Last week I finished reading The Killer Across The Table, by world renowned FBI criminal profiler John Douglas (The Mindhunter) and Mark Olshaker. Douglas examines four notorious serial killers in his latest well-written and thought-provoking book.

No, I’m not talking about Ted Bundy or the BTK Strangler, though, they are briefly mentioned in the book as a comparison to Joseph Kondo, Donald Harvey, Todd Kohlepp and Joseph McGowan.


Douglas sat with each killer, interviewing and profiling them, in the mean time, striving to learn their motivations behind their behavior and desire to kill.


After twenty years at the FBI, Douglas was one of the first to begin advocating for interviewing serial killers to gain useful insights that could help him and others in shaping profiles of murders.


He practically wrote the FBI book on criminal profiling. I was amazed at how accurate and spot on his profiling could be. By just reading the police files, murder book and investigation notes, Douglas puts together a detail and accurate profile of who the police should be looking at.


I found the book to be an exhilarating read, not so much for the killers profiled, although, that was interesting too, but for Douglas’ profiling methodology.


Sitting across a killer in a cement cell would unnerve most, Douglas, on the other hand, remains calm and engaging. They trust him and want to talk to him about their lives but mostly about their kills. Time and again, in his latest book, The Killer Across The Table, pointed out that all four killers were able to blend into society and avoid suspicion. In fact, few of them were able to get away with their killing spree until they became so sloppy it was impossible not to catch them.


Donald Harvey, dubbed The Angel of Death, killed as many as seventy people. Some of his victims, he couldn’t even remember.


I was particularly interested in reading about Todd Kohlepp, whose case I had followed on TV and watched the news footage showing the container he kept his latest victim in chained for several months. He was a successful businessman, with a college degree and a daughter. Yet, when he spoke about the murders he had committed he showed no remorse.


If you are in a mood to read a shocking true crime that goes deep into the four killers’ crimes and lives, then may I suggest you pick up a copy of The Killer Across The Table out on May 7, 2019.