John Douglas
Researched and written by:  John Hutzell
I attest that the following biography is a product of my own original work.

      During his twenty-five year career with the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, a name he later changed to The Investigative Science Unit (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). John Douglas became the leading expert on criminal personality profiling and the pioneer of modern criminal investigative analysis. Through his research with serial criminal’s, Douglas learned how criminals think and what makes them do the things that they do, and why. Douglas can determine many personal traits and habits of an offender just by examining the crime scene; it’s evidence and victimology (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995).

Childhood and Family Life
      John Edward Douglas was the son of Jack Douglas, a printer with the Brooklyn Eagle.  Douglas was born near the border of Queens, in Brooklyn, NY. At the age of eight Douglas’s father was concerned with the rising crime rate, so he moved him and his one sibling, his sister Arlene who was four years older, to Hempstead, NY, where his father became president of the Long Island Typographical Union (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). 

Early Childhood
      As a child at Ludlum Elementary In Hempstead, NY, Douglas was no academic standout, receiving mostly C’s and B’s (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). As a young child, John was interested in animals, so much so, that he spent three summers in a dairy farm in Upstate New York in the Cornell Farm Cadet Program sponsored by the University’s Veterinarian School, in hopes of one day becoming a veterinarian himself (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995).

High School
      John Douglas attended Hempstead High School where he was a pitcher for the baseball team and a defensive tackle for the football team (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). As a member of the 1962 Hempstead High School football team, his team won the Thorpe Award. While attending high school at Hempstead, Douglas developed a knack for telling stories. For example, as a freshman, Douglas was assigned a novel to read for an oral book report for his class. Douglas was to lazy to read the novel so when it was his turn to give his report in front of the class, he made up the title of a phony book, made up a phony author, and started to tell a story about a group of campers (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). In the middle of the story Douglas began laughing hysterically and confessed to the teacher that he made it up. The teacher and students were so intrigued by his story that the teacher asked him to finish his story; he received an A (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). 

Young Adult/College Years
      At the age of eight-teen, Douglas acquired a job as a bouncer in a bar in Hempstead named the Gaslight East (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). Shortly thereafter he obtained another job bouncing at a surf club in Long Beach. In the fall of 1963, Douglas began his Midwest voyage, and college career at Montana State. As a student at Montana State he joined the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon. Douglas’s first brush with the law came when he and one of his fraternity brothers had taken out two girls who they had met. While on there dates with these girls, Douglas and his frat brother stopped at a bar, where Douglas went into to buy a six-pack of beer. As the story goes, the Bartender asked to see Douglas’s ID, so Douglas shows him a phony Selective Service card. The Bartender looks at the ID very carefully, and after making some smart comments about him being from Brooklyn, sells him the six-pack. As Douglas and his friends leave the bar and drive down the road, he hears a police siren. Eventually a cop pulls them over and tells them to get out of the car. The cop begins searching them, and eventually takes all four back to the police station where they tell Douglas that as soon as they tell the police if the Bartender back at the bar did not ask for their ID’s that they will go back, because they have had problems with him in the past. Douglas informs the officer that where he comes from people do not rat out other people. Eventually, Douglas and his friends were released, having to pay a fine of $40 dollars and probation (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). 
     During his sophomore year, while attending a rodeo show with two other guys from back East, and one friend from Montana State, driving a 62’ Studabaker, with beer in the car, Douglas ran into trouble once again with the law (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). With Douglas’s friend from Boston at the wheel and heavy snow, they ran a stop sign on their way back from the rodeo. There was a cop right at the stop sign. But instead of stopping, the driver took off with the cop chasing right behind them. They drove through residential neighborhoods with the cop chasing them, throwing beer cans out of the window. All of the sudden the car spins out, everyone gets out and runs. Douglas ends up in an alley, where he finds an empty pick-up truck to hide in. While hiding in the truck, Douglas begins to sweat as the window’s fog up, the whole time worrying that the police will find him. Eventually Douglas and his friends from back home get away, but his friend from Montana State got caught and spilled his guts to the cops. Douglas got slapped with a $40 fine for possession of alcohol and probation, and that was pretty much the end of his career at Montana State. By this time Douglas had a straight D average, shortly afterwards in 1965, Douglas left Montana State and returned home where he was Life Guard for the summer of 1965 (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995).  For a short while, Douglas got a job running a health club at the Holiday Inn in Patchogue, NY. 

