Signature Killers – Robert D. Keppel & William J. Birnes

Robert Keppel is a former Detective who was involved in the cases of Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgeway (The Green River Killer) amongst others. This book details what makes signature killers different as well as the various different types of signature killers.

Regular readers of my blog will know I love true crime, especially books like this that go into the psychology of what makes people kill and what drives signature killers to perform their signature acts over and over on each victim. This book is quite detailed and is split so that each chapter deals with a different type of signature killer.

Keppel does touch on Bundy’s crimes and a little on the Green River Killer but doesn’t go into a massive amount of detail on those cases. For me, the most famous killer he covers in any detail here is Jeffrey Dahmer so if you’re looking for a book that covers the more well known cases this is probably not the book for you but I enjoyed learning about cases that were different from other books I’ve read on the subject and Keppel is obviously extremely knowledgable.

True crime books for me are more scary than any horror novels. The gruesome details about what these killers do to their victims and how they get their victims into a position to be killed is frankly quite terrifying, especially when you think that these are real people who at one point were walking around amongst everybody else and nobody knew their secret.

There are a great many true crime books out there but many are written by people with no first hand knowledge of the crimes they’re writing about; with the exception of Michelle McNamara’s “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” I find I usually prefer books written by people with a connection to the crimes, mainly law enforcement, because I feel you’re getting more first hand information rather than an author’s interpretation of the information they have dug up.

I would recommend this as a good solid book for anyone looking to start their journey into the true crime genre and would also be of interest to people who have already read a lot of true crime as I do think it covers different cases than most others and provides good insight.


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Filed under Non-Fiction Reviews 2018

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