Dangerous Ground: My Friendship with a Serial Killer by M. William Phelps

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M. William Phelps is the author of Dangerous Ground: My Friendship with a Serial Killer, a politics and social science biographic essay released in July 2017. A crime writer, serial killer expert and investigative journalist, he published 33 nonfiction books to date. Learn more about the author, his book, as well as ratings and reviews on it.

M. William Phelps lives in a small Connecticut farming community.

A New York Times bestselling investigative journalist, he received the Excellence in Journalism Award in 2013. With over 1 million of his books sold worldwide, he was the Winner of the New England Book Festival Award for I’ll Be Watching You and the Editor’s Choice Award from True Crime Book Reviews for Death Trap.

Phelps consulted on the first season of the Showtime series Dexter, has been profiled in Writer’s Digest, Connecticut Magazine, NY Daily News, NY Post, Newsday, Suspense Magazine, and the Hartford Courant. He has made over 200 TV appearances, including CBS’s Early Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today Show, The View, TLC, BIO Channel, and History Channel.

He created, produced and starred in the hit Investigation Discovery series Dark Minds; and is one of the stars of ID’s Deadly Women. Radio America called him “the nation’s leading authority on the mind of the female murderer.” Touched by tragedy himself, due to the unsolved murder of his pregnant sister-in-law, Phelps is able to enter the hearts and minds of his subjects like no one else.

Discover his latest book, Dangerous Ground: My Friendship with a Serial Killer, published in July 2017.


“Anyone can become a killer under the right circumstances—even you.”  

For the first time, award-winning investigative journalist M. William Phelps reveals the identity of “Raven,” the serial killer who co-starred with him on Dark Minds—and tells the story of his intriguing bond with one of America’s most disturbing killers.

In September 2011, M. William Phelps made a bold decision that would change the landscape of reality-based television—and his own life.  He asked a convicted serial killer to act as a consultant for his TV series. Under the code name “Raven,” the murderer shared his insights into the minds of other killers and helped analyze their crimes.  As the series became an international sensation, Raven became Phelps’s unlikely confidante, ally—and friend.

“I’m not making excuses for the eight murders I committed.”

In this deeply personal account, Phelps traces his own family’s dark history, and takes us into the heart and soul of a serial murderer. He also chronicles the complex relationship he developed with Raven. From questions about morality to Raven’s thoughts on the still-unsolved, brutal murder of Phelps’s sister-in-law, the author found himself grappling with an unwanted, unexpected, unsettling connection with a cold-blooded killer.

“It made me feel warm inside to know that I was responsible for that pain . . .”

Drawing on over 7,000 pages of letters, dozens of hours of recorded conversations, personal and Skype visits, and a friendship five years in the making, Phelps sheds new light on Raven’s bloody history, including details of an unknown victim, the location of a still-buried body—and a jaw-dropping admission. Eye-opening and provocative, Dangerous Ground is an unforgettable journey into the mind of a charming, manipulative psychopath that few would dare to know—and the determined journalist who did just that.







One comment

  1. The book is very informative and personal. It is about M. William Phelps’ five-year friendship with serial killer Keith Jesperson, the Happy Face Killer, as he, the author, was searching for information about unsolved murders in order to try and solve them. Phelps also tells us about the drug and alcohol addiction problems his family members had and about his own struggles at that time. I really loved this outstanding book.

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