By Karl Berg
Why this book?
Berg’s groundbreaking study of Peter Kürten, a blood-drinking serial killer with a diverse variety of victims in Düsseldorf, Germany, became a classic criminology text during the 1940s. Because Berg, a pathologist, had performed the autopsies, he had a privileged perspective on the murders. He noticed the use of different weapons and did his own research as he hypothesized how the assaults were linked. Going beyond mere case analysis, Berg offered a means for other professionals to consider the psychological details in the development of extreme sexual cruelty. When Kürten was arrested, Berg spent many hours face-to-face with him in his cell, watching his excited manner as he recounted his deeds. The Sadist is one of the earliest attempts to penetrate the deviant mind of a repeat offender, told by the person with the most accurate knowledge of how the killer had treated each victim.
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