John Douglas MasterClass Review:
Understanding Criminal Minds

Last updated on: August 10, 2023, Written by:

Bill Tremlon

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The depth of human behavior is an unending intrigue. It raises questions about nature vs. nurture – are notorious criminals born or made? It compels you to ask yourself – do I have violent crime traits in me? While these questions have myriad answers, a great way to start raising them is to watch the John Douglas MasterClass on thinking like an FBI profiler.

As an ex-FBI profiler, John takes you through the minds of serial killers and criminals he encountered in his career, like Ed Kemper. John Douglas teaches you how to think like an FBI profiler in your everyday life. Read on this John Douglas MasterClass review to decide whether it is worth the money.

John Douglas MasterClass Outline

The John Douglas MasterClass is an immersive journey into criminal profiling and behavioral analysis led by ex-FBI profiler John Douglas. This unique and engaging ‘Think Like an FBI’ course offers a firsthand experience and unravels the motives that are changing interrogative tactics forever.

John Douglas Masterclass Review

John Douglas MasterClass Review In a Nutshell

⭐ Rating:9.0 ★★★★★
🥇 Category of class:Science & Tech
📈 Suits best for:Aspiring criminal profilers and crime enthusiasts
🕒 Lenght:2 hours 54 minutes
⏳ Avg. Lesson Duration12 minutes
🛍️ Course Essentials:John Douglas’s books, Mind Hunter TV series, and Criminal Minds TV series
💼 Complementary material:a 42-page class guide
📚 No. of Lessons:14 lessons
🛒 Payment options:Individual / Duo / Family
💵 Price:10 – 20 $ (billed annually)
🔄 Refund policy:30-day satisfaction guarantee
🎁 Free trial:

1.Meet Your Instructor;
2.Becoming a Mindhunter;
3.Learning From a Killer: The Kemper Tapes;
4.Avoiding Cults and Manipulators: Charles Manson;
5.Spotting a Liar: John Wayne Gacy;
6.Understanding Motives: Son of Sam;
7.Predicting Criminal Behavior: The Anchorage Killer;
8.Understanding the Perp and Victim: The Trailside Killer;
9.Identifying Vulnerabilities: Darrell Gene Devier;
10.Developing Intuition;
11.Determining M.O. vs. Signature: The BTK Strangler;
12.Making Calculated Decisions: The Atlanta Child Murders;
13.Lifesaving Lessons: Larry Gene Bell;
14.Doing Your Own Profile.

Key Skills You’ll Learn

  • Spotting deception lies;
  • Profiling criminal behavior;
  • Analyzing violent crime scenes;
  • Predicting criminal behavior;
  • Understanding M.O. vs. Signature;
  • Exploring victimology.

Is John Douglas MasterClass For Me?

Whether you’re a crime enthusiast, aspiring FBI profiler, or simply curious about criminal psychology and violent crime, John Douglas’s expertise and groundbreaking interviews of violent crime make this MasterClass suitable for many learners.

Our Evaluation

Total score: 9.0

John Douglas as an Instructor
Uniqueness and Freshness
Structure and Quality
Student Engagement and Retention
Value for the Money


  • Real-life groundbreaking interviews
  • Insights from an ex-FBI profiler
  • Practical investigative techniques


  • Not for the fainthearted

John Douglas MasterClass Teacher Review

Meet John Douglas

John Douglas is an esteemed ex-FBI profiler with over four decades of criminal profiling and behavioral analysis expertise. His journey as a criminal profiler began after a defining moment on Super Bowl Sunday in 1972 during an arrest in Detroit, Michigan.

A suspect’s statement, “We are who we are, and crime is in our heart and soul,” sparked a profound realization – human behavior is predictable. It ignited John’s idea of criminal profiling, changing interrogative tactics forever.

John Douglas as a Teacher

John Douglas is an excellent and engaging instructor throughout, even compared with world stars in other MasterClass courses. Even though he has no formal teaching experience, his degree in psychology, background as a hostage negotiator, and role in teaching seminars to local officers allowed him to refine his instructional skills. 

John Douglas teaches how to think like an FBI profiler in his MasterClass

About MasterClass

Since 2015, MasterClass brings 180+ online classes from top-tier instructors in almost any field. It includes pre-recorded video lessons from masters such as Richard Branson, Martin Scorsese, Aaron Sorkin, Gordon Ramsay, and many others.

The video quality equals Hollywood movies, and every MasterClass course is carefully structured. But that’s not all. There are interactive assignments, MasterClass community activities, and an ever-growing video library to enjoy. The sheer amount of content can make it hard to begin. Cursums will help you to choose wisely.

