By: Grace Srinivasiah (THE LINEUP) – No matter how repulsive our society finds killers, we can’t help but be fascinated by some of the most heinous crimes in history—and the minds behind those murders.

Researchers have conducted studies to learn what causes people to revel in violence, in the hope that their work will protect other would-be victims from similar fates. Their conclusions—and the resulting books—help the public identify common characteristics of psychopaths and serial killers... and prevent many more senseless deaths.

Read on for five of the most in-depth works that explore the minds of killers—and never look at your boss the same way again.

This story was originally featured on The Lineup is the premier digital destination for fans of true crime, horror, the mysterious, and the paranormal.