The Psychopath Whisperer

 Kent Kiehl, Ph.D.

Kiehl’s strikes an excellent balance in his book on psychopath research. Packed with stories of his encounters with the psychopaths he studied in prisons and hospitals, he also explains the science and reasoning in his research. His findings are incredible. Kiehl is clearly fascinated and dedicated to his subject, what causes psychopathology and can the crimes it causes be prevented. Helped along the way by numerous educational institutions, prisons, politicians and assistants, Kiehl is also refreshingly thankful and lavishes praise on all who helped.

By far, the most interesting bits of the book are on interviews with the psychopaths he studied. Some were of the charming and manipulative variety, others vicious and out to shock.  Still others, like serial killer Brian Dugan, were flatly unemotional, seemingly inhuman.

I certainly hope Kiehl writes a follow-up book or two.  I’d love to hear if he followed the “careers” of some of his first interviewees. I’d like to know if the psychologist who misdiagnosed killer Chris Gribble and told him he was a psychopath was ever disciplined or disbarred.  I’d also love to some more information on some of the fascinating hooks Kiehl mentions – do heredity and genetics affect psychopathology?  Why are so many more men?

An excellent read with enough science to explain the research, without overwhelming the layperson. Plus lots of fascinating stories and comparison case studies.