Originality and Novelty of the Content

There is a lot of fragmented information on how to think like an FBI profiler on the internet. In an attempt to distill John Douglas’s expertise, these online sources fall short of truly capturing the essence of his knowledge and experiences with violent crime.  

However, The John Douglas MasterClass review bridges this gap admirably. It compiles his expertise into a concise 2 hours and 54 minutes course. With this Think Like an FBI course, you’ll gain access to a wealth of information that would otherwise require extensive reading and research.

In addition, this MasterClass course captures the key aspects of criminal profiling, offering a well-rounded and immersive learning experience. You can grasp the complexities of profiling and behavioral analysis through real-life groundbreaking interviews and engaging visuals. This makes the John Douglas course a top choice for an aspiring FBI profiler, providing you with a deeper insight into criminal minds.

Content and Structure of the John Douglas MasterClass

The John Douglas MasterClass comprises 14 new classes, totaling 2 hours and 54 minutes of content. On average, each lesson lasts approximately 12 minutes. The longest lesson is Lesson 11, running for 17 minutes and 25 seconds, which covers “Determining M.O. vs. Signature featuring The BTK Strangler.” 

You only need a few hours to finish the Think Like an FBI course by watching the video lessons. However, when you incorporate the assignments given at the end of the new classes, this timeline can increase to days or even weeks. 

Unraveling Criminal Minds

1-5 Lessons Summary

The FBI profiler delves into the criminal’s mind to help you understand Nature vs. nurture: are criminals born? He walks you through his investigative process with notorious criminals like Ed Kemper, Charles Manson, and John Wayne Gacy.

FBI profiler explores criminal profile

Douglas sheds more light on notorious criminals, their motives, and their behaviors by analyzing their actions in everyday life. He teaches you the three traits of violent crime: crimes, identifying a manipulator, and spotting lies and deception in everyday life.

Behavioral Analysis and Prediction

6-7 Lessons Summary

John Douglas then takes you through a criminal profiler behavior analysis and prediction process. He refers to serial killers such as the Son of Sam and the Anchorage Killer case. He teaches you the building blocks of criminal profiling and how to use empathy to understand the motives of violent crime.

John Douglas MasterClass on serial killers: The Anchorage Killer

Victimology and Investigation Techniques

8-9 Lessons Summary

To better understand serial killers’ motives and the perpetrator, John Douglas shows you to walk in the killer’s and the victim’s shoes. He features the Trailside Killer’s case and Darrell Gene Devier – a convicted child murderer, to help you better understand the concepts of serial killers and victimology.

John Douglas Teaches victimology on 8 lesson

Applied Profiling and Practical Skills

10-13 Lessons Summary

In these final lessons, John Douglas teaches how to apply your knowledge like an FBI profiler. He delves into intuition, how to listen and strengthen it, and how to make informed decisions. He also walks you through understanding a criminal’s M.O. (modus operandi) vs Signature.

John Douglas final lessons: apply knowledge like FBI profiler

M.O. is a particular way/method of doing something and can evolve, while signature is a constant aspect-a ritual. He features several notorious criminals such as the Tamper Killer, The BTK Stranger, and the Atlanta Killer. He concludes with a case study of Larry Gene Bell, where you witness the application of profiling in real-life scenarios.

Your Profiling Journey

14 lesson Summary

The final lesson, Doing Your Own Profile, ties everything together, inviting you to step into the shoes of an FBI criminal profiler. By creating your criminal profiles, you can showcase your understanding of this Think Like an FBI course’s content.

John Douglas Teaches how to do your own profile

Fast-Track Lesson Plan

Finish John Douglas MasterClass in 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 32 seconds.

3.Learning From a Killer: The Kemper Tapes13:45
4.Avoiding Cults and Manipulators: Charles Manson13:16
5Spotting a Liar: John Wayne Gacy12:25
6.Understanding Motives: Son of Sam12:54
7.Predicting Criminal Behavior: The Anchorage Killer12:28
8.Understanding the Perp and Victim: The Trailside Killer12:23
9.Identifying Vulnerabilities: Darrell Gene Devier11:36
10.Developing Intuition08:55
11.Determining M.O. vs. Signature: The BTK Strangler17:25
12.Making Calculated Decisions: The Atlanta Child Murders11:45
13.Lifesaving Lessons: Larry Gene Bell-16:51

Engagement and Retention of John Douglas MasterClass

The John Douglas MasterClass is an eye-gluing experience for criminal profiling enthusiasts and crime lovers. With its captivating storytelling, real-life groundbreaking interviews, and in-depth insights into criminal behavior, you are engrossed from start to finish. John Douglas’s expertise and engaging delivery make the criminal profiler course visually appealing and easy to follow, fostering strong retention.  

