Criminal profiling


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Criminal profiling

  1. 1. CRIMINAL PROFILING Name Danielle Sloan Subject Psychopathology Date 11/29/11
  2. 2. HOMICIDE STATISTICSIn 2008, the FBI recorded over 16,000 homicides in theUS that year.There are an estimated 100 serial murderers who arebelieved to be active at any time.Each year, approximately 40% of reported homicides arenot solved.There is a need for fast, effective methods forprofiling possible offenders. Yonge & Jacquin (2010)
  3. 3. HISTORY OF PROFILINGPsychological profiling began informally in the late1940s.Most serial crimes are sexually motivated.Authorities consulted mental health professions (MHPs).MHPs typical profile was usually written in psychologicalterms which was unhelpful to investigators.Ex: “Sex offender probably has low self-esteem, socialintroversion, and conflicts with members of the oppositesex.” Schlesinger (2009)
  4. 4. THE MAD BOMBERMID 1950s, NEW YORK CITYSet bombs at various landmarkssuch as Grand Central Station,Radio City Music Hall, as well astheatres and librariesPlanted at least 33 bombs, 22exploded, injuring 15 peoplePlanned offenses with a high degree of detail, wentundetected for 16 years Schlesinger (2009)
  5. 5. THE MAD BOMBER (contd) A profile written by Brussel was published in the NewYork Times on Christmas day, 1956. Excerpt: Look for a heavy man. Middle age. Foreignborn. Roman Catholic. Single. Lives with a brother orsister. When you find him, changes are hell be wearing a double-breasted suit. The police narrowed their investigation to George Metesky, a disgruntled former Con Edison employee. Schlesinger (2009)
  6. 6. PROFILING BASICS(1) input: collecting crime scene information(2) decision process: arranging the input into meaningful patterns and analyzing victim and offender risk(3) crime assessment: reconstructing the crime and the offender motivation(4) criminal profile: developing these specific descriptions of the offender(5) investigation: using the profile as an aid or adjunct in investigation(6) apprehension: checking the accuracy and the description against new info that emerges in the investigation and changing the profile accordingly. Schlesinger (2009)
  7. 7. PROFILING BASICS (contd)The profiler... ...assesses all of the crime scene and forensicevidence influencing autopsy reports, crime scenephotos, and other forensic information. ...does not review the suspect list, which couldunwittingly influence his opinion. ...focuses on several specific areas which areimportant in constructing a psychological profile of theunidentified offender... Schlesinger (2009)
  8. 8. “Profiling equation”A ➔ C equation ● Inferences (indicated by the arrow) are derived from ● Actions in an offense (crime location, time, nature of the victim, etc.) about the ● Characteristics of the offender that will be useful to an investigation (Canter, 2011))
  9. 9. VICTIM RISK: the amount to risk (high, moderate, or low) a victimplaced him/herself in to become a victim. ● High risk victims: they placed themselves in vulnerable situation, such as prostitution ● Low risk victims: their occupation and lifestyle Schlesinger (2009)
  10. 10. VICTIM RISK (contd)Murdered five prostitutesWhitechapel, London circa 1888Victims throat were cutAbdominal mutilationsRemoval of organs TruTV
  11. 11. VICTIM RISK (contd)“Jack the Ripper”Jack the Ripper was motivated, atleast in part, by a tortured sexualpathology. Therefore, prostituteswere logical targets. They wereeasily accessible victims ofopportunity who had the misfortune of crossing pathswith Jack the Ripper. TruTV
  12. 12. VICTIM RISK (contd)Dr. Bonds 1889 profile of “Jack the Ripper”Offenses were sexual in natureRage against womenPhysically strong, cool, and daringQuiet and inoffensive in appearance,Middle-aged Body of Mary KellyNeatly attired, probably wearing a cloakLoner, without a real occupation, eccentric, andMentally unstableSuffered from satyriasis TruTV
  13. 13. VICTIM RISK (contd)“Jack the Ripper” Profile by Gregg McCrary, former FBIagent and professor of forensic psychologyWhite male living alone in the Whitechapel area30 to 37 years of ageSame socio-economic class as victimsWithdrawn loner with menial jobLikely went to same pubs as victimsMay have encountered victims beforehand Q: In the case of JonBenet Ramsey, did her in involvement in child beauty pageants elevate her victim risk? Other examples of high risk victims? TruTV
  14. 14. OFFENDER RISK: the level of risk (high, moderate, or low) an offenderplaced himself in that might lead to his apprehension. ● High risk offender: For example, abducting a victim a broad daylight with many people around with a high likelihood of getting caught. ● Low risk victims: For example, an abduction where the chanced of apprehension are minimal, such as at night with no obvious witnesses. Schlesinger (2009)
