From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 02:31:01 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

Anyone You Want Me to Be : A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet

   by Stephen Singular / John Douglas

    Pocket Star
    01 June, 2004


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Editorial description(s):
The Internet has made many enterprises easier since its rise to popularity in the mid-90s: book sales, personal correspondence, and, in the case of John Robinson, serial murder. Even before he ever went online, Robinson had forged a life consistent with a killer's profile. Despite being fired and arrested numerous times for fraud and theft, he wriggled out of serious trouble thanks to a smooth charm and cunning intelligence. For decades, Robinson's more sinister activities escaped the notice of nearly everyone, including law enforcement and, incredibly, his own wife. But what makes Robinson's story, as told here by John Douglas and Stephen Singular, uniquely disturbing is the presence of the World Wide Web and the ease with which a murderer can use it. Online, Robinson frequented chat rooms and sites dedicated to the lurid underground world of bondage and sadomasochism. In this anonymous space, he was free to assume honey-tongued new identities that he used to lure women, especially those in vulnerable situations, to Kansas with promises of employment, protection, or sex. Their subsequent disappearances were explained away with letters that appeared to be written by the victims but were actually typed by the killer on pieces of paper the women had previously signed. Ultimately, dogged law enforcement officials were able to catch up with Robinson and put him on trial after finding gruesome evidence of his deeds. While they are skilled true-crime writers, Douglas and Singular occasionally stray into hyperbole, which is far from necessary given the elements already present in Robinson';s horrifying story. It is likely that any reader will walk a little more warily by their computer after reading this book and getting an idea of who might be hiding behind a given nickname. --John Moe --This text refers to the

From Publishers Weekly
Douglas (The Cases That Haunt Us)-criminal profiler, ex-FBI agent, true crime writer and supposedly the model for a key character in Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs- presents the sordid and horrific case of John Robinson, "the nation's-if not the world's-first Internet serial killer." A chubby middle-aged father of four with a long history as a con man, Robinson explored the local s&m underground of Kansas City while skillfully using Internet chat groups to lure sexually adventurous women to Kansas, where he killed six of them, and perhaps five more, before his arrest in 2000. Douglas's methodical pace and his careful accretion of detail to describe bizarre crimes committed by seemingly ordinary people is highly reminiscent of the work of true crime writer Ann Rule, with Douglas seeing the case as being "about sex among unglamorous people and how the Internet had unleashed so many pent-up possibilities." He also spends a lot of time describing how the proliferation of porn-related sites on the Internet has made it "the fastest-growing criminal frontier in cyberspace." While much of this is fascinating, Douglas too often breaks his tone to issue simplistic warnings to the reader ("Nobody can any longer afford to be naive when it comes to cyberspace"). Johnson, writing with journalist Singular, helpfully offers an appendix featuring "tips for helping adults and kids avoid the dangers of on-line predators."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the

Douglas, a well-regarded FBI profiler, and Singular, a journalist, explore the chilling personality behind the Internet's first serial killer. John Robinson was a bright, personable businessman, husband, father, coach, and Sunday-school teacher in the small town of Olathe, Kansas. He was also a career criminal who graduated from fraud and forgery to sexual predation and murder over a 20-year period. His charm and personality allowed him to escape punishment for many of his earlier crimes, and it was while serving short stretches in jail that he learned of the powerful criminal potential of computers. Through the Internet, Robinson met women desperate for attention and financial security and lured them into sadomasochistic relationships. Through interviews with law-enforcement specialists, psychologists, Internet experts, and others, Douglas and Singular chronicle Robinson's criminal career, sexual misconduct, and the brutal murders he committed. They also offer a cautionary look at the dark world of cybercrime. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text r" to the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly Fascinating....The sordid and horrific story of John Robinson, the nation's -- if not the world's -- first Internet serial killer. The Washington Post Riveting.

The Washington Post Riveting.

Book Description

Legendary FBI profiler and #1 New York Times bestselling author John Douglas explores the shocking case of John Robinson, a harmless, unassuming family man whose criminal history began with embezzlement and fraud -- and ended with his arrest for the savage murders of six women and his suspected involvement in at least five disappearances. Most disturbing was the hunting ground in which Robinson seduced his prey: the world of cyberspace. Haunting chat rooms, targeting vulnerable women, and exploiting the anonymity of the Internet, his bloody spree was finally halted by a relentless parole officer who spent ten years trying to nail Robinson as a cold-blooded killer.

