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Anyone You Want Me to Be
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About the Author

John E. Douglas is a former FBI special agent, the Bureau's criminal profiling pioneer and one of the creators of the Crime Classification Manual. He is currently a consultant on criminal investigative analysis and the author, with Mark Olshaker, of Journey Into Darkness, The Anatomy of Motive, The Cases That Haunt Us, and Law & Disorder, among others. Stephen Singular has authored or coauthored seventeen previous books, including numerous New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestsellers. His titles include Presumed Guilty: An Investigation into the JonBenet Ramsey Case, the Media, and the Culture of Pornography; and Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet, coauthored with legendary FBI profiler John Douglas. Formerly a staff writer for the Denver Post, he lives in Denver. Visit his website at www.stephensingular.com.

Reviews

Douglas (coauthor, Mindhunter), the father of FBI profiling, tells a story far stranger than fiction in his new book. By 1994, John Robinson-husband, father, and con artist extraordinaire-was already adept at meeting and seducing women and making them disappear forever. But when he discovered the Internet, his career really took off. Robinson was always bright and motivated but too lazy to work for a living, and so he turned to fraud to pay for his extravagant lifestyle. Soon his scams involved meeting women, offering them jobs involving travel, and then murdering them. Though five women in his employ all vanished, there was never any evidence connecting him with the crime-indeed, no evidence that they were actually dead. Only when his multiple lives overwhelmed his organizational skills did the net finally close. Douglas is more comfortable with short vignettes, and some material (particularly on child pornography) seems like padding. But the book sends a clear warning about the perils of online relations with strangers and is an important addition to all true-crime collections.-Deirdre Bray Root, Middletown P.L., OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Douglas (The Cases That Haunt Us)-criminal profiler, ex-FBI agent, true crime writer and supposedly the model for a key character in Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs- presents the sordid and horrific case of John Robinson, "the nation's-if not the world's-first Internet serial killer." A chubby middle-aged father of four with a long history as a con man, Robinson explored the local s&m underground of Kansas City while skillfully using Internet chat groups to lure sexually adventurous women to Kansas, where he killed six of them, and perhaps five more, before his arrest in 2000. Douglas's methodical pace and his careful accretion of detail to describe bizarre crimes committed by seemingly ordinary people is highly reminiscent of the work of true crime writer Ann Rule, with Douglas seeing the case as being "about sex among unglamorous people and how the Internet had unleashed so many pent-up possibilities." He also spends a lot of time describing how the proliferation of porn-related sites on the Internet has made it "the fastest-growing criminal frontier in cyberspace." While much of this is fascinating, Douglas too often breaks his tone to issue simplistic warnings to the reader ("Nobody can any longer afford to be naive when it comes to cyberspace"). Johnson, writing with journalist Singular, helpfully offers an appendix featuring "tips for helping adults and kids avoid the dangers of on-line predators." (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Publishers Weekly" Fascinating....The sordid and horrific story of John Robinson, the nation's -- if not the world's -- first Internet serial killer.
"The Washington Post" Riveting.

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