  15. 15. OFFENDER RISK (contd)Murdered 10 peopleWichita, 1974-1991Known for his three-part method of murderCommunity leaderTaunted police with lettersLow-risk offender: He would cut the phone lines, andthen he would get into the house somehow, waiting forhis victim to come home. TruTV
  16. 16. OFFENDER RISK (contd)“BTK Killer” profileBy Dr. Deborah Schurman-KauflinSingle, white male 28-30Resided near Oteros or spent time there to form fantasy about JosephineLived in a house, not apartmentOver 61, tall and trim. Neat in appearance with shorthair. Clothes darker by choiceQuiet, modest, and conservativePsychopathHad a car, dark in colorComfortable with people much younger than him. TruTV
  17. 17. ESCALATIONMost individuals who commit crimes begin with lessserious offenses and, over the years, their level ofcriminality increases.Ex: An offender may begin with voyeurism, progress toburglary, then assault, rape, and murder. Schlesinger (2009)
  18. 18. TIME & LOCATION FACTORSVarious time elements in criminal conduct are revealingof the unidentified offenders lifestyle or occupation.How long the offender spent with the victim providesadditional insight into the crime and the criminal. Thelonger an offender spends with the victim, his risk ofapprehension increases.Factors: Where the offender apprehended the victim How the offender got the victim to go with him Where the victim was killed Body disposition Was a vehicle used Schlesinger (2009)
  19. 19. MODUS OPERANDI (M.O): the method or technique of carrying out of the crime. The offenders M.O. can change over time.As an individual gains more experience, he often adapts hiscriminal technique to increase his efficiency.Since the offenders M.O. can change it is often not auseful method for linking (or connecting) a series of crimesto the same offender.Instead, examination of the offenders engagement inrepetitive-ritualistic behavior at the crime sense is oftenmore important in linking crimes to the same offender. Schlesinger (2009)
  20. 20. SIGNATURE: a unique set of acts an offender engages in with eachvictim.Many serial offenders engage in repetitive-ritualisticbehavior at the crime scene since the offense itself isinsufficient in providing enough psychosexual gratification.Thus, an offender have a signature or calling card.Ex: Postmortem body positioning Mutilation Symbolic gestures Written statements left behind Schlesinger (2009)
  21. 21. SIGNATURE (contd)Northern California – late 60s, early 70sClaimed 37 victims, but investigatorsagreed on 7, two of whom surviveWent after couples at least three timesWrote letters to local newspapers and had a specific signHe would taunt the authorities from a superior perspective and to watch the police make fools of themselves TruTV
  22. 22. SIGNATURE (contd)“Zodiac killer” profileUnsolvedLow-risk offender: Attacks occurred at dusk or after dark, on weekends, often around holidaysChanged M.O. – Different weapons and no apparent motiveFour men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29 were targetedHis letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers)Only one has been confirmed to have been decodedHis signature was both clinical and literal. TruTV
  23. 23. CRIME SCENE PATTERNSThe crime scenes of violent sex offenders and sexualmurderers can be divided into two general groups: ● Organized: Reflects a great deal if planning in which little evidence is left behind ● Disorganized: Reflects an impulsive, unplanned crime with a lot of evidence left.Individuals who leave high organized crime scenes seemto have distinctly different personalitycharacteristics and behavioral patterns than those wholeave notably disorganized crime scenes. Schlesinger (2009)
  24. 24. PERSONALITY INFERENCESORGANIZED CRIME: Organized crime scenes reflect a high level of control.Restraints are used and the body is disposed of in athought-out manner, often transported to another locationfrom where the murder took place.TRAITS OF AN ORGANIZED OFFENDER: ● socially competent and intelligence ● lives with a partner ● follows the crime in the media ● changes location after the offense ● psychopathic, narcissistic, or manipulative personalities ● charming, neat in appearance, physically attractive ● can talk with members of opposite sex Schlesinger (2009)
  25. 25. PERSONALITY INFERENCES (contd)DISORGANIZED CRIME: Disorganized crime scenes reflect impulsivity and lackof planning. The victim is often known to the offender andbodies are left in plain sight. A weapon of opportunity isused.TRAITS OF AN DISORGANIZED OFFENDER: ● poor work history ● lives alone and near the crime scene ● has little interest in media coverage of case ● does not change lifestyle following case ● schizoid, schizotypal, borderline, schizophrenic ● physically unattractive ● little experience with members of opposite sex Schlesinger (2009)
