In basement offices three stories below the ground at the FBI's Academy in Quantico, Virginia, former Supervisory Agent Gregg McCrary was among the first generation of the most elite force for criminal investigation in the world.
In The Unknown Darkness, McCrary takes the reader behind the crime scene to examine in raw first–person close–up the lethal competition between America's most dangerous predators and the dedicated souls who pledge to put them away. McCrary's 25 years in the Bureau have yielded over 1000 cases to draw upon. The 10 he describes in the book reveal the strengths and pitfalls of modern criminal investigation.
McCrary is not afraid to answer the questions most often skirted by the others: what happens at the crime scene, what kind of person does it take to grapple with the serial killers among us, and exactly how do we disarm the enemy?
In a book that combines engrossing writing with seasoned insight, McCrary, a 25-year veteran of the FBI and a former criminal profiler in the bureau's renowned behavioral science unit, has teamed up with Ramsland, a forensic psychologist and writer, to produce a detailed account of criminal investigative analysis. Describing 10 cases that provoked frenzied storms of media attention in their time-including the kidnapping, videotaped torture and murder of 15-year-old Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy; the senseless massacre of Buddhist monks in Arizona; and the case of Jack Unterweger, a celebrated Austrian writer, who killed numerous prostitutes while vividly covering the story of the murders in the local media-the book offers plenty of shockingly grisly and strange details to fascinate and horrify. But McCrary's levelheaded professionalism and consummate expertise elevates his work above the throng. His refreshingly honest assessment of the standoff between FBI agents and David Koresh's Branch Davidians in Waco, Tex., profiles what he casts as the "groupthink" psychology and self-righteousness that propelled both sides toward calamity, exposing the many similarities shared by bureaucratic and fanatic mentalities. And while his analysis of the famous case of Dr. Sam "The Fugitive" Shepard is less action-jammed than the versions fictionalized on television and in film, it is a worthy exposition. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.