Adult Life
Cheating Death

 On December 13, 1983, at the age of 38, John fell into a coma. While in Seattle, on business, the right side of John’s brain ruptured and hemorrhaged, causing Douglas to acquire a temperature of 107, a heart rate of 220, and to fall into a coma. 

Air Force

 When Douglas joined the Air Force in 1966, he was sent to Amarillo, Texas for basic training. Douglas was third in his flight school (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). While in the Air Force Douglas held a variety of positions, one of which was a Clerk Typist at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). At first, he was told that he was well qualified for radio-intercept school, but when he applied there was no room, so he was made a clerk typist.  Douglas was very athletic while in the Air Force. He represented them in such sports as tennis, soccer, and badminton.  He did such a good job they put him in charge of the base golf course. Next, he moved into women’s ceramics because, while working at the bases golf pro shop, the Base Commander asked Douglas what compression of golf ball he should use for a particular golf tournament, when he did not know, the Base Commander was furious and moved him into women’s ceramics (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995).

Volunteer Work
      While in the Air Force, Douglas volunteered to help handicapped children with their recreational programs (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). This event was what triggered his interest in graduate school.

      He married Pam Modicain in June of 1970, shortly after; they honeymooned in the Pocono’s. 

Adult Education
      During his stint with the United States Air Force, Douglas became eligible for Operation Bootstrap. This was where the government paid 75% of his education costs to go to school at nights and on weekends, which he did at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). Also, while in the Air Force volunteering with crippled children, Douglas was unaware that members of the Eastern New Mexico University psychology department were observing him much of the time. They were so impressed with him that they offered him a four-year scholarship in special education (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). Even though he had been thinking about Industrial Psychology, he loved working with the kids and thought that this might be good idea. So, he submitted the university’s offer to the base civilian-run personnel board, but after consideration, they decided that the Air Force did not need anyone with a degree in special education (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). In 1969, he was discharged from the Air Force, whereupon he began his master’s degree in industrial psychology, while living in a $7 dollar a week, windowless basement apartment in Clovis, New Mexico (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995).

Professional Accomplishments
Coming Up 
      In the fall of 1970, Douglas met a man named Frank Harris at a health club he had joined. Unknown to Douglas at the time, Harris was a FBI agent. After getting to know Douglas, Frank offered Douglas a job with the FBI, and that is how the famous profiler got his start in the FBI, Douglas eventually accepted (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). In the mean time, Douglas worked for an unnamed company, dealing with such issued as personnel matters, employee assistance, and stress management (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). On November 1, 1970, Douglas was offered a probationary appointment with the FBI with an initial salary of $10, 869 dollars a year (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). On December 14, 1970 he received a telegram that instructed him to report to room 625 in the old post office building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. at 9:00 a.m. to begin 14 weeks of training in the FBI (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). 

Professional Accomplishments 
      Throughout his professional career, John Douglas has written or coauthored more than one-hundred (criminology texts and research papers, including the following books for the general audience:
-The Anatomy of Motive
- Broken Wings
- Journey into Darkness 
- Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives 
- Psyches of Killers, Rapists, and Stalkers, and Their Victims and Tells How to Fight Back
- Mind Hunter
- Crime Classification Manual
- Guide to Careers in the FBI
- The Cases that Haunt Us

