Book Review: A Killer by Design

A KILLER BY DESIGN | Ann Wolbert Burgess
12.07.2021 | Hachette Books
Rating: 4/5 stars


Lurking beneath the progressive activism and sex positivity in the 1970-80s, a dark undercurrent of violence rippled across the American landscape. With reported cases of sexual assault and homicide on the rise, the FBI created a specialized team – the “Mindhunters” better known as the Behavioral Science Unit – to track down the country’s most dangerous criminals. Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess pioneered research on sexual assault and trauma that caught the eye of this FBI team. Over two decades she helped the unit identify, interview, and track down dozens of notoriously violent offenders. 

As a true crime fan it’s always exciting when you come across a book that showcases methods and research that go into catching criminals. Criminal profiling has been fictionalized on television for years, but books like A KILLER BY DESIGN allow the general public to truly learn the history. I greatly enjoyed the background on Burgess and how she ended up working with the FBI. The explanation of her unique skill set was written in a way that made it easy to understand for the average reader. In addition to the insight we gain on the FBI and profiling, Burgess provides real examples of well-known cases to drive home to the reader how these methodologies have worked over time. A KILLER BY DESIGN is a fascinating read for any true crime fan!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

A huge thank you to Hachette for my gifted copy!

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

One thought on “Book Review: A Killer by Design

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s