My Life with Murderers
Behind Bars with the World’s Most Violent Men
By David Wilson
A true crime memoir like no other, Professor David Wilson gets inside the mind of a murderer and tries to uncover what drives men to kill
'Hugely insightful and thought provoking . . . I read it from cover to cover in one go' Emilia Fox
'With characteristic brilliance and admirable sensitivity, Wilson illuminates the complex causes of their often horrific crimes' Professor Simon Winlow, Vice President of the British Society of Criminology
Professor David Wilson has spent his professional life working with violent men - especially men who have committed murder. Aged twenty-nine he became, at that time, the UK's youngest ever prison Governor in charge of a jail and his career since then has seen him sat across a table with all sorts of killers: sometimes in a tense interview; sometimes sharing a cup of tea (or something a little stronger); sometimes looking them in the eye to tell them that they are a psychopath.
Some of these men became David's friends; others would still love to kill him.
My Life with Murderers tells the story of David's journey from idealistic prison governor to expert criminologist and professor. With experience unlike any other, David's story is a fascinating and compelling study of human nature.
David Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Criminology and the founding Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University. Prior to taking up an academic appointment in 1997, David was a Prison Governor and at 29 became the youngest governing governor in England.
He worked at Grendon, Wormwood Scrubs and at Woodhill in Milton Keynes - where he helped to design and then ran the two units for the 12 most violent prisoners in the country, which brought him into contact with many recent serial killers. David regularly appears in the print and broadcast media as a commentator and presenter. His most recent documentary was the critically acclaimed Interview with a Murderer for Channel 4 in June 2016. In 2017 the documentary won the Broadcast Award and the Royal Television Society Award.
Professor Wilson regularly gives public, school and university lectures. He is currently filming for the BBC and Channel 4.
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- Publication date:
21 Mar 2019
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A riveting exploration of the psychology of those who have committed unthinkable crimes. It's also hugely insightful and thought provoking about our justice system, I read it from cover to cover in one go. David's professional experiences make an absolutely compelling read for anyone who is interested in the criminal mind and its motivations — Emilia Fox
Wilson's fascinating career brought him into contact with Britain's most violent criminals. In this gripping book, he moves beyond the usual media sensationalism to discuss in detail his life among our prison system's most notorious murderers, serial killers, sex offenders and hitmen. With characteristic brilliance and admirable sensitivity, Wilson illuminates the complex causes of their often horrific crimes. And in the background of Wilson's pitch-perfect central narrative, lies an accompanying account of a strained criminal justice system and the gradual disintegration of the rehabilitative ideal. Page-turning stuff. I'm sure this book will prove to be a great hit — Professor Simon Winlow, Vice President of the British Society of Criminology