Page 1 of 10PDF FileCRIMINAL PROFILINGUNIT OVERVIEW: Criminal profiling is one of the most fascinating aspects of forensicinvestigation. This unit will explore this field of expertise as well as taking a look at selected cases ofserial crime.DIRECTIONS: Read the following unit material, visit the recommended web sites, and answer thequestions at the end of the unit.Key Termscriminal profilingCriminal Geographic Targetinginductive profilingm.o.(method of operation)familiaritydeductive profilingspatial patternsgeographical profilingIntroduction to Criminal ProfilingIs forensic criminal profiling a myth or reality? Criminal profiling is a field that has gainednotoriety in recent years. What does a forensic criminal profiler do? This unit will explore justthat. Criminal profiling is often known as offender profiling, or just profiling. A criminal profileranalyzes habits and rituals of serial criminals. Criminal profiling is the application of psychologicaltheory to the analysis and reconstruction of evidence that relates to an offender’s crime scenes,victims and behaviors. A trained forensic psychologist will sift through the aspects of a crime scene
Page 2 of 10in order to develop a description of the personality of the perpetrator. The personality descriptioncould include the age, sex, occupation, behavioral disorders, upbringing, marital status, the type ofplace a perpetrator would live in and its general overall condition, the type of person the perpetratormight live with, what type of car they drive, if they have a speech impediment or acne, or some othertype of disability or difficulty in relating to others. The profiler will tell you how the crime wascommitted just by looking at the crime scene. They will use behavioral science to study commonfactors that link serial crimes. It has been said that “behavior reflects personality.” Personality is oneof the most important parts of a criminal profile. And that is what this unit is about.How Does Profiling Work?A personality profile of a criminal is based on the way in which a crime has been committed.This is commonly known as the m.o., or the method of operation. Often on television programs, youwill hear an investigative officer refer to a perpetrator’s m.o. The m.o. would include the victim’sidentity, what the victims have in common (in the case of a serial killer), the weapons used and thedegree of hostility, and so on. A trained profiler (usually a forensic psychologist) can determine themotives of the perpetrator, which can ultimately lead to a personality profile.Informal profiling has a long history. It was used as early as the 1880’s, when two physicians,George Phillips and Thomas Bond, used clues from crime scenes to make predictions about Britishserial murderer Jack the Ripper’s personality.At the same time, profiling had taken place in this country, where, until recent decades,profilers relied mostly on their own intuition and informal studies. Researchers in the field ofcriminal profiling developed the idea of the organized/disorganized dichotomy: Organized crimes arepremeditated and carefully planned, so little evidence is found at the scene. Organized criminals,according to the classification scheme, are antisocial but know right from wrong, are not insane, andshow no remorse. Disorganized crimes, in contrast, are not planned, and criminals leave suchevidence as fingerprints and blood. Disorganized criminals may be young, under the influence ofalcohol or drugs, or mentally ill.Approaches to Criminal ProfilingMethodologies differ, but profilers use either inductive or deductive approaches. Inductiveprofiling assumes that the criminals will have backgrounds and motives similar to those of otherserial criminals who have similar behaviors. An example might be a serial rapist targeting a whitewoman. It would be assumed that the rapist would be white because past crimes rarely cross raciallines. These assumptions are widely challenged. Inductive profiling has suffered some wellpublicized setbacks because of these assumptions. Deductive profiling follows the strategies set upby the FBI (see the next paragraph). Deductive profiling, though still based on likelihoods, avoidsaverages and generalizations. It studies, instead, subjects in great detail, making needed adaptationsof deduction as needed. Offender profiles are based on their actions before, during, and after a crime.An example might be if a murderer used an improvised weapon, it might suggest that the crime wasimpulsive. Deductive profiling builds on inductive knowledge and includes theories from previousstudies with evidence found at the scene of a crime.Methods of profiling differ; however, most profilers follow the approaches and techniquesdeveloped by the FBI. The FBI has a profiling strategy consisting of six steps:
Page 3 of 10 Profiling Inputs: Collate information about the crime. This is the basic step where evidence iscollected, including anything found at the scene such as fibers, paint chips, etc. It would alsoinclude anything derived from the crime scene such as photographs, investigator notes,measurements, etc.) Decision Process Models: Look for a pattern: Classify crimes, judge criminal and victim risk,look at actions before and after the crime. In this second step the evidence is arranged to locateany type of patterns. Crime Assessment: Reconstruct offender’s behavior: What does it reveal about theircharacter? Now that the evidence has been organized, the crime scene is reconstructed.Investigators will use patterns to determine what happened and in what order, also what roleeach victim, weapon, etc. had in the crime. Profile: From the results of the crime assessment, build up a description of the most likelysuspect: probably race, sex, age, lifestyle, beliefs, values, and