A cautionary tale set in a virtual world where relationships are established without the benefit of physical contact, and where mainstream Americans can be drawn down a dark path of temptation and death, Anyone You Want Me To Be is a contemporary real-life drama of high-tech crime and punishment.

Reader review(s):

A Riveting, Chilling, Educational Read!, October 5, 2004
Author John Douglas, a veteran of the FBI and expert in personality profiling, demonstrates his years of experience and storytelling ability in this vivid investigative analysis of the first Internet serial killer, John Robinson. Douglas, and his co-author Stephen Singular, meticulously describe Robinson's journey from a seemingly harmless white collar criminal to an obvious psychopath, who exploited the Internet's world of single women seeking love and relationships, with deadly results. A married father of four, a seemingly good citizen, active in his church and community, Robinson was able to hide his evil nature and schemes from his wife, a woman who lived in a state of absolute denial, and from others who knew him best.

Fortunately, he was unable to fool Steve Haymes, a parole officer in Liberty, Missouri, who had been on Robinson's trail for fifteen years before his suspicions and persistent investigation panned out. Haymes was the only person who kept a record of Robinson's evolution through the criminal justice system. During a thirty-five year period, he examined his criminal patterns, his range of activities and attempted to penetrate the man's personality. Robinson had been arrested numerous times for fraud and theft, but was able to use his charm and cunning to elude more serious charges. It was during these early days in Robinson's criminal career that he appeared on Haymes' radar screen. In early 1985 Parole Officer Haymes imagined what the law enforcement community was confronting. In March 2000, he discovered that he had been correct in his initial assessment, with results much more disastrous than he had ever contemplated.

Chubby, balding, unattractive, Robinson, was intelligent, innovative and entrepreneurial enough to be in the forefront of the consumer vanguard, employing the new personal computer technology to his advantage. Cybercrime had yet to be defined when Robinson saw the possibilities in using the Internet to make easy money and gratify his particular needs and longings. Ultimately, he discovered the world of sadomasochistic Website chat rooms, where he was able to charm and reassure the vulnerable, lonely women who frequented them. It was on the Net that he was able to stalk his victims and lure them to meet him in person - never to be seen or heard from again.

I don't read much True Crime but was fascinated by this case of deadly cybercrime. I use the Internet frequently and know people who have met online and married - although they never frequented sadomasochistic chatrooms. Still, reading "Anyone You Want Me To Be" was an educational experience as well as a riveting read. Highly recommended!

Intriguing story, mediocre delivery, October 28, 2003
As a big Douglas fan, I have to admit I wasn't thrilled with this title, and I'm really sorry about that. The story of Robinson is fascinating and truly makes you wonder how these women could be so easily led. The problem I have with the book is in the delivery.

Robinson managed to get away with being a successful criminal for several decades before his insatiable need to push boundaries became his ultimate downfall. You'll read how he scammed people from THOUSANDS of dollars and walked away from bilking legitimate companies, all with barely a slap. You'll be horrified that women would travel incredible distances to be with a complete stranger, a man they 'knew' only as an online persona. The actual story left me a mixed bag of anger, sadness, and frustration.

That said, I move to the delivery of the action. In several places, the author breaks in thought from the actual story with these pointless asides. In one part, he mentions the double murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. While this is mentioned in the context of outlining the 3 basic types of killers and how invesitgators can tell a scene is created by one perp or more, it's not necessary. The mention of that crime scene taints the one you're reading about, the sick world of Robinson.

There are other places where the author breaks from the story to include asides. While some of them are important to the overall theme that the internet can be a dangerous and strange place, I felt that some of his information would have been better in an appendix. The author includes 2 appendices, one that addresses safety in surfing and chatting.

A great story, but I gave it three stars because there are too many places that the story just breaks, like a book with commercials.

Anyone You Want Me To Be - Review, May 21, 2003
I have read John Douglas' books in the past and have found them to be very engaging and informative. I was happy to find that this book was no exception. Mr. Douglas has an amazing ability to write about highly technical and scientific things that a layperson can read and understand. It is great to read true crime books without getting bogged down in all of the information that is necessary to give the reader. Mr. Douglas allows the reader to feel as if they are right there with him, as he goes through the case. Mr. Douglas' personality and compassion come through in his writing. It is heartwarming to see how involved he gets with the victim's families. He does outstanding work and I am waiting for him to receive the recognition he deserves. He is a true mindhunter!