     In 1971, after completion of his FBI program, Douglas was sent to Detroit where he was assigned to the Reactive Crimes Unit (Douglas & Olshaker,1995). When he took his exam at the Academy, he scored a 99%. He actually scored 100%, but Mr. J. Edgar Hoover said that no one was perfect, so his score was changed. (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). Douglas worked with the Unlawful Flight to Avoid Persecution (UFAP), which tracked down Army deserters (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). Douglas transferred to the Milwaukee field office on Jackson Street. After arriving in Milwaukee, he began the pursuit of his master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin in educational psychology (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). While in Milwaukee Douglas made the SWAT team and was assigned as a sniper, of which most of his time was spent on bank robberies (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). While assigned to SWAT, he was recommended for a two-week hostage negotiation course at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, where he underwent tutelage by Howard Teten and Pat Mullany (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). Upon completion of the hostage negotiation course at Quantico, Douglas trained bank tellers on what to look for and what to do in panic situations, and how to properly handle exploding money packs (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995).

      Then in 1976, he left Milwaukee for his temporary duty assignment as a counselor for the 107th National Academy Session at Quantico, VA. While there, Douglas graduated from the 107th Session of the National Academy on December 16, 1976 (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). As a counselor, Douglas was responsible for one section of students-Section B-consisting of 15 men (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995).  In 1978 he joined the Behavioral Science Unit, which involved primarily teaching. He taught Applied Psychology, which focused on the issue with which detectives and other crime solvers are most concerned with, motive (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). In the 1980’s Douglas taught hostage negotiation at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995). 

      John Douglas has conducted hundreds of interviews with some of the world’s most notorious serial offenders, which include:
- Charles Manson, and three members of the Manson clan.
- Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy.
- John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer that killed 33 people.
- David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam”.
- James Earl Ray, assassin of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Ted Bundy
- Unsuccessful assassins of Gerald Ford and George Wallace (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995).

      In addition, Douglas’s profiles aided in numerous arrests of serial offenders, some of which include:
- Wayne Williams, the .22 caliber killer.
- Carlton Gary, the stalking strangler.
-  Robert Hanson, the Anchorage Alaska baker who would kidnap, hunt, then kill local prostitutes.
    These are just a few of the cases that John Douglas aided in throughout his twenty-five year career as a profiler with the Behavioral Science Unit, which he later renamed the Investigative Science Unit (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995).

Contributions to Psychology
      Douglas and his colleagues outlined in an article that explained the goals of a serial offender in the September 1980 issue of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. They are as follows:
- What leads a person to become a sexual offender and what are the early warning signals?
- What serves to encourage or to inhibit the commission of his offense?
- What types of responses or coping strategies, by an intended victim are successful with what type of sexual  offender in avoiding victimization, and
- What are the implications for his dangerousness, prognosis, disposition and mode of treatment (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995)?

Also, Douglas discovered the following:
- Serial killers are always male.
- Most serial offenders are police buffs.
- That the most crucial factor in the development of a serial killer is the role of fantasy.
- For most sexually based killers, it is a several step escalation from the fantasy to the reality, often fueled by pornography, morbid experimentation on animals, and cruelty to peers.
- Most serial killers take souvenirs from their victims and give them to the women in their lives as a sign of dominance and a way of being able to relive the experience.
- Serial killers kill repeatedly with some emotional cycling or cooling-off period between crimes. 
- Most killers are inadequate types; as a result they have speech impediments. 
- Body mutilation is a sign of a disorganized personality type.
- Discovered children are abducted for 1 of 3 reasons: 
  (1) Taken by kidnappers for profit 
  (2) By child molesters for sexual gratification
  (3) People who want a child of their own (Douglas & Olshaker, 1995).

      In conclusion, I would like to say that no one has done as much as John Douglas in the field of profiling. Throughout his twenty-five year career he has interviewed over 100 serial offenders, published, and coauthored numerous books and research articles pertaining to the psychology and law. Through his uncanny profiling ability, he has aided in the apprehension of numerous dangerous serial offenders.

Douglas, J., & Olshaker, M. (1995). Mind Hunter: Inside The FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit. 

 New York, NY: Simon & Schuster; Inc.



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