Evil Personified

The biological, psychiatric & related factors that give rise to modern violent crime, including mass shootings.

THE NEW EVIL: Understanding the Emergence of Modern Violent Crime

Michael H. Stone, MD and Gary Brucato, PhD
Prometheus Books
Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2UGDTjk

The New Evil is eye-opening and informative reading, especially if you have an interest in how criminal minds work and how people attempt to justify the horrible violence they have unleashed.

The book offers important insights useful for readers involved in law enforcement, the legal and judicial systems, mental health, and government. Other readers, such as crime novelists, journalists, and counselors, also

Published last November, The New Evil is a follow-up to Michael H. Stone’s 2017 book, The Anatomy of Evil (https://amzn.to/2Oc6QkH ). The new book is a well-researched and fascinating study of modern violent crime since the 1960s.

A strong caution is warranted: Some readers may be shocked and disturbed by the gruesome details of just how depraved some human beings can be while committing violent crimes.

The authors–Michael H. Stone, M.D., is a professor of clinical psychiatry and Gary Brucato, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and researcher–examine how certain biological, psychiatric and related factors have had important bearings on serial killings, serial rape, torture, killing sprees, and mass-casualty events such as school and church/mosque shootings.

To help bring clarity to what they define as “evil” and “violent” crimes, they present a 22-point scale that ranks “an individual’s crime or repeated criminal acts” by their severity.

Their scale is subdivided into six categories: (1) Killing in Self-Defense or Justified Homicide; (2) Impulsive Murders in Persons without Psychopathic Features; (3) Persons with a Few or No Psychopathic Traits; Murders of a More Severe Type; (4) Psychopathic Features Marked; Murders Show Malice Aforethought; (5) Spree or Multiple Murders; Psychopathy Is Apparent; and (6) Serial Killers, Torturers, Sadists.

The New Evil offers numerous case studies that help illustrate these categories. But, in the graphic details of the case studies, some readers may encounter manifestations of evil that are much more disturbing than they wish to confront.

— Si Dunn


  • Si Dunn is a novelist, screenwriter, photojournalist, and book reviewer. His published books include: DARK SIGNALS, a Vietnam War memoir; ERWIN'S LAW, a private-detective novel; and JUMP, a novella about a combat veteran suffering from PTSD and alienation while trying to work for newspapers as a journalist. Several of his feature screenplays recently were under option to movie producers. He spent nearly 15 years working as a technical writer and software tester in the telecommunications industry. His current programming interests include Go, JavaScript, Python, R, Angular, and other languages and frameworks. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of the University of North Texas.

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