FATAL DETACHMENT is a compelling in-depth analysis of 7 serial killers evaluated by author, forensic psychologist, Michael P. Maloney, Ph.D., ABPP. Dr. Maloney has a long career in mental health evaluations and services, as well as the general field of criminal forensic psychology. He retired as chief operating officer for the mental health system for the Los Angeles Jail system, which was the largest County jail system in the country and, by default, was the largest single mental health system in the country. In addition, over the last 50 years he performed many hundreds of court-ordered forensic evaluations in multiple State and Federal Courts. Many of these evaluations involved murderers and other violent offenders. As a result of this involvement, he ended up with the unique opportunity/duty to evaluate these 7 serial killers. This book shares insights into the lives and minds and the horrific behavior of these killers.
The book consists of three parts. Part one consists of several chapters which provide an introduction and a general discussion of the types of murder and where serial murder fits in. The second part consists of 7 chapters, one chapter devoted to each killer: Larry Bittaker "Tool Box Murderer", Douglas Clark "Sunset Strip Killer", David Carpenter "Trailside Killer", William "Bill" Bradford, Mauricio Silva "Monster", Mitchel Sims "Pizza Store Killer", Danny Barber "Texas Killer". Dr. Maloney personally spent hours on each evaluation which included interviewing each killer, reviewing records, administering psychological tests with a special focus on psychological dynamics and mental health. None were significantly disturbed.
The third part of the book consists of two chapters: "Attachment/ Bonding" and "Understanding Horrific Behavior. Can It Be Done?" In these chapters the author is exploring how to understand the roots of such incredibly horrific behavior that, to most people, makes absolutely no sense. Many people may attribute such behavior to killers being "crazy", "on drugs" or just plain "evil". None of these killers were significantly psychiatrically disturbed or had major problems with drugs. The first two words in the title of the book, Fatal Detachment , came from how the author was struck with the significant and profound abuse and neglect he uncovered in the childhoods of "ALL" of these killers. In short, lack of bonding/attachment may lead to lack of empathy, isolation and seething uderlying anger. This needs to be explored further. Thus, this book may be a starting point.