The Psychopath Whisperer

Pages: 304
Subject: Popular Science, Popular Psychology
Imprint: Oneworld

The Psychopath Whisperer

Inside the Minds of Those Without a Conscience

Kent Kiehl

A chilling and provocative scientific dissection of the psychopath's brain 

The Book

Are psychopaths ‘evil' and untreatable, or do they suffer from a form of mental illness comparable to schizophrenia? Do they have free will? Do we?

In this at once terrifying and exhilarating account, neuroscientist Kent Kiehl guides us through the dark world of a psychopath's mind, a disconnected place where emotion is dead and guilt is absent. Drawing on groundbreaking research, including personality surveys and brain imaging scans of thousands of criminals, Kiehl pinpoints the biological machinery of psychopathy and offers a radical new perspective on identifying and treating the psychopaths in our midst.

Additional Information

Subject Popular Science, Popular Psychology
Pages 304
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Dr Kent Kiehl is Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Law at the University of New Mexico. The author of more than 100 scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals, he has also been featured in media ranging from The New Yorker to Nature. He is also Executive Science Officer at the non-profit Mind Research Network. He lives in Albuquerque.


‘Absorbing and accessible… compelling… a staggering study into the minds of those without a conscience’ 

- Daily Mail

'A fascinating and terrifying book, and a potential life saver.'

- John Seabrook The New Yorker

'It is rare to find an accessible book on the subject by a researcher who is an acknowledged leader in the field. Kent Kiehl is the exception to the rule… infectious… an insightful and memorable look into the troubled minds of people with psychopathy'


'A world-renowned researcher of psychopaths delves into the origins of their behaviour, especially as it relates to the inner workings of the brain...Navigates these issues and more with compassion and insight. Fast-paced and thrilling.'

- Kirkus Reviews

'A must read! Dr Kiehl's research formed the backbone of my work in analysing the behavioural signature of a psychopath left behind at the crime scene ... Don't trust your gut about this disorder - learn about it from one of the foremost experts in the field.'

- Mary Ellen O'Toole, Special Agent (retired), Behavioural Analysis Unit, FBI

'What sets this book apart is the combination of an accessible overview of the cutting-edge science and compelling and authentic portrayal of what individuals with psychopathy are really like.'

- Essi Viding, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, University College London

'A renowned neuroscientist provides us with a fascinating account of his personal journey into the mind of the psychopath.'

- Robert D. Hare, author of Without Conscience

'In this superb book written by one of the pioneers in this fi eld, Kent Kiehl explores what is different about the brains of psychopaths. This is a clear, accessible account of the science and, in addition, an appealing personal story of how Kiehl has gone about his unique science.'

- Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University

'An exhilarating exploration into the lives, minds and emotions of criminal psychopaths by one of the leading researchers in the field. This lively and engaging narrative not only educates the reader on the internal machinations of the psychopath, but also takes us through Kiehl's own life journey of scientific discovery. It's an irresistible read that is hard to put down.  Even after decades of my own research I found myself learning new perspectives on the psychopath. Serious, witty, saddening and beguiling, The Psychopath Whisperer yells out as a "must read" for anyone interested in those without conscience.'

- Adrian Raine, professor of Criminology, Psychiatry, and Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

'The fascinating story of how Kent Kiehl, a remarkably energetic and accomplished scientist, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a mobile brain scanner to examine the brains of more psychopathic prisoners than anyone in the world and characterize their dysfunction. Filled with entertaining anecdotes of psychopaths in prison, research collaborations, and scientific discovery, the book discusses the ramifications of his findings to the criminal system and to the treatment of psychopathic juvenile delinquents. An eye-opening read!'

- Dr Joseph Newman, professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison