Reid Meloy studies the actions and motives of criminals

Reid Meloy
Reid Meloy

Reid Meloy, Ph.D., is a board-certified forensic psychologist, author and researcher who consults on criminal and civil cases throughout the United States and Europe. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego, School of Medicine, and a faculty member of the San Diego Psychoanalytic Institute. He has received a number of awards from various professional organizations and is chairman of Forensis, Inc., and Forensis Europa, Inc., two nonprofit, public benefit corporations devoted to forensic psychiatric and psychological research. (


Reid Meloy

Meloy has authored/co-authored several hundred papers published in peer-reviewed psychiatric and psychological journals, and has authored, co-authored or edited 10 books. His most recent, “Stalking, Threatening and Attacking Public Figures” (Oxford University Press, 2008), led to a commissioned study for the National Academy of Sciences on threats toward public figures published in March 2011. (

). His book with Jens Hoffman, “The International Handbook of Threat Assessment,” will be published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

Meloy is a consultant to the counterintelligence division of the FBI and intermittently teaches at the Behavioral Analysis Units in Quantico. He is a member of the Fixated Research Group for the United Kingdom’s Home Office concerning threats to the Royal Family and British political figures, and also teaches for the Netherlands National Police.

He’s been a technical consultant to the TV program “CSI,” since its inception in 2001.

Meloy lives in WindanSea with his wife, MJ, a psychologist and neuroimaging researcher at UCSD, and his daughter, Olivia, who is in the second grade at La Jolla Elementary.

What brought you to La Jolla?

I visited La Jolla for the first time in 1970, and as a young man realized this is where I wanted to settle, given its pristine beauty and lovely weather. We moved in 1977 to the Shores.

What are your favorite places to go in La Jolla?

WindanSea Beach, The Cove, The Cottage, and Baskin-Robbins.

What might you add to improve La Jolla?

I would enact a Village ordinance that encourages everyone to smile and say hello to the first six people they pass on the street every day.

Who or what inspires you?

People’s capacity for hope and ability to love in the face of a difficult and dangerous world inspires me.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, who (living or deceased) would you invite?

My guest list would include Sigmund Freud, Charlie Rose, Robert Kennedy, Hirsi Ali, Herodotus, Matt Damon, Maya Angelou, my wife MJ, and Ruth Perez (my mother-in-law).

What are you reading?

Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” David McCullough’s “The Greater Journey,” and Douglas Waller’s “Wild Bill Donovan; Ethical Principals in Operational Psychology.”

What is your dream vacation?

That would be a stay at Club Med in the Bahamas with my family.

What are your five favorite movies of all time?

“The English Patient,” “Heat,” “Out of Africa,” “Braveheart,” “Gladiator,” and “Last of the Mohicans.” (I couldn’t resist six.)

What foods comfort you?

Homemade, warm chocolate chip cookies.

What is your philosophy of life?

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.



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