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Talking with Serial Killers

The Most Evil People in the World Tell Their Own Stories
Narrated by: Colin Mace
Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, True Crime
4 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Available for the first time in audiobook, and featuring exclusive extracts of murderers talking from death row, Christopher Berry-Dee's study of the world's worst serial killers is a chilling true crime experience.

Christopher Berry-Dee is the man who talks to serial killers. A world-renowned investigative criminologist, he has gained the trust of murderers across the world, entered their high security prisons and discussed in detail their shocking crimes. 

The killers' pursuit of horror and violence is described through the unique audiotape and videotape interviews which Berry-Dee conducted, deep inside the bowels of some of the world's toughest prisons. 

Christopher Berry-Dee has collated these interviews into this astounding, disturbing book, which, since its first publication, has gone on to become a true crime classic. Not only does he describe his meetings with some of the world's most evil men and women, he also reproduces, verbatim, their very words as they describe their crimes, allowing the listener a glimpse into the inner workings of the people who have committed the worst crime possible - to mercilessly take the life of another human being.  

©2019 Christopher Berry-Dee (P)2019 Bonnier Books Ltd

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best researched book of its type

Amazing access to the minds and personas of these disturbed people. No holding back on anything here.
Whilst the American accents were a bit dodgy, overall the narrator did a good job.
If you like this type of subject matter then this is worth the time spent listening..

1 person found this helpful

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Nope

While an enthralling subject, this author is not at all in tune with his core audience. I know this was written in 2001, but it's 2020, and sex workers should not be referred to as 'hookers' or 'prostitutes', victims should not be blamed for their decision to walk home at night, serial killers should not be given the excuse of having a 'monster' inside them who does their dirty work while they take none of the responsibility and flipping John Money - the man who decided to castrate an injured twin boy, raise him as a girl and touted the success of the case as proof of nature over nurture in academic literature for years, resulting in BOTH the twins suicide (see: As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto) - should not, under any circumstances, be relied on as a credible source. Following all of this occurring within the first three chapters of the book, I returned it, unwilling to give time, energy or money to someone who is only interested in sensationalising these killers, often not even naming the victims, and seeming to revel in sickening descriptions of torture, murder and rape. No, thank you, I'm out.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

While not revolutionary in its exploration of the serial killer phenomenon, this book is a worthy addition to any true crime aficionado’s collection. If you’re already well-versed in the history of these serial killers, you probably can’t expect to learn anything new, but it is still worth a listen.

I found the frequent mentions of how attractive the victims were to be a little grating, but I suppose he takes care to mention the appearance of the killers too. Overall, I could’ve done without the sensationalisation of what is already a dramatic enough topic.

The narrator’s work was rather annoying, unfortunately. He has a beautiful voice, but his attempt at an American accent was distracting (especially after getting to hear the ACTUAL voice of the killer, which was a real treat), and his mispronunciations of US Place names was too frequent to ignore. I’m Australian, and I found myself mentally correcting him every time he got it wrong.

1 person found this helpful

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chilling and interesting

great, binge at work while listening. chilling but a interesting subject and experience by the author

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Like no true crime I've heard before

I thought I had heard it all... This book went to the depths of hell any true crime enthusiast could hope to go.

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  • Dante Dillinger
  • 18-11-2019

Disturbing, to the point and informative

After listening to multiple of the authors work, its safe to say that if you want to get into the minds of killers and have it explained in a down to earth, no rubbish and intriguing fashion and fantastic VO of Colin Mace, then look no further.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Charlie
  • 26-02-2020

disappointing and misogynistic writing

I bought this as I have recently watched the TV show "Mindhunter" and I thought it might be quite interesting in the same kind of way...

However within the first five minutes I realised it wasn't going to be all I'd hoped...

The writing was intensely misogynistic... some examples :

- The classic "blame the killer's mother". It doesn't matter if the father used to beat him and give him money to torture animals, the mother was "controlling and overbearing" so naturally it's her fault that her son grew up to murder women. (A theme we see again and again).

- Refers to the anal rape of a corpse as "intercourse". Another theme we see over and over, which I find deeply troubling... Can we just call it rape and or necrophillia please?

- Writer says a victim "signed her death warrant" when she told her rapist Ross that she recognised him.

- Writer calls two fourteen year old children "young women" before saying "this childish deception would cost them their lives" (because they had told their parent's they were being picked up when they were actually walking home) NO, what cost them their lives was a man's decision to take it from them.

- Refers to female students as "co-eds".

These are just a few examples... The whole book uses victim blaming and sexist language from the mouth of the writer, not just the killers!

Also on top of all this dangerous nonsense, the information just isn't that interesting - it's not getting inside the minds of the killers, it's just a graphic description of their crimes as told by them, the ethics of which are questionable.

Then there's the performance of the narrator. It sounds like it's being read by Alan Partridge. Especially when he starts to put on dodgy accents.

There are much better quality podcasts than this available on the topic, go for that instead!

3 people found this helpful

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  • papapownall
  • 27-11-2019

Sickening tales of serial killers

Author Christopher Berry-Dee has made a career from writing about serial killers following his extensive research, correspondence, discussions with law enforcement officers, family members and survivors and meetings in prison with the killers. He is the editor of the New Criminologist Magazine and director of the Criminology Research Centre. There is probably no one else in the world who has had access to so many serial killers over such a long time scale. Ultimately, many of the cases he reviews, including all but one in this book, are focused on events in the US where crime rates, and appetite for this type of literature, is the highest.

This book promises "talking with serial killers" and it does, indeed, provide short snippets of Berry-Dee's conversations with many of the death row inhabitants that he has met over the years, however these are very short, in some cases merely a few seconds. The rest of the transcripts of the actual meetings are mimicked by narrator Colin Mace who does a reasonable job of voicing the various accents, both male and female but this stops well short of playing back the whole of the interviews. Perhaps Berry-Dee is saving these for another day.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ms. Deborah Klayman
  • 24-02-2020

Interesting book, some weird quirks in narration

This is an interesting book for those who want to know more about the crimes of some prolific serial killers. The narration is generally good, however the repeated mispronunciation of the words "homicide" and "Michigan" was like nails down a chalkboard to me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jade Saynor
  • 31-12-2019

Great book

Great book. I love it. I will probably be listening to it again. I like that there are actually clips of the serial killers themselves

1 person found this helpful

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  • Shannon
  • 27-01-2020

Ruined by the narrator

I had to force myself to finish listening so that the money I paid would not go to waste. A disjointed, confusing and often dull account of interviews with killers that jumps erratically from one time period to the next. Colin Mace butchers the book with his horrendous imitation of characters featured, most of them American. His accent is Forrest Gump-like and makes a parody of this typically sombre topic. He goes as far as to attempt a falsetto when reading lines from women, and even puts on a rather offensive Asian accent. His performance progresses from being mildly irritating in early chapters to almost unbearable by the end of the book. The entire thing is made more frustrating by the fact that you know they have piles of true audio on hand, but deign to let us listen to only snippets placed at the start of some chapters. Do yourself a favour and skip this one.