criminal record. With theinformation collected from the first three steps, the profiler will use this information to decideon the best way to interview the suspect based on their personality. Investigation: Profiler’s report can be used to help police narrow their search for the suspect.If no new leads are found or if new information is learned, the profile may be reassessed. Apprehension: Unfortunately this stage only occurs in about 50% of the cases. Once a suspectis identified, they are interviewed, investigated, and compared to the profile. If it is believedthat the suspect is the perpetrator, a warrant will be issued. Good interview techniques mayspark a confession.Over the past twenty-five years, the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI has developed theirprofiling process – including refining the organized/disorganized dichotomy into a continuum anddeveloping other classification schemes. If the FBI were questioning a suspect about a murder, theywould ask questions about the murderer’s behavior at four crime phases: Antecedent: What fantasy or plan, or both, did the murderer have in place before the act? Whattriggered the murderer to act some days and not others? Method and manner: What type of victim or victims did the murderer select? What was themethod and manner of murder: shooting, stabbing, strangulation or something else? Body Disposal: Did the murder and body disposal take place all at one scene, or multiplescenes? Postoffense behavior: Is the murderer trying to inject himself into the investigation by reactingto media reports or contacting investigators?A rape case is analyzed in much the same way, but with additional information that comes from aliving victim. Everything offers a clue about the perpetrator’s behavior.Typically, psychological profiling is used in extremely serious and brutal criminal cases inwhich the offender has been especially elusive. Profiles are not all-inclusive and do not even alwaysprovide the same type of information. The profiles try to include the following pieces of information: Approximate age, race, and sexPersonality typeThe likelihood of employment or employabilityMarital statusLifestyle and habitsWeapons
Page 4 of 10 VictimsGeographicsMotive for a crimeIf the perpetrator has friends or is a lonerThe likelihood of a repeat crimeProbability that the offender has previously committed a similar crimePossibility of previous arrestsForensic profilers and psychologists can tell an astonishing number of things about a suspectby analyzing the crime scene. If the scene is neat, the suspect is probably neat as well. If the actinvolved more violence than necessary, the perpetrator probably knew the victim. If the crime tookplace during the day, the suspect was probably from the area.Vancouver criminologist Kim Rossmo developed an effective computer program calledCriminal Geographic Targeting (CGT). He used this program to link information about a serialoffender’s hunting behaviors and geographical information about where the crimes take place.Spatial patterns are produced by serial killers as they search and attack, according to Rossmo. Inorder to utilize geographic profiling to its best advantage, investigators want to know: Where a victim was selectedWhere the crime was actually committedThe travel route used for body disposalThe relative isolation of the dump siteBy gathering this type of information, it reveals something about the suspect’s mobility, method oftransportation, and ability to cross barriers, (such as state lines).Familiarity is a part of one’s comfort zone and many criminals begin a crime spree in areawhere they feel relatively safe. When analyzing data for geographic patterns, the principal elementsare: DistanceMental mapsMobilityLocality demographicsA disparity between perceived distance and actual distance can affect the commission of a crime, andhow distance is perceived can be influenced by the availability of transportation, the condition ofroads, and familiarity with a specific region. Another factor to consider is the mental map. This is acognitive image developed through travel routes, reference points, and centers of activity. The placeswhere people stay safe are part of their mental maps. As an offender becomes bolder, their maps willexpand. Some criminals are geographically stable, meaning they stay in a certain region. Others aretransient (move around a lot). Whether they tend toward stability or mobility depends on theirexperiences with travel, their vehicle, sense of security, and predatory compulsion.Rossmo lists offender styles as: Hunter (stays in home territory) Poacher (hunts away from home)
Page 5 of 10 Troller (has opportunistic encounters) Trapper (creates a situation to draw a victim to him/her)Any of these types could attack the victim upon encounter, follow a victim before they attack, orentice the victim toward a more controlled area.In general, geographical profiling takes a look at data about the neighborhood in which theserial crimes have occurred, where victim dropsites are located, other things along the travel route thatmight be of interest to the offender, potential escape routes, and if a suspect vehicle might have beenabandoned in the vicinity. Profilers believe that plotting the routes of serial offenders makes theirmobility predictable, which in turn also makes it easier to target the places where the offender mostlikely hangs out.VictimologyNo matter what angle the profiler takes, a very important part of theanalysis is to gather details about the victim. In fact, many types of crimeanalysis must take the victim into account. How the victim crossed pathswith an offender provides clues to the offender’s character and intent. Sometypes of crimes have been planned down to the