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Their Crimes


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Book Excerpt: 

[3] We have not found this fact recorded in the Commission's Reports. It was told to us, on his return from captivity, by Dr. Marlier, of the 20th Corps, taken prisoner at Morhange, and Dr. Marlier is the soul of honour.


In order to punish imaginary crimes, attributed to individuals or townships, or without even taking the trouble to discover any kind of pretext, the Germans often, especially after looting, set everything on fire so as to make all traces disappear. Sometimes, as at Courtaçon, they compelled the inhabitants to provide the material for burning their own houses; or, as at Recquignies, forced prisoners "to set the houses of the doctor and mayor on fire with lighted straw." But generally they do the work themselves. They have a special service for this, and all the requisite incendiary material is carefully prepared; torches, grenades, fuses, oil pumps, firebrands, satchels of pastilles containing very in. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is my least favorite profiling book so far. I appreciated that Vorpagel covered all types of profiling, especially death scene investigation: figuring out if a death was a murder, suicide, or accident. That was a different dimension from the books I've read by Hazelwood and Douglas (aside fr...more

I read this out of curiosity for how profiling became a part of catching serial murderers, etc. The curiosity started, of course, when watching Silence of the Lambs, but was further fanned watching Criminal Minds and other such TV shows. If you are at all interested in the process of FBI profilin...more

As you may be aware, internets, I do enjoy a good serial killer book. I've read a few profiling books at this point, and I must say I liked this one quite a bit, but I can see why others may not have. Vorpagel (or really, the as-told-by guy, Harrington) has a very dry and clinical style, and the...more

Loved the epilogue and wish it had been the intro. Reading what Vorpagel is trying to accomplish in the coroner system, justice system, etc makes it easier to understand the case studies. Very interesting book about profiling and it is education. It makes me not want to upset anyone since approx...more

This book was interesting and I'm glad I read it, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted it to be. It is written in the form of a class that Russell Vorpagel gives to a group of "students" only 4 of whom actually speak to him. It's all very contrived and the students are stereotypic of their profess...more

Just finished reading this book, id have to say iv'e learned a lot about Profiles in Murder, and how people can be as normal as a EMT driver who has decent jobs without not one criminal record turns out to be serial killers. I do recommend this book for you readers out there, it really opened my...more

"A profile is like an Impressionist painting - hundreds of little strokes, none of them individually significant, create a meaningful picture en masse."

Russell Vorpagel's (another FBI profiler) account of several muders and an insightful look into those who committed them. Written almost like a fictional storyline, this was entertaining and easy-to-read.

** Yet another FBI profiler's book on the subject. This one is the worst of those I've read. It's interesting but the writing/story is pretty boring. There's just not enough information given... on the crimes; on the analysis; on the conclusions.

I was eager to learn about Richard Trenton Chase, as it was the first thing that stood out to me when I looked at the back cover of this book. There's little on him compared to other serial killers but he is pretty famous for being disorganized and not being classified insane while in court, even...more

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