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The Faces of Crime-bookcover

By: Gene O'Donnell

The Faces of Crime

Pages: 232 Ratings: 5.0
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FBI Forensic Artist and Laboratory Supervisor Gene O’Donnell traveled the world for 32 years to draw the faces of criminals waiting for him in the memories of their victims. Sometimes the only witnesses he had were the skeletal remains found along a lonesome highway. Spies, bank robbers, lost and missing kids, aspiring presidential assassins, rapists, anybody wanted by police, Gene drew. With few leads, these drawings were often the only thing that allowed investigators to track down suspects.

This memoir takes the reader on fascinating journeys of true crimes. See how age-progressed images of two kidnapped children led Unsolved Mysteries to the Fontes boys, who, though missing for many years, were recognized and rescued, while their kidnappers were brought to justice. Experience the victory of helping to find the worst that mankind has to offer and the heartbreak over the ones that got away.

Leading the international training program for police forensic artists at Quantico for more than twenty years, Gene has been interviewed by scores of media outlets about his FBI casework and has served as a consultant for the television series Hannibal.

After a childhood spent in rural western Pennsylvania and stints at college, Gene turned to an area of study that he truly enjoyed: art. Accepting an appointment with the FBI, he quickly found his calling – forensic art; a mixture of two things that he loved best: helping others and creating art.

During his long career, Gene was nominated for the Department of Justice Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the FBI Director’s Award for Outstanding Performance on several occasions. He traveled the globe to assist other countries’ police departments with their unsolved cases, many of which were the result of a horrific crime.

Publishing collaborative scientific papers for the Journal of Forensic Science, his work has also been featured in the FBI’s Law Enforcement Bulletin. Gene has lectured widely around the U.S., and his work has been included in college textbooks on biological anthropology.


Customer Reviews
3 reviews
3 reviews
  • JudyRowan

    An excellent read! Real life experiences of a former artist as he traveled the world.

  • anonymous

    I read this book 3 times, it was that good!!! couldn't believe how it captured my attention, mesmerizing. I love how when I read a story and its so good that you can't put it down and that is exactly how this book reads. I would recommend this book to anyone and I hope this author continues to write another! I look forward to that!!

  • David Hardy

    This book was an amazing account of a real-life FBI forensic artist's professional journey. I was transfixed by the writer's stories of interviews with everyone from Russian spies to mob bosses. An emotional account of the artist's attempts to help locate missing and abused children and identify terrorists with only the testimony of their traumatized victims, this book also gives flesh to crime fighters' tragic and heroic challenges and successes. There are also interesting things documented that I'd never known before, like the fact that the FBI operates overseas, employs psychics, and has a whole team of artists that do this kind of important work. A must-read!

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