The Mindhunter Does It Again!, May 29, 2003
After being an avid fan of serial killer books for quite some time, I'd begun to think that I'd read everything that was ever written on the subject. However, soon after I picked up John Douglas' new non-fiction book, "Anyone You Want Me To Be," I quickly realized there was an entire world of crime I had yet to discover.
While I had previously heard of John Robinson, I knew very little about the details of his background and killing spree. In today's world, where the Internet is such an integral part of everyday life, it is frightening to know there are predators like John Robinson out there, preying on innocent trustworthy people.
Mr.Douglas, who created the FBI's profiling unit, effectively allows the reader to enter a place many authors have previously left untouched, a killer's mind. Tracing John Robinson's background from his childhood to his days as a killer, Douglas allows us to see Robinson as more than just a psychotic maniac.
For those who enjoyed Mr. Douglas' previous works, this haunting, bone chilling masterpiece is an absolute must read.

I have been a huge fan of John Douglas' career and books. In this latest book he focuses his attention and uses his professional profiling expereince to analyze one case. In Anyone You Want Me To Be, the reader doesn't just get the facts of the case but it is told from an entirely different perspective, that of a profiler. From the title of the book one may think the character is fictious, but this story is very true. Mr. Douglas takes us into the mind of John Robinson and explains how one man used the Internet to manipulate and control women for his own personal gain. He also tells us how we can protect ourselves from predators on the Internet. A true page turner.

Chilling true story of a remorseless predator, June 10, 2003
Fascinating and horrifying. I also read John Glatt's "Internet Slavemaster," which is about the same case and covers much of the same ground, but ends before the trial and verdict. I love books that peer into the criminal mind, and John Douglas has written some good ones, particularly "Mindhunter," "Journey into Darkness," and "Anatomy of Motive." What's particularly horrifying here is how John Robinson was able to get away with his crimes for so long. He would get caught in some scam and go to jail for a short stretch or get probation, then just carry on, always cooking up new schemes. When a woman he'd hired would disappear, the family would receive a poorly-typed letter purportedly from her, and the police would drop the case. Why wasn't this guy nailed sooner? It reminds me of the Sante and Kenny Kimes case, which is the subject of more than one book, but I think "Son of a Grifter" by Kent Walker, Sante's other son, is the best. In both cases, they started out as con men, managed to fool and/or intimidate people, got away with outrageous crimes for years, and went on to commit murder.

pretty good--NOT ONE SINGLE PICTURE!!!!!, June 10, 2003
Long-winded in certain parts (biographies, of various cops and lawyers). Absolutely no pictures whatsoever, of the victims, the accused, the farm, I mean not even newspaper pictures. That really [was bad].

A Thoroughly Engrossing Read, May 15, 2003
I have come to expect fine writing from John Douglas and his latest offering is no exception. His ability to tell a good story while educating the reader is second to none and sets Mr. Douglas apart from other authors in the true crime genre. There is a sincerity to his efforts that is refreshing and makes each case study come alive. You almost feel as though he is sitting with you, telling what really happened. His sympathy and care for the victims and their families is apparent throughout, as well. Stellar job, Mr. Douglas. Bravo.

As always, a thoroughly engrossing read, May 15, 2003
I have come to expect fine writing from John Douglas and his latest offering is no exception. His ability to tell a good story while educating the reader is second to none and sets Mr. Douglas apart from other authors in the true crime genre. There is a sincerity to his efforts that is refreshing and makes each case study come alive. You almost feel as though he is sitting with you, telling what really happened. His sympathy and care for the victims and their families is apparent throughout, as well. Stellar job, Mr. Douglas. Bravo.

Where's Ann Rule Now That We Need Her?, August 3, 2003
Where's Ann Rule now that we need her? I live in Johnson County, KS, the site of this heinous crime, and I was very disappointed in "Anyone..." I wonder if the author has ever been in Johnson County, since there are many inaccuracies in this book. Lenexa is not North of Olathe, Dr. Wallace Graham's office was in Missouri, not Kansas, The Jewel Box was not a "notorious" night spot, and Queen Elizabeth had not just been coronated at the time of John Robinson's visit. In acknowledgments, Mr. Douglas states that his wife, Joyce, attended legal proceedings in Kansas City? Did Douglas not attend the trial?

This book is definitely not for Johnson Countians, who are more familiar with this case and the area than Douglas.

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