continue. Just be advised that this book contains graphic descriptions of sadistic violent crimes and not everyone can handle that. I know now that I can't.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Moranda Haines
  • 2018-11-13

4th best JD/MO book but worth the credit.

love John Douglas and his Co authored books by mark olshaker.

these 3 are slightly better:
Mindhunter
BTK
Obsession

11 people found this helpful

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  • leelee8888
  • 2019-01-30

Your typical John E Douglas.

It really starts to get redundant when the first 1/3 of all his books is his rise to fame for birthing the criminal profiler term instead of really interesting cases and details surrounding them. I want detailed cases , ones I have not heard . Why is that so much to ask from a criminal profiler? How and why are they recycling the same cases over and over?

19 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer B
  • 2020-03-22

Captivating

If you enjoy Mindhunter or any other of John Douglas’s books, you will enjoy this one. Interesting and at times disturbing.

4 people found this helpful

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  • DCNow2014
  • 2018-11-11

Starts strong but goes off course

I've always been fascinated by the FBI Behavioral Science Unit and the criminal profilers, including John Douglas. The book starts strong with interesting, albeit horrifying, cases. A little over half-way through the book, however, Douglas goes on and on about the legal system, victims rights, etc. I've been the victim of crime and had a family member murdered (a police officer, no less), but I'm not terribly interested in Douglas ranting about how the legal system favors the accused/convicted over victims.

Beyond the story, I was quite disappointed with the narrator. A bit too folksy for my tastes.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Unapologetic
  • 2021-01-24

Excellent narration and informative analysis

Ever wonder or had an unsettling feeling about a stranger on a playground, or children’s play area in a mall?

Perhaps a delivery person gave you a “creepy” feeling.

Our mind has an innate built in threat detector. This book is provides methods and analysis to help us normal folks decipher the “why”. Why we get that feeling. Book is based on some real evil that was researched by Special Agent Douglas and his peers. As disturbing it was to go through the boom, I felt resilient and educated not only about the evil in the book but more importantly the victims. I feel and see the victims and their families in a very different light. The suffering and pain as immense as it can be, because of people like John Douglas there is hope. LEO like John are out there hunting the predators and learning to better their skills.

Thank you for service Special Agent Douglas. God Bless you and others who fight daily to keep us safe and hunt down the evil to deliver justice.

1 person found this helpful

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  • IndyMcDuff
  • 2020-12-02

Truth is ugly

We would all like to think that things have happy endings. But they do not. The stories, or rather retelling of the facts
contained within this book or not pleasant they are not something you would wanna listen to with your youngest children. But still you should listen because from every story there are massive lessons to be learned. Whether we are white black green orange redOr sky blue pink . We are all in this together we have to look out for each other we have to protect each other we have to keep an eye out in our neighborhoods and beyond. The narrator was wonderful the stories at times heartbreaking, but still something that needs to be heard I would suggest you have your older children listen to this (what I said was yourOlder children) but I am paralyzed and have to rely on speech to text. This book is well worth the price listen to it and learn, especially if you are a police officer or a first responder.

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  • talyn
  • 2020-11-05

Captivating

I can't get enough of John E Douglass books! great narration and performance. This is a book I will listen to again.

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  • nathan flack
  • 2020-06-25

Awesome

John always has great books. I will highly recommend anything he writes to anybody. Just know that some details can be graphic.

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  • Steph
  • 2020-01-30

what a mess

just a hodge podge of several subjects. one is the story of a guy who brutally raped a woman. then we move on to profiling. This is the good stuff. then he goes into child safety. then there was more about the woman who was murdered in the first story. then a never ending chronicling of a rapist murderer. then the oj simpson case then his views on capital punishment. what a mess.

1 person found this helpful