My Firsthand Experience With John Douglas MasterClass

What I liked About John Douglas MasterClass

Real-life Groundbreaking Interviews

Including real-life cases allowed me to delve into the minds of notorious criminals, gaining a deeper understanding of their motives and behavior through tangible examples.

Insights from an Ex-FBI Profiler

Learning directly from John Douglas, an esteemed ex-FBI profiler, was a highlight of the course. His wealth of knowledge and practical experience enriched the learning journey significantly.

Practical Investigative Techniques

The course offers valuable practical techniques that are changing interrogative tactics forever, empowering me to think like an FBI profiler.

What I Didn’t Like about John Douglas MasterClass

Some Topics Are Disturbing

While the Think Like an FBI course provided invaluable insights, some topics John Douglas teaches are disturbing as they explored the nature of criminal minds and violent crime. Some lessons might not be for the fainthearted.

Is John Douglas MasterClass a Good Purchase?

The Price of John Douglas MasterClass

 The John Douglas MasterClass courses offer three annual plans, priced similarly to other courses on the platform:

Individual (one device)$10 per month
Duo (two devices)$15 per month
Family (six devices)$20 per month

Opting for the Duo or Family plan reduces the MasterClasses overall cost, making the MasterClass subscription more affordable for accessing new classes on the platform. 

Furthermore, MasterClass offers a diverse range of courses at the same price, extending beyond John Douglas MasterClass. You can also delve into different topics such as Bill Nye science MasterClass, TV show production with Shonda Rhimes or learn how to thing with Neil Degrasse.

Does the Class Live Up to the Hype?

The John Douglas MasterClass surpasses expectations and is well worth the investment. John Douglas teaches with expert insights, groundbreaking interviews, and practical techniques, for an immersive experience of criminal profiling.

John Douglas MasterClass: Ratings from Around the Web

On Instagram, John Douglas’s ‘Think Like an FBI’ course is mentioned as a captivating one that keeps learners glued to their screens.

John Douglas Masterclass Review on Instagram

On Facebook, the value of the criminal profiler course is undisputed for learners. It is reviewed as offering good value for money.

John Douglas Masterclass Review on Facebook

Essentials Used in the John Douglas MasterClass

The John Douglas MasterClass Think Like an FBI course, is a captivating one. While you can learn as John Douglas teaches, I found reading some of John’s books more valuable after taking the course. I also watched some TV series that made John’s concepts relatable. These are:

  • John Douglas Books:
  • Mindhunter
  • Anyone You Want Me to Be
  • Journey Into Darkness
  • Obsession
  • The Anatomy of Motive
  • John Douglas TV series:
  • ·   Criminal Minds TV Series

Courses Similar to John Douglas MasterClass

Other Courses of Science & Tech on MasterClass

  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson teaches scientific thinking and communication
  • Terence Tao Teaches Mathematical Thinking
  • Chris Hadfield Teaches Space Exploration
  • Dr. Jane Goodall Teaches Conservation
  • Matthew Walker Teaches the Science of Better Sleep
  • Will Wright Teaches Game Design and Theory
  • Jeff Goodby & Rich Silverstein Teach Advertising and Creativity

MasterClass Competitors


Udemy is one of the most popular online learning providers, with a massive choice of various classes. The learning platform covers a range of criminology, sociology, and forensic psychology courses.


Coursera is another big name in the online courses market, with a lot to offer in crime-related fields. It’s a great way to expand your knowledge of the field without spending much money on online learning.


Skillshare focuses on practical courses, with educational videos substituting expensive college courses. The aim is to provide users with marketable skills for finding a job. There is a great course on the psychology of crime as well. 

John Douglas MasterClass: FAQ

In the John Douglas MasterClass, John Douglas teaches real-life cases of notorious criminals, such as Ed Kemper, Charles Manson, and the BTK Strangler. He offers valuable insights into their motives and behaviors.

Yes, John Douglas’s MasterClass courses can benefit individuals pursuing law enforcement careers. The think like an FBI Profiler course provides practical investigative techniques and skills on how to think like an FBI criminal profiler that can help enhance investigative abilities.

Some of the techniques shared by John Douglas include analyzing real-life violent crime, understanding the motives of notorious criminals like Ed Kemper and predicting criminal behavior, and developing intuition to make informed judgments in investigative work.

Author: Bill Tremlon

Blogger | Life-long learner

Bill Tremlon

I’ve spent the last ten years passionately studying various online learning platforms. Udemy, MasterClass, Coursera, and Skillshare are the main ones, but I review lesser-known study tools as well. I test and analyze each course and lesson thoroughly before sharing my research.



Examining John’s course revealed intricate criminal psychology.

Author: Bill Tremlon

Blogger | Life-long learner

Bill Tremlon