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Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet
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Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet [Format Kindle]

John E. Douglas , Stephen Singular

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Descriptions du produit



by John Douglas

By the mid-1980s, I'd been employed by the FBI for more than a decade and had helped create the Behavioral Science Unit at Quantico, Virginia. Using FBI profiling techniques, our unit had been pursuing serial killers from coast to coast and assisting law enforcement in identifying some of the most dangerous criminals in the United States. As we'd gained success and built a national reputation, police departments across the country had sought our help in solving difficult cases. I was consumed with this job and had few colleagues to delegate responsibilities to. More and more people wanted the FBI's help, and how could I turn down requests from those hunting serial killers? How could I not help families that had been victimized by the worst of crimes? When could I learn to say no? The answer to the last question came in 1983, when I went into a coma and barely escaped death. This brush with mortality caused me to lower my workload and to consider retirement. In 1995, I walked away from the job I loved.

I left the Bureau but didn't lose any of my desire to educate the public about protecting themselves from extremely dangerous people. I wrote about my FBI career in Mindhunter, which gave laypeople access to information and techniques used by the federal government to locate and catch serial murderers. I spoke on college campuses about how to keep yourself from becoming a victim. After hearing my presentation, listeners often came up to me and shared their own experiences with violent crime. When shaking their hands or looking into their eyes, I could tell that they'd been raped or robbed or deeply hurt by others. They were "silent victims," too ashamed or embarrassed to step forward and talk to law enforcement about what had been done to them. They were afraid of being victimized again -- this time by the judicial system. I believe that criminals should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, but I could not fault these people for not wanting to testify because of the fear they lived with every day. Nothing was more satisfying to me than telling people how to protect themselves from predators.

I believed that law enforcement was making progress in the war on crime -- until something happened that no one could have predicted. In the midnineties, the Internet arrived, and along with its great contribution to our society in so many areas, it began generating an entirely new criminal realm. The Wild, Wild West had returned, but this time it didn't look like cowboys and Indians or lawmen and gunslingers shooting at each other on the American frontier. Things had become much more complicated. The new outlaws were sitting at keyboards typing -- and defrauding, robbing, manipulating, and seducing people all over the world, and in some cases, ending their lives. After watching the dramatic spread of on-line crime, I realized that the same techniques and insights we'd discovered at the FBI could now be applied in cyberspace.

Criminals had found a new hunting ground, and instead of preying on a handful of people as they might have done in the past, these on-line predators could contact and manipulate tens or hundreds or even thousands of victims at a time. Instead of cruising the streets for potential victims, they were cruising the information highway. The possibilities were infinite and law enforcement was having trouble even figuring out how to use this new technology, let alone how to find and stop the perpetrators. There often weren't enough qualified people tracking on-line criminals, and cyber-investigations were highly complicated. If police departments had had more resources in place a few years ago, the story you are about to read might not have unfolded in the same way with the same number of victims.

In 2000, my coauthor, Stephen Singular, told me that he'd been following the John Robinson case in suburban Kansas City. I began reading about the case and talking to some of those involved in the Robinson investigation. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. This was the first known example of a serial killer using the Internet to find his victims, seduce them with his charm and the promise of a better life, lure them to his turf, and kill them. It was a deeply compelling example of how the Net could be abused by the most dangerous people in our society. It showed how someone with an extensive criminal background could transfer his predatory skills into the high-tech world -- and just how vulnerable people can be in cyberspace. All of my previous work about serial killers seemed to have led me in the direction of this story. I suddenly had a new mission: to tell the public that the same dangers it had needed to be aware of in the regular world, it now had to be aware of in the on-line realm. You absolutely could not take for granted that people were who they said they were in cyberspace. Once you logged on to the Internet and began exchanging e-mails, you needed to be smarter and more vigilant than ever.

The John Robinson story, which is an amazing tale in itself, needed to be shared with those looking for romance and sex on-line. It was the best window I'd yet found into the new emotional and criminal reality that high technology had created. New machines had created new crimes -- and new law enforcement tools. Robinson made history on the Net, and so did those who caught him.

The purpose of this book is educational -- and it's intended to be a warning. The on-line world has changed the nature of the awareness required to prevent yourself from being victimized. In the off-line world, you can pick up on the physical signals coming from people who could do you harm. You can use your intuition, your survival instincts, your senses, and your common sense to know when trouble is near. In cyberspace, you're cut off from your senses and some of your instincts. You're often dealing with a fantasyland that is unlike anything that preceded it. You don't see the whole person at the other end of your e-mail but interact with a stranger who is only showing a small and highly selective portion of himself or herself. When you operate in such a place, you need to be keenly attuned to who you are and what you're doing, as well as what possible predators are doing. Had the women in these pages been more discerning about such things, they might be alive today.

