Leading Authority on Violence in Contemporary Society Speaks at Mount Union

April 13, 2010


Former director of the FBI's Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, coiner of the phrase "serial killer" and international best-selling author Robert Ressler spoke at Mount Union College Thursday, September 25.




Robert Ressler

Robert Ressler


Ressler, considered the world's leading authority on violence in contemporary society, is the acknowledged true-life hero of the movie "Silence of the Lambs." The hit television series "The X-Files" was inspired by Ressler's work at the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit.

Ressler, who spent 20 years working for the FBI, discussed the investigations of some of the most notorious serial killers, including Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and David Berkowitz, many of which he was able to interview in prison. These interviews have helped him in the process of learning about the criminal mind.

As a child, Ressler remembers playing detective with neighborhood friends. "I am still playing this game today," said Ressler, who encouraged the students to find careers where they find similar fulfillment.

Ressler is the author of the international best seller Whoever Fights Monsters and Justice is Served, as well as, his most recent book, I Have Lived in the Monster.

Ressler referred to a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, which he remembered frequently during his many investigations. Even now, this quote chills me," said Ressler. "Nietzsche said, ?Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.'"

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