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Public Invited to USF Frontier Forum Lecture Series Featuring Former FBI Profiler and Best-selling Author John Douglas

Nov. 8 lecture is free, open to the public

The University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences and Office of the Provost will welcome retired special agent and unit chief in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) John Douglas as a featured speaker in the Frontier Forum Lecture Series next month. Douglas will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8 in the Oval Theater at the Marshall Student Center. A book signing will follow.

After serving in the United States Air Force, Douglas began his career as an FBI special agent in the Detroit and Milwaukee field offices in the early 1970s.Some of his earliest work with the FBI was teaching hostage negotiation and applied criminal psychology at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. After teaching, he focused his efforts on criminal psychology, leading him to participate in criminal interviews of active investigations. It was during those interviews that he learned about patterns of criminal motivations, histories and mindsets. Douglas’ ability to make connections between patterns of behavior became critical elements of ongoing investigations. By helping investigators get into the mind of criminals, specifically the minds of serial killers, Douglas’ innovative techniques have helped advance investigations and to narrow suspect pools.

After spending more than 40 years revolutionizing criminal profiling, Douglas now lends his expertise to Netflix’s hit series, Mindhunter. The series, which is based on Douglas’ own work and his 1995 book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, follows two fictional FBI agents who work tirelessly to expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder.

“One of the things we like to do with this series is make connections between the world of scientific research and the world of practice,” said Eric Eisenberg, Dean of the USF College of Arts and Sciences. “Mr. Douglas’ work is an excellent example of how advances in research can help solve real world problems.”

Since 2010, the Frontier Forum Lecture Series has hosted several notable public figures, including Jane Goodall, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jeffrey Toobin, Rory Kennedy and Roxane Gay, offering students, faculty, staff, and members of the Tampa Bay community with opportunities to learn from their experiences.

The Nov. 8 event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required but seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Please note: This event may feature graphic crime scene photos and is intended for mature audiences.

For reasonable accommodations, please contact Terrie Maines at

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