The Psychopath Whisperer

The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience by Kent A. Kiehl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I supposedly read this in 2014, but I have no memory of doing so. It may be that “rereading” this after seven years of schooling myself on psychopathy and true crime in general just made my brain take in the information differently.

Something in my reaction changed, certainly, because I gave this three stars in 2014, and this time around I was fascinated by Kiehl’s experiences and conclusions. If there is any flaw to the book, it is that Kiehl writes with a certain academic didacticness, but this is a guy writing to inform and persuade, not entertain. Still, if the question of “Why?” is what drove you to view and read true crime to begin with, this is an engaging read.

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by Dave Cullen

This was excellent. It based its portrayal not just on the facts of the events, but the facts of the emotional lives of the souls involved on all sides, even those whose claim to having a soul was tenuous. It made sense of the chaos with the benefit of a decade of hindsight and sought to teach the reader about the complexity behind every case of mass shootings we lump together as an epidemic of the same repeated tragedy. They’re not. I’ll admit morbid curiosity got me to read this, but I came away understanding a lot more about human reaction to the inexplicable. My only critique is it got a little long and dragged out towards the end.