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The Killer’s Shadow
The FBI’s Hunt for a White Supremacist Serial Killer
BY John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

William Morrow Dey St
November 17, 2020/ ISBN 9780062979766
Nonfiction / True Crime

Reviewed by Jen Oliver-Rigsby


The Killer’s Shadow allows readers an inside look at how John Douglas, legendary FBI profiler, came to help profile Joseph Paul Franklin and how accurate his initial profile was after meeting this serial killer. Franklin went around the country forty years ago and killed people due to his beliefs of how whites and blacks should not mix. Franklin went beyond what KKK and other white supremacist groups have done.

The Killer’s Shadow is not set up like most other true crime novels. It does not give all of the details of Franklin’s crime and then the pursuit of finding him. Instead it focuses more on how Douglas profiled Franklin and how accurate that profile was. Douglas states that even the profiling was done differently because he was provided with Franklin’s information. For most cases, he is given the details of the crime(s) and then asked to create a profile about who might have been the culprit. Douglas and Olshaker intertwine other cases they have worked on throughout, which adds to complexity of the FBI profiler team.

As a fan of true crime and an interest in forensic psychology, I found The Killer’s Shadow to be a different and more realistic take on true crime novels. Anyone who is interested in the field, should pick this up and look at a case from one of the original FBI profilers. What is scary is that people like Franklin still exist in today’s world.

Reviewed 2020