last detail while others areopportunistic. If a connection can be made, it is not only possible to establish the offender’s identity,but to predict if they will strike again and who the potential victim might be. Living and deceasedvictims can offer clues to the offender’s identity.A comprehensive victimology involves gathering enough information to have a sense of whatthe victim was like as a person. Profilers usually end up knowing the victim’s habits, preferences,ideas, and fears. The personality and history of a victim offers context to a crime as well asleads. Somehow, someplace, the victim encountered the offender, which can mean at a job, a videostore, or even church. With the exception of totally random or opportunistic hits, the victim waschosen for a reason. Even with a random hit, the way the victim is treated is revealing. The profilerwould need to know the following information: Physical characteristics of the victim Important aspects of the victim’s lifestyle that might attract the attention of a perpetrator (dailyschedule, hobby, social life, marital status, financial affairs) Occupation of the victim and a history of employment Items that were meaningful to the person (books, music) Victim’s last known movements (creating a time line and even traveling the route to make noteof all background details) Personal papers/communications (letters, phone calls, E-mails, diary) Mental and physical health assessment and history State of mind (depression, anger, fear) Criminal history What wound patterns reveal Possible compliance ( if the victim knew the offender or was forced into the crime) Risk assessment of the victim’s lifestyle (drugs, alcohol, prostitution, consorting with criminals)
Page 6 of 10 Family and friend’s opinions about the person (collect a range of opinions) If any belongings are missingIt is also vital to note how a victim’s body was found at the scene of the crime. Where thevictim was assaulted, abducted, and/or killed determines the degree of risk taken by the victim oroffender, as well as his/her age and occupation. When the forensics expert calculates risk, they arethinking in terms of the chances of someone getting harmed. Those victims that are low-risk are theones who live fairly normal lives and are assaulted in daylight or in their homes. Victims that arehigh-risk include prostitutes, women who travel alone, substance abusers, highly volatile people, andpeople who work at night. Medium-risk is somewhere in the middle.If the scene of an abduction is relatively busy, it may be that the offender is familiar enoughwith the area to know when they can get away with the crime. It could also be that the offender isfamiliar with the victim’s schedule. First crimes by offenders are generally committed in familiarterritory or against someone with whom they are acquainted. If a victim was killed randomly,attention to victimology can be fruitless.The Contributions of Psychology to Criminal ProfilingAlthough the approach of the FBI to criminal profiling has gained much public attention, somepsychologists question its scientific solidity. Some psychologists have looked at work by the FBI andothers and found their work had methodological flaws. In the past, the FBI’s earlyresearch was considered rough. Much of the work was based on investigativeexperience and they hoped they were right more than wrong. Thankfully, themethods employed by the FBI have improved. In the meantime, psychologists werehelping to step up profiling’s scientific rigor.Some psychologists have been conducting their own criminal profilingresearch, and several new approaches have been developed: Offender profiling: Much of this work comes from applied psychologist David Cantor, PhD.Cantor says that the key to profiling is that all inferences about behavior should come fromresearch, not necessarily from investigative experience. Some of Cantor’s research has shownthat all serial murderers show some level of organization. These findings, contradict someearlier findings. Cantor puts little faith in the investigative experience-derived offenderdescription developed by law-enforcement agents. As he sees it, psychologists need to workfrom the ground up to gather data and classify offenders in areas as various as arson, burglary,rape and homicide. Crime action profiling: Forensic psychologist Richard Kocsis, Ph.D. and his colleagues havedeveloped models based on large studies of serial murderers, rapists and arsonists that act asguides to profiling such crimes. Kocsis suggests that crime action profiling models are rootedin knowledge developed by forensic psychologists, psychiatrists and criminologists. Part ofcrime action profiling also involves examining the process and practice of profiling. He feelsthat everybody seems to be preoccupied with developing principles for profiling. He suggeststhat the systematic examination of how to compose a profile has been overlooked. Kocsisquestions the type of material a profile should contain. He agrees, as does, Cantor, that thefuture of profiling needs to be more research based. He also believes that profiling also
