Dr. Al Carlisle shares his latest book, Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy which involves a step-by-step psychological process concerning the violence level of Bundy, after his arrest and incarceration for the kidnapping of Carol DaRonch in Utah. Although, Carlisle wrote about his experiences with Bundy before, this time explains and revisits the understanding and his conclusions on this dangerous and vile individual who tried to mask the beast in himself, in other words the wolf in sheep’s clothing. This book covers an assessment of 90-days on this part man, part monster all manipulator.

As many know, quite a few books exist on the topic of Ted Bundy, however of recent times, many younger readers who read true crime tend to center on the recent times, which they can relate to, therefore a slight backtracking needed to refresh some with the atrocities of the Bundy’s crimes. Bundy, a serial killer who often spoke of the beast within himself, driving him to kidnap, rape, and engage in necrophilia, of numerous young women in the 1970s (at least 30, in seven states, his worst in Florida). The actual victim list unknown, sadly because many were considered the unwanted (prostitutes, runaways, or victims of conveniences) he confessed to deviant sexual practices with the decomposing corpses, similar to other serial killers before him, and acts continue long after his passing. In fact, he decapitated some of his victims and kept their heads with him for souvenirs and often too many he merely a good-natured individual, groomed for higher political offices. Those who have both books and movies, will recall the most popular The Deliberate Stranger (1986), which starred Mark Harmon (a role which still stalks him and most identified with, even as he stars on NCIS).

Dr. Al Carlisle worked with others and conducted his own interviews with friends and others, not using the reports of social workers or doctors and yet not discounting them rather as another source of information, especially as Bundy used lies and stories to cover himself. The tools of the psychological assessment clearly laid in the book, along with Bundy’s own handwritten responses and later explained to the reader of how he felt himself superior or incapable of obeying the simplest instructions. Dr.  Carlisle keeps the language on an average person’s level, explaining the tests as more of a conversation piece, sharing never before released interviews and engaging the reader with a page turner reading. In fact, learning about this killer, one realizes how wrong Hollywood actually got it, rather than suave the truth of his character: insecure, socially inept and why adopted to an aggressive mannerism yet still curry favor as portraying one need sympathy.

While one could venture into volumes of discussion, best to state one can get an intimate view of Bundy, in this book with his humiliated childhood feelings of awkwardness and left out of social activities creating a two emotional state of depression and aggression. This heightened by his true crime fascination, fantasies of murder and rape (awaken by misinterpreting pornographic materials), leading him to constantly lie, deceive and yet smart enough to comprehend a healthy portion of the psychological testing. Carlisle goes on to discuss the understanding of fantasy, dissociation and compartmentalization, within Bundy’s mind and the relation to rest of society.

All of Bundy’s crimes may never become fully discovered unless portions of unused lands someday reveal an unmarked graveyard, and his influence continues to draw comparison to many other human monsters. This book gives both readers of true crime and film a further understanding of killers, and their psychological mentality involving their devilish and twisted intents. Dr. Carlisle’s work is incredible to read and never over reaches or hedges his bets rather is very to careful analyze every detail, as should the readers interested in this macabre topic in just 258 pages.

***This book provided to me, by Indie Artist Press for an honest review.

Baron’s Rating: 5/5



If you seek to purchase this book, here is the link: