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What is the importance of Criminal Profiling?

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Criminal Profiling is a great way to try to understand the suspect as a person. It is necessary to learn who the individual is in order to track and locate them. The person’s information is vital to an investigation. Things such as habits, history of violence, family, education, schedules/routines, and personality traits just to name a few. This new development of investigating is helpful in obtaining fugitives quicker. Law enforcement is trying to be more successful by encouraging change. Keeping up with criminal minds is good way to stay ahead of their criminal intentions.

Criminal Profiling is also known as Criminal Investigative Analysis is a tool used by law enforcement which consists of analyzing the crime scene and using the information to determine the identity of the perpetrator. Criminal Profiling identifies the perpetrator or an unknown subject of the crime based on an analysis of the nature of the crime and manner in which it was committed. By analyzing information at the crime scene, law enforcement agencies are able to create a profile of relevant information that is useful. A criminal profile may include physical attributes such as: sex, age, ethnic backyard, height and weight. They also are able to find personality attributes such as: psychological diseases, self-esteem, tendencies, remorse or guilt and aggressiveness. Using these techniques allows law enforcement to be more efficient and productive.

Law enforcement can solve a variety of crimes including homicide, sexual assault, extortion and kidnapping. While fire settings, lust/mutilation murders, rape and occult crimes are considered to be most suitable for profiling. The origins of criminal profiling can be traced back to the early 1800s, Jacob Fries, Cesare Lombroso, Alphonse Bertiollon, Hans Gross, Ernest Kretschmer and others. All made small contributions to the present day field. [1]

Profiles are generated by profilers that have been through college and they may even have a perceptive way about them. When I think of criminal profiling my first thought is a puzzle. Putting the pieces they have in front of them together or analyzing every inch of the crime scene in order not to miss any crucial piece of evidence. Evidence at a crime scene can be has small as a hair or fiber from clothing.

History of this profession may have originated with a profile created by Dr. James A. Brussel. He was called in to consult on a case involving a series of events that took place in New York. In November of 1940 a pipe bomb was found at Consolidated Edison, which opened a case that spanned sixteen years and involved more than thirty hidden bombs. When Brussel was asked to assist, he created a profile that eventually led to the arrest of the criminal. Advancement of the profession occurred in 1972 when the Federal Bureau of Investigation created the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU).

There is no mandatory educational requirement for a criminal profiler. Individuals interested in this career might begin with an undergraduate degree in criminology, criminal justice, forensics or psychology. The FBI has made it known that there is no direct career path and no profiling position per se. Agents who perform this type of work are assigned to the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC). Their jobs involve creating profiles and providing case management consulting to other law enforcement agencies.

Advanced degrees that fall in the preferred qualifications category for the type of work are considered to be in behavioral or forensic science. Criminal profiling begins with an in-depth study of crime. Profilers typically need a college degree and specialized training. Profilers work crime cases by analyzing data, subsequently identifying a connecting link between what occurs at the scene and the possible characteristic of the perpetrator. Criminal profilers also work on cold cases.

In 1972, the FBI formed its Behavioral Science Unit to investigate serial rape and homicide cases. From 1976 to 1979, several FBI agents – most famously John Douglas and Robert Ressler – interviewed 36 serial murderers to develop theories and categories of different types of offenders. Most notably, they developed the idea of the “organized/disorganized dichotomy”: Organized crimes are premeditated 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 and show no remorse. Disorganized crimes, in contrast, are not planned, and criminals leave such evidence as fingerprints and blood.

Disorganized criminals may be young, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or mentally ill. Over the past quarter-century, the Behavioral Science Unit has further developed the FBI’s profiling process—including refining the organized/disorganized dichotomy into a continuum and developing other classification schemes. “The basic premise is that behavior reflects personality,” explains retired FBI agent Gregg McCrary. In a homicide case, for example, FBI agents glean insight into personality through 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? What triggered the murderer to act some days and not others? Method and manner: What type of victim or victims did the murderer select?

What was the method 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 multiple scenes? Post offense behavior: Is the murderer trying to inject himself into the investigation by reacting to media reports or contacting investigators? A rape case is analyzed in much the same way, but with the additional information that comes from a living victim. Everything about the crime, from the sexual acts the rapist forces on the victim to the order in which they’re performed, offers a clue about the perpetrator, McCrary says. Offender profiling. Much of this work comes from applied psychologist David Canter, PhD, who founded the field of investigative psychology in the early 1990s and now runs the Centre for Investigative Psychology at the University of Liverpool.

Investigative psychology, Canter says, includes many areas where psychology can contribute to investigations – including profiling. The goal of investigative psychology’s form of profiling, like all profiling, is to infer characteristics of a criminal based on his or her behavior during the crime. But, Canter says, the key is that all of those inferences should come from empirical, peer-reviewed research – not necessarily from investigative experience. For example, Canter and his colleagues recently analyzed crime scene data from 100 serial homicides to test the FBI’s organized/disorganized model.

Their results, which will be published in an upcoming issue of APA’s Psychology, Public Policy and Law, indicate that, in contrast to some earlier findings, almost all serial murderers show some level of organization. Organized behaviors – like positioning or concealing a victim’s body – are the “core variables” that tend to show up most frequently and co-occur with other variables most often, he found. The differences between murderers, the researchers say, instead lie in the types of disorganized behaviors they exhibit. The study suggests that serial murderers can be divided into categories based on the way they interact with their victims: through sexual control, mutilation, execution or plunder.

Work Cited
Simon, J. (2014, 03). Education Required to Become a Criminal Profiler. eHow. Retrieved 03, 2014, from http://www.ehow.com/about_6738642_education-required-become-criminal-profiler.html

Thompson, D. (2014, 03). Welcome to Criminal Profiling. Criminal Justice Collaboratory. Retrieved 03, 2014, from http://colbycriminaljustice.wikidot.com/criminal-profiling

Wannamaker, J. (2014, 03). The History of Criminal Profiling. Legal Source. Retrieved 03, 2014, from http://www.legalsource360.com/index.php/the-history-of-criminal-profiling-4-7497/ Pictures Cited

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Page 4: intropsych.mcmaster.ca/psych3cc3/lectures/profile-1.html Page 5: thebioengineers.blogspot.com/2012/12/dermaglyphs.html Page 8: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/115493673/Typological-offender-profiling-(slides)

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