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Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine - Barts and The London

Making a Psychopath - New book by Wolfson author Mark Freestone

Mark Freestone, Reader in Mental Health at the Wolfson Institute, today releases his new book, Making a Psychopath. Widely recognised as the psychologist who helped bring Killing Eve assassin Villanelle to life, Mark now shares his insights into seven of the most dangerous minds he has encountered over the last 15 years.

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Dr Freestone commented: “At Queen Mary we have an entire institute – the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine – dedicated to the prevention of serious medical and social harms, ranging from cancer to violence. Although violence is something we all experience to some degree, the research literature around it is pretty impenetrable, and gives people outside academia very little understanding of what causes people to be violent.

 Making a Psychopath is hopefully a challenging but enjoyable read. While not an academic textbook,  it does have a more serious message, exploring some of the evidence around why people develop a personality that makes them uniquely prone to committing violence – what we would call psychopaths – and how this term is both helpful and unhelpful in preventing violent crime. I hope people enjoy it, but I also hope it provokes thought about whether calling people ‘psychopaths’ will make a difference to violent crime in our societies.”


Making a Psychopath is released on 15 October 2020 by Penguin Random House.