Page 7 of 10involves a skill element. Is profiling an art or a science? Kocsis, realistically, believes that it isprobably some of both.The Psychology-Law Enforcement RelationshipIt is important for law enforcement and the psychology community to work together.However, there is still of bit of tension between the two groups, with each group believing their ownapproach is the best. In recent years, the FBI has begun to work closely with many forensicpsychologists – in fact, it employs them. Both groups are finding that working togethercollaboratively and looking at as many varied points as possible, only make the process moreapplicable and professional.Criminal Profiling As a CareerCriminal profiling is generally not considered a career by itself, but rather it is amultidisciplinary skill that is nurtured once an individual has become proficient with other requisiteskills, knowledge, and abilities. Students that are interested in pursuing this field should consider adouble major in psychology and criminology, with criminology being the master’s degree. They alsoneed to be aware that there are few jobs available in profiling and none of them involve visions asportrayed on television. There are very few individuals who are full-time criminal profilers.High-Profile Serial CrimesThere have been many high-profile serial cases in the past several years that have beensparked by media attention. One of the cases happened in southeastern Ohio in the late 1980’s andearly 1990’s. Five men had been killed in southeastern Ohio over a period of several years. Theywere all classified as homicides. Very few, if any, clues had been left behind. Because one of themurders occurred on federal land, the FBI was called in on the case. In each of these cases, the victimhad been murdered at close range in an isolated area. Several forensic profilers worked on the caseand came up with a profile of the suspected perpetrator: White male over 30Gun enthusiastAvid hunterOwned several weaponsAbove-average intelligenceIntroverted (not many friends)Would resolve personal problems in a cowardly fashionMight have a drinking problem, engage in obscene telephone calls, arson fire and vandalism byshooting out windows or tires of vehicles Would likely take a sadistic delight in mutilating and killing animals of all sorts Stressful events trigger his criminal episodes (he or she would drink as a result of the stress)
Page 8 of 10 Lived within easy distance of the slayingsWhen the crime was eventually solved, Thomas Dillon was the slayer of five men. He alsohad set up to 160 fires in 1993 and had for years killed small animals, pets, and even farm animals.The profile fit him almost perfectly. To read about one of his murders, go to the following site:For additional information on Thomas Dillon click on this linkhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas DillonThis next case involved the infamous Unabomber from Lincoln, Montana. It took the FBI 17years to track this man down. And even, then, it wouldn’t have happened if Ted Kaczynski’s ownbrother hadn’t turned him in. To read more about this fascinating case of serial bombings, visit thefollowing sites or first take a peek at the PDF files:For additional information on the Unabomber click on this Pleads-Guilty-to-Killings-Unabomber-3014808.phpFor additional information on Ted Kaczynski’s life click on this link Events in Kaczynski's LifeThe FBI tried to identify the Unabomber using five different psychological profiles. All fiveof the profiles agreed that he was a loner, and in fact he was. When he was arrested in 1996, he was arecluse living miles from civilization in a shack. Through the years the profiles have become moreaccurate. Latter profiles indicated that the Unabomber: Grew up in the Chicago area (the suspect did)Had ties to Salt Lake City (he worked there for a short time)Had ties to the San Francisco area (he taught near there)Was intelligent (he had a doctoral degree in mathematics)Was a white male in his fifties (he was a 53-year old male)Another well known serial case was the Tylenol Murders. Several people died after takingTylenol capsules laced with cyanide (poison). These victims died as a result of product tampering.
Page 9 of 10After these murders, a wave of copycat tamperings occurred. The Tylenol serial murderer has neverbeen -murders-1982https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago Tylenol murdersCriminal Profiling and Television ProgramsThere are many television programs that portray criminal profiling as part of their crimesolving mysteries. Here is a partial listing of some of these programs: Cold Case FilesThe World’s Most Wanted Fugitives and Unsolved CrimesUnsolved MysteriesC.S.I.C.S.I. MiamiC.S.I. New YorkWithout a TraceNumbersForensic FilesAmerica’s Most WantedThe Secrets of Forensic ScienceThe New DetectivesNavy NCISCrossing JordanBody of EvidenceCriminal MindsI, DetectiveCriminal ProfilerOne of the most well-known criminal profilers trained by the FBI is Dayle Hinman. She isone of the few women in this field. Dayle has worked on numerous high-profile cases. Now retiredfrom the Department of Law Enforcement in Tallahassee, Florida, Dayle is featured on Court TV’s“Body of Evidence.”Courtesy of Story House ProductionsUnit Extension
Page 10 of 10Visit the following web site on criminal justice nal justice/resources.htmlConclusionOne would think that criminal profiling is dependant on speculation; however, that is not thecase. While some degree of speculation is required, personality profiling is the result of many yearsof research. Profilers draw on previous research and writings from professionals as well as morerecent research, especially that done by the FBI. Profiling works because countless hours have beenspent interviewing hundreds of convicted serial killers, serial rapists and mass murderers, learningabout their crimes, motives, methods, and personalities. This is the database on which they draw inmaking conclusions from what they view at a crime scene. This information is not fantasy orspeculation. Nor is it an exact science. However, it draws on thousands of hours of research andinterviews and has been proven to be extremely accurate.
CRIMINAL PROFILING UNIT OVERVIEW: Criminal profiling is one of the most fascinating aspects of forensic . A personality profile of a criminal is based on the way in which a crime has been committed. This is commonly known as the m.o., or t