Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind Is Designed to Kill

Version: Unabridged
Author: David M. Buss
Narrator: Michael Prichard
Genres: Non-Fiction, True Crime, Psychology, Social Science
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published In: September 2005
# of Units: 9 CDs
Length: 11 hours
Ratings:
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Overview

As acclaimed psychological researcher and author David Buss writes, "People are mesmerized by murder. It commands our attention like no other human phenomenon, and those touched by its ugly tendrils never forget." Though we may like to believe that murderers are pathological misfits and hardened criminals, the vast majority of murders are committed by people who, until the day they kill, would seem to be perfectly normal.

David Buss's pioneering work has made major national news in the past, and this provocative book is sure to generate a storm of attention. The Murderer Next Door is a riveting look into the dark underworld of the human psyche- an astonishing exploration of when and why we kill and what might push any one of us over the edge. A leader in the innovative field of evolutionary psychology, Buss conducted an unprecedented set of studies investigating the underlying motives and circumstances of murders, from the bizarre outlier cases of serial killers to those of the friendly next-door neighbor who one day kills his wife.

Reporting on findings that are often startling and counterintuitive-the younger woman involved in a love triangle is at a high risk of being killed-he puts forth a bold new general theory of homicide, arguing that the human psyche has evolved specialized adaptations whose function is to kill. Taking readers through the surprising twists and turns of the evolutionary logic of murder, he explains exactly when each of us is most at risk, both of being murdered and of becoming a murderer. His findings about the high-risk situations alone will be news making.

Featuring gripping storytelling about specific murder cases-including a never used FBI file of more than 400,000 murders and a highly detailed study of 400 murders conducted by Buss in collaboration with a forensic psychiatrist, and a pioneering investigation of homicidal fantasies in which Buss found that 91 percent of men and 84 percent of women have had at least one such vivid fantasy-The Murderer Next Door will be necessary reading for those who have been fascinated by books on profiling, lovers of true crime and murder mysteries, as well as readers intrigued by the inner workings of the human mind.

Based on a wealth of groundbreaking research, a leading psychologist's fascinating investigation of why we are all "wired to kill"

Reviews (3)

Good selection if you lack common sense

Written by Andrew Scafidi on May 4th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Much of the book covers thoughts that people have about killing others as opposed to actual acts of murder, and I didn't find it to be a very scholarly work. There's nothing new here, and most of the material is just common sense. Yes, most people have at some time in their lives thought about killing someone such as a rapist, terrorist, murderer, etc., but most people don't act out on those thoughts. It didn't take studies or a rather lengthy book to bring this to light.

Not worth your time

Written by Margaret Scheller on February 12th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 1/5

Repetition is what fills this book. People murder because they want sex and to procreate. This is stated ad nauseum. This book is simply the author's explanation of his study, his opinion, not an in depth look into profiling or true crime. Only listened to the first 2 discs.

murderer next door

Written by Karen Rader from Bangor, PA on August 7th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 2/5

i was unaware that this was a documentary type book. i was truly unhappy with the book. i only listened to the first two tracks.

Author Details

Author Details

Buss, David

David M. Buss received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkley in 1981. He began his career in academics at Harvard, later moving to the University of Michigan before accepting his current position as Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas. His primary research interests include human sexuality, mating strategies, conflict between the sexes, homicide, stalking, and sexual victimization. The author of more than 200 scientific articles and 6 books, Buss has won numerous awards including the "American Psychological Association (APA) Distinguished Scientific Award for Ea

Buss, David M.

David M. Buss, one of the founders of the field of evolutionary psychology, is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of several books, including The Evolution of Desire and The Dangerous Passion.