More than anything else, the arrival of the Internet inside private residences triggered the need for a new level of thought regarding this magnificent technological tool. The essence of that thought was simple: "Be conscious of what your computer is capable of and whom it can connect you to. It has effectively invited the entire world into your home, but is everyone welcome?"

In other words, you needed to become your own profiler of human behavior. You needed not only to understand the drives of the people the Net had hooked you up to -- their desires and their real motivations -- but just as importantly, you needed to understand yourself. What were your own weaknesses and vulnerabilities? What were your most secret longings? Where and how could you be manipulated? What were you afraid of? What kind of flattery were you most susceptible to? How did you see yourself? How did you want others to see you? What did you feel you were lacking that only another person could provide? Where were your emotional buttons and how easily could they be pushed? What parts of yourself did you have control over and which parts were you willing to let someone else control?

Several of these questions might have been casual, but not all of them were. As the following story demonstrates, some held the power of life and death.

Copyright © 2003 by John Douglas with Stephen Singular

Présentation de l'éditeur

In Olathe, Kansas, a balding, pudgy father of four sits in prison convicted on three counts of homicide -- two of capital murder -- and suspected in at least five other disappearances. During the last half of the 1990s, John Robinson exploited the Internet's active world of sadomasochism with horrific results. By haunting chat rooms, he pinpointed vulnerable women who were looking for romance and stalked them on-line, nefariously convincing them of his maturity, sensitivity, and financial stability. He seemed like the perfect man. He enticed these women with offers of a solid relationship and a lucrative job, persuading them to move to his hometown. Once they arrived in Kansas, the women invariably disappeared.
After a dramatic trial and days of intense jury deliberation, Robinson now faces the death penalty. Disturbing as his crimes may be, what's most alarming is how he selected and lured his victims and how willingly they responded. John Robinson expanded the hunting ground, the techniques, and the technology of the sexual predator. He is the world's first-known Internet serial killer.
Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and the coauthors of Anyone You Want Me to Be have struggled to unravel the enigma that is John Robinson. They reveal what can go wrong in a world where relationships are devoid of physical contact, showing how easily mainstream Americans can be drawn into the dark underground of cybercrime. The Internet has drastically expanded the realm of fantasy -- from the limited confines of physical reality to the worldwide stage of virtual reality -- and anyone can become involved in an on-line seduction. Erotic fantasies, which were once socially off-limits and extremely private, are now instantly accessible. This rapidly growing community masks a sinister truth: With only a computer, an Internet connection, and a knack for creativity, criminals have the power to reach millions of unsuspecting victims while remaining in complete control of their own -- often false -- image. John Robinson was a true innovator in this variety of crime. Through interviews with law enforcement specialists, Web experts, and others, John Douglas and Stephen Singular illustrate, with this case, a much larger -- and more frightening -- pattern of Internet sex and violence.
As technology proliferates in the twenty-first century, so do opportunities for enterprising criminals like John Robinson. No one is better equipped than John Douglas and Stephen Singular to expose the underworld of the Internet and to warn people about the dangers of cyberspace. A cautionary and educational tale about being wary of strangers and false intimacy, Anyone You Want Me to Be is also a terrifying, high-tech story of crime and punishment.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 466 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 432 pages
  • Editeur : Scribner (20 mai 2003)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000FBJFT6
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°296.349 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5  70 commentaires
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Riveting, Chilling, Educational Read! 5 octobre 2004
Par Jana L. Perskie - Publié sur
Author John Douglas, a veteran of the FBI and expert in personality profiling, demonstrates his years of experience and storytelling ability in this vivid investigative analysis of the first Internet serial killer, John Robinson. Douglas, and his co-author Stephen Singular, meticulously describe Robinson's journey from a seemingly harmless white collar criminal to an obvious psychopath, who exploited the Internet's world of single women seeking love and relationships, with deadly results. A married father of four, a seemingly good citizen, active in his church and community, Robinson was able to hide his evil nature and schemes from his wife, a woman who lived in a state of absolute denial, and from others who knew him best.

Fortunately, he was unable to fool Steve Haymes, a parole officer in Liberty, Missouri, who had been on Robinson's trail for fifteen years before his suspicions and persistent investigation panned out. Haymes was the only person who kept a record of Robinson's evolution through the criminal justice system. During a thirty-five year period, he examined his criminal patterns, his range of activities and attempted to penetrate the man's personality. Robinson had been arrested numerous times for fraud and theft, but was able to use his charm and cunning to elude more serious charges. It was during these early days in Robinson's criminal career that he appeared on Haymes' radar screen. In early 1985 Parole Officer Haymes imagined what the law enforcement community was confronting. In March 2000, he discovered that he had been correct in his initial assessment, with results much more disastrous than he had ever contemplated.

