Hearts of Darkness Serial Killers, the Behavioral Science Unit, and My Life as a Woman in the FBI

Hearts of Darkness

Serial Killers, the Behavioral Science Unit, and My Life as a Woman in the FBI


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  • Publication Date: October 10, 2023
  • Imprint: Abrams Press
  • ISBN: 9781647009083
  • Page Count: 320
  • Rights: North America

For fans of Mindhunter and Criminal Minds, a chilling account of a woman facing down serial killers as one of the first female profilers of the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit and real-life model for The Silence of the Lambs’s Clarice Starling

"Jana Monroe is the single most influential woman to ever serve in the FBI." —Joe Navarro, bestselling author of What Every BODY Is Saying

Jana Monroe was no ordinary cop: a cofounder of—and, at the time, the only female agent in—the world-renowned FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit at Quantico, over the course of her career she consulted on more than 850 homicide cases. Through her work, she and her BSU colleagues crossed paths with Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Edmund Kemper, Aileen Wuornos, and hundreds of other murderers; were at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco; traced the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s tracks; and, in the wake of 9/11, headed up a new and expanded FBI headquarters in Las Vegas.

But to the people who know her best, Monroe is the BSU analyst upon whom the film character of Clarice (Jodie Foster) in The Silence of the Lambs was modeled; she even helped train Foster for the role. Over the course of an utterly astonishing and, until now, relatively anonymous career in shaping law enforcement and intelligence analysis, her legacy is without parallel yet not known to the public. Hearts of Darkness is Monroe’s incredible story and will have Monroe—now retired from the FBI—finally stepping out from the shadows to tell the range of gripping, sometimes gruesome, and always remarkable tales from the top moments of a life chasing the monsters among us. Within its pages, Monroe offers insight into the cases that have stayed with her most—from the infamous to lesser-known ones that readers will be introduced to for the first time in the book—offering new insight into the minds of some of the world’s most infamous and terrifying serial killers, as well as the psychological impact her work had on her day-to-day life. Hearts of Darkness will shock, enthrall, educate, and examine both extremes of human behavior—good and evil—as well as the daily norm found in the middle of this spectrum.

About the author

Jana Monroe had a distinguished 22-year career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation where she held a variety of field investigative and operational roles across the United States, including more than five years as a criminal profiler at Quantico, Virginia. Her career culminated with Monroe pioneering as one of few women in the FBI Executive Leadership ranks: She served as special agent in charge in Phoenix, Arizona, and Los Angeles, California, two of the largest FBI field offices in the United States, and was the first assistant director of the FBI Cyber Division, based in Washington, DC. After retiring from the Bureau, Monroe entered the private sector and now serves as the vice president of global security for Herbalife. She lives in Arlington, Texas.