Book: Base Instincts: What Makes Killers Kill?

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Book:

Base Instincts: What Makes Killers Kill?

Author: Jonathan H. Pincus, M.D.
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Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company

A groundbreaking exploration of the origins of violent behavior. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Andrew Cunnanen—these notorious killers shocked the world with horrifying stories of rampant murder and abuse. Neurologist Jonathan Pincus probed the lives of numerous serial killers and other violent criminals to find out what triggers the violent instinct. Working with psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis, he investigated their family backgrounds and medical history, discovering that virtually all the murderers themselves suffered severe abuse as children, which permanently damaged their developing brains. In these gripping, terrifying stories, Dr. Pincus finds that violent criminal behavior cannot be attributed solely to genetics—rather, it is the catastrophic product of a brain that may be predisposed to violence by neurologic damage and mental illness coupled with an abusive environment. Focusing on these critical factors, how can we identify potentially violent persons from a young age before the damage becomes irrevocable? How can we rehabilitate violent criminals and at the same time safeguard against their committing future crimes?

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