The Murderer Next Door Book Summary - The Murderer Next Door Book explained in key points

The Murderer Next Door summary

David M. Buss

Brief summary

The Murderer Next Door by David M. Buss delves into the dark world of murder and explores the psychological motivations behind it. It provides a captivating and insightful analysis of the minds of killers.

Give Feedback
Table of Contents

    The Murderer Next Door
    Summary of key ideas

    Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature

    In The Murderer Next Door by David M. Buss, we are taken on a journey to understand the dark side of human nature. Buss, a renowned evolutionary psychologist, delves into the evolutionary roots of murder, exploring why and how humans kill. He begins by debunking the myth that murderers are always deranged individuals, emphasizing that they can be ordinary people living next door.

    Buss argues that murder is not a modern phenomenon but has been a part of human history since our earliest days. He explains that our ancestors resorted to killing for various reasons, such as acquiring resources, eliminating rivals, or protecting their offspring. These violent tendencies, he suggests, are deeply ingrained in our evolutionary past and continue to influence our behavior today.

    The Evolutionary Psychology of Murder

    Continuing his exploration, Buss introduces the concept of evolutionary psychology, which seeks to understand human behavior through the lens of evolution. He argues that our minds have evolved to solve specific problems related to survival and reproduction, and murder, in some cases, is a solution to these problems. For instance, a man may kill his wife's lover to prevent her from leaving him, thus ensuring the survival of his genes.

    Furthermore, Buss discusses the gender differences in murder, highlighting that men are more likely to commit violent crimes than women. He attributes this to the different reproductive strategies of men and women, where men are more inclined to use aggression to gain resources and status, while women rely on other means such as forming alliances.

    The Triggers and Motives of Murder

    Shifting his focus, Buss examines the triggers and motives of murder. He identifies several common motives, including jealousy, revenge, and sexual competition. He also discusses the role of situational factors, such as alcohol and drugs, in escalating violent behavior. Buss's research reveals that most murders are not premeditated but are often the result of impulsive actions in the heat of the moment.

    Moreover, Buss introduces the concept of homicidal fantasies, which are surprisingly common among the general population. He explains that these fantasies serve as a form of mental rehearsal, allowing individuals to mentally prepare for extreme situations. While most people never act on these fantasies, they provide valuable insights into the human mind's capacity for violence.

    Preventing and Understanding Murder

    In the latter part of The Murderer Next Door, Buss discusses the implications of his research on preventing and understanding murder. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing the warning signs of potential violence and intervening early. Buss also advocates for a better understanding of the evolutionary roots of murder, arguing that it can help us develop more effective strategies for preventing and addressing violent behavior.

    In conclusion, The Murderer Next Door offers a thought-provoking exploration of the evolutionary psychology of murder. Buss's research sheds light on the dark and often misunderstood aspects of human nature, challenging us to confront the uncomfortable reality that murder is an inherent part of our evolutionary heritage. By understanding the roots of violence, Buss suggests, we may be better equipped to prevent it in the future.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Murderer Next Door about?

    'The Murderer Next Door' by David M. Buss explores the dark and complex world of homicide. Through compelling real-life cases and insightful analysis, the book delves into the motivations and psychological factors behind murder, challenging our assumptions and shedding light on this chilling phenomenon.

    The Murderer Next Door Review

    The Murderer Next Door (2005) by David M. Buss delves into the dark and intriguing world of homicide and provides fascinating insights into why people commit murder. Here's why this book is definitely worth a read:

    • The book presents a thorough analysis of the motivations and psychology behind murder, offering a unique understanding of human behavior.
    • Real-life case studies and interviews with convicted killers add a gripping and chilling aspect to the book, making it both educational and captivating.
    • With its engaging storytelling and thought-provoking exploration of crime, The Murderer Next Door elevates the true crime genre, ensuring that boredom is never a concern.

    Who should read The Murderer Next Door?

    • Readers interested in understanding the psychological factors that drive people to commit murder
    • True crime enthusiasts who want to explore the dark side of human nature
    • Psychology students or professionals looking for insights into criminal behavior

    About the Author

    David M. Buss is a renowned evolutionary psychologist and author. He has dedicated his career to studying human behavior and the evolutionary origins of our thoughts and actions. Buss has written several influential books, including 'The Evolution of Desire' and 'The Dangerous Passion'. His work has significantly contributed to our understanding of mating strategies, jealousy, and aggression. Buss's research has been widely recognized and has earned him numerous awards and accolades in the field of psychology.

    Categories with The Murderer Next Door

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    30 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Murderer Next Door FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Murderer Next Door?

    The main message of The Murderer Next Door is understanding the dark side of human nature.

    How long does it take to read The Murderer Next Door?

    The estimated reading time for The Murderer Next Door is several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Murderer Next Door a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Murderer Next Door is worth reading for its insightful exploration of human behavior and the psychology behind murder.

    Who is the author of The Murderer Next Door?

    The author of The Murderer Next Door is David M. Buss.

    What to read after The Murderer Next Door?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Murderer Next Door, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
    • Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • The Now Habit by Neil Fiore
    • Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susann Jeffers
    • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
    • Incognito by David Eagleman
    • Quiet by Susan Cain
    • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
    • Happiness by Richard Layard
    • Influence by Robert B. Cialdini