Photo: Lee Pellegrini


Inside the Criminal Mind 

In her new book, CSON Professor Ann Wolbert Burgess details her trailblazing work with the FBI in investigating serial killers.

“It was a raw confrontation with horror,” Connell School of Nursing Professor Ann Wolbert Burgess writes in a new memoir about her groundbreaking work with the FBI. In A Killer by Design: Murderers, Mindhunters, and My Quest to Decipher the Criminal Mind, Burgess details how she helped to establish the discipline of criminal profiling to identify serial killers, which, in turn, inspired the hit Netflix show Mindhunter.

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The book, coauthored by Steven Matthew Constantine, the associate director of marketing and communications at the Connell School, draws on crime scene drawings and transcripts of interviews with serial killers to take readers behind the scenes of several gruesome murder cases. In the early 1970s, Burgess and her BC colleague Lynda Lytle Holmstrom became pioneers in sexual assault research by studying its traumatic effects on victims at Boston City Hospital. A lecture that Burgess gave at the FBI Academy on this research led to a two-decade partnership with the bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit to examine the psychology of the perpetrators. She worked with FBI agents on an innovative project to interview incarcerated murderers to better understand their motivations. Burgess “understood both the psychology of the disturbed individuals,” she writes, “and the steps needed to develop this messy, nonnumerical research into a standardized study.” The team ultimately used this criminal profiling to catch dozens of violent criminals.

Nearly thirty years after her work with the FBI ended, Burgess’s trailblazing methods are now widely used by law enforcement. She said she was inspired to write her book, in part, by the #MeToo movement, which has brought discussions about sexual assault to the forefront. Its publication also comes at a time when the popularity of true crime podcasts and shows has exploded. “The more you hear these stories,” she said, “the more you think in terms of ‘How can I prevent this?’” 


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Touring China: A History of Travel Culture, 1912–1949 by Yajun Mo
Traveling to faraway destinations for pleasure might seem like a modern luxury. But in her new book, Mo, a BC assistant professor of history, reveals that China’s tourism culture in the first half of the 20th century was booming, if complicated: While a developing railway system connecting the nation’s regions made leisure travel easier, political instability often threatened to divide the country.

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Pork Belly Tacos with a Side of Anxiety by Yvonne Castañeda MSW’18
The daughter of Cuban and Mexican immigrants, Castañeda struggled with bulimia and anxiety as she tried to reconcile her heritage with American societal expectations. Castañeda, a part-time faculty member at the School of Social Work, eventually overcame her troubles and told BCSSW News that she hopes her memoir will help others realize that “change is possible, that grace is possible, that healing is possible.”

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Rena Glickman, Queen of Judo by Eve Nadel Catarevas CSOM’79
Catarevas combines her passion for biographies and children’s literature in her debut picture book. It tells the true story of Rena Glickman, a renowned judo practitioner, known professionally as Rusty Kanokogi, who battled anti-Semitism to become a champion of the sport in the 1950s and ’60s.

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Marrying the Ketchups by Jennifer Close ’08
In her latest novel, the best-selling author Jennifer Close follows three generations of the Sullivans, a Chicago-based, restaurant-owning family—described by Booklist as “maddening, loving, (and) stubborn”—as they navigate both the loss of a beloved patriarch and the repercussions of the 2016 election.

Ilustration of Aleksandar Tomic

  Illustration: Joel Kimmel


The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis

“This is the fascinating story of the long-running partnership between psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, who truly changed the way we understand decision-making. The book shows the power of persistence and how far people can go when they truly collaborate, and how quickly that collaboration suffers when the issue of who gets credit pops up.”

Aleksandar Tomic, associate dean for strategy, innovation, and technology at BC’s Woods College of Advancing Studies

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