Chubby, balding, unattractive, Robinson, was intelligent, innovative and entrepreneurial enough to be in the forefront of the consumer vanguard, employing the new personal computer technology to his advantage. Cybercrime had yet to be defined when Robinson saw the possibilities in using the Internet to make easy money and gratify his particular needs and longings. Ultimately, he discovered the world of sadomasochistic Website chat rooms, where he was able to charm and reassure the vulnerable, lonely women who frequented them. It was on the Net that he was able to stalk his victims and lure them to meet him in person - never to be seen or heard from again.

I don't read much True Crime but was fascinated by this case of deadly cybercrime. I use the Internet frequently and know people who have met online and married - although they never frequented sadomasochistic chatrooms. Still, reading "Anyone You Want Me To Be" was an educational experience as well as a riveting read. Highly recommended!

24 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Intriguing story, mediocre delivery 28 octobre 2003
Par JB - Publié sur
As a big Douglas fan, I have to admit I wasn't thrilled with this title, and I'm really sorry about that. The story of Robinson is fascinating and truly makes you wonder how these women could be so easily led. The problem I have with the book is in the delivery.
Robinson managed to get away with being a successful criminal for several decades before his insatiable need to push boundaries became his ultimate downfall. You'll read how he scammed people from THOUSANDS of dollars and walked away from bilking legitimate companies, all with barely a slap. You'll be horrified that women would travel incredible distances to be with a complete stranger, a man they 'knew' only as an online persona. The actual story left me a mixed bag of anger, sadness, and frustration.
That said, I move to the delivery of the action. In several places, the author breaks in thought from the actual story with these pointless asides. In one part, he mentions the double murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. While this is mentioned in the context of outlining the 3 basic types of killers and how invesitgators can tell a scene is created by one perp or more, it's not necessary. The mention of that crime scene taints the one you're reading about, the sick world of Robinson.
There are other places where the author breaks from the story to include asides. While some of them are important to the overall theme that the internet can be a dangerous and strange place, I felt that some of his information would have been better in an appendix. The author includes 2 appendices, one that addresses safety in surfing and chatting.
A great story, but I gave it three stars because there are too many places that the story just breaks, like a book with commercials.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Mindhunter Does It Again! 29 mai 2003
Par Chris McLaughlin - Publié sur
After being an avid fan of serial killer books for quite some time, I'd begun to think that I'd read everything that was ever written on the subject. However, soon after I picked up John Douglas' new non-fiction book, "Anyone You Want Me To Be," I quickly realized there was an entire world of crime I had yet to discover.
While I had previously heard of John Robinson, I knew very little about the details of his background and killing spree. In today's world, where the Internet is such an integral part of everyday life, it is frightening to know there are predators like John Robinson out there, preying on innocent trustworthy people.
Mr.Douglas, who created the FBI's profiling unit, effectively allows the reader to enter a place many authors have previously left untouched, a killer's mind. Tracing John Robinson's background from his childhood to his days as a killer, Douglas allows us to see Robinson as more than just a psychotic maniac.
For those who enjoyed Mr. Douglas' previous works, this haunting, bone chilling masterpiece is an absolute must read.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 You can't trust a book (or person) by its cover 2 février 2006
Par J. Wilson - Publié sur
I thought this was an excellent book and it dismays me that Robinson beat the system for years before finally being accountable for his crimes. Robinson was able to manipulate women, men and the legal system long before the internet was accessible to everyone. From fraud, embezzlement, theft, and forgery, to murder - he covered the gamut in crime and adapted himself and his crimes to what suited his needs. It amazes me that someone with no soul can tune into people and find their vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, the internet gave him access to the world to exploit.

Two minor criticisms:

The authors' sermonizing on the use and dangers of the internet (isn't this story example enough??).

No pictures. I think pictures of the victims and lawyers humanize them; key locations help the reader visualize the story with the setting; and face it, we all want to know what the killer looks like. I found pictures of Robinson in an internet search - he has a bland face with no telltale character lines, which blows my theory that how you live and feel inside eventually shows up on your face. Apparently that's not the case for a sociopath.

In all, a fascinating story.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A shocking rendition of longstanding crime 29 novembre 2004
Par Donna - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The title of this book is misleading because the internet is not even referred to until more than 1/2 way through it. It is a tale of a married man from an average family who from scamming business after business to luring young women away from their families to participate in sex slave rings, internet use to follow.

Readers may not like the fact that the book is not told with an ongoing story but rather a more documentary presentation. It does not contain a smooth running story with the :evildoer" as a focus in a continuing lifeline. Finally if you don't like that more straightforward style you may not like this book.
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