  26. 26. PERSONALITY INFERENCES (contd) Schlesinger (2009)
  27. 27. PERSONALITY AS AN INTERVENINGVARIABLEORGANIZED CRIME: Offenders who commit planned offenses typically havepersonality disorders that do not disorganize their thinking.They are manipulative and deceptive by psychopathologicalsymptoms like hallucinations and delusions.DISORGANIZED CRIME: Offenders who commit unplanned, impulsive offenses have moreobvious psychopathological disturbances. Their disorganizedpersonalities can prohibit thoughtful planning. They may lackthe control and defenses needed to contain their behavior. Iftheir fantasies grow to the point of compulsion, they can actout in a thoughtless manner likely to get them caught. Schlesinger (2009)
  28. 28. PERSONALITY AS AN INTERVENINGVARIABLE (contd)EXCEPTIONS TO THE GENERAL NOTION THAT SEVERE PSYCHOPATHOLOGYLEADS TO UNPLANNED CRIMES: Paranoid personality disorder and paranoid form ofschizophrenia do not disorganize ones thoughts. Behavior ofindividuals with these types of disorders is organized,systematized, and thoughtful. Also, individuals with intact personalities can actimpulsive when intoxicated.Note: Most crime scenes are neither highly organized ordisorganized, but rather fall on a normal distribution withhighly organized/disorganized as the extremes. Schlesinger (2009)
  29. 29. IS PROFILING USEFUL?Schlesinger (2009): Some researchers argue thatprofiling is not scientific and relies too much onclinical experience instead of on empirical validation.Despite a lack of strong empirical validation, somestudies have demonstrated its usefulness when done bythose experienced in the process.
  30. 30. INDUCTIVE VS.DEDUCTIVE PROFILINGBoth assume that the crime and crime scene reveal infoabout the offender. Profilers using the inductive approach examineresearch based on identified offenders of a particulartype of crime. The profiler uses research on similartypes of committed crime to determine possiblecharacteristics of the offender. Profilers using the deductive approach incorporateeach piece of evidence in a case to create the offenderprofile. They use education, experience, and logic toanalyze the crime scene and create a unique offenderprofile for each crime. Yonge & Jacquin (2010)
  31. 31. INDUCTIVE VS. DEDUCTIVEPROFILING (contd)The FBIs crime scene analysis and Cantersinvestigative psychology are inductive approaches, yetboth incorporate deductive reasoning to a smallerdegree.Yonge and Jacquin (2010) studied the effectiveness ofthe two primary approaches. It was hypothesized thattrained participants would produce more accurateprofiles than those not trained. It was alsohypothesized that the FBI approach would produce themost accurate profiles. Yonge & Jacquin (2010)
  32. 32. YONGE & JACQUIN (2010)METHOD:213 undergrad psychology studentsMean age: 19 years64.3% femaleNo prior profiling historyThree groups: control, inductive & deductiveHour-long training session with multiple-choice quizParticipants were given a two-page summary of doublesexual homicide and were asked to study the case andcomplete the Profiling Offender CharacteristicsQuestionnaire. Yonge & Jaquin (2010)
  33. 33. YONGE & JACQUIN (2010)RESULTS:Participants trained in the inductive approach producedprofiles that were more accurate than the profiles ofcontrols (p=.02). These participants were also moreaccurate that those in the other two groups in profilingthe offenders physical characteristics (inductive vs.deductive p=0.001, inductive versus control p=0.001,deductive versus control p=0.48)Neither type of profiling training had greater profileaccuracy for the offenders cognitive characteristics,offense behaviors, social history and habits, or adultconvictions. Yonge & Jaquin (2010)
  34. 34. YONGE & JACQUIN (2010)CONCLUSION:The results suggest that the inductive approach toprofiling may be useful for teaching naïve profilers toprofile the offender of a sexual homicide.Deductive profiling relies on the application of logic.And when forming logical deductions about the offender,profilers may have relied on stereotypes and faultybeliefs. This may be overcome by experience and realtraining. It is possible that the deductive approachcannot be taught in an hour-long session. Yonge & Jaquin (2010)
  35. 35. CHALLENGES TO PROFILINGRESEARCHProfiling equations – information from controlledconditions are not what people actually do in theirdaily lives.Difficulty in obtaining information about what actuallyhappens in crimes.Police databases are notoriously inaccurate, patchy, andunreliable. (Canter, 2011)
  36. 36. REFERENCESCanter, D. V. (2011). Resolving the offender "profiling equations" and theemergence of an investigative psychology. Current Directions inPsychological Science, 20(1), 5-10.Schlesinger, L. B. (2009). Psychological profiling: Investigativeimplications from crime scene analysis. Journal of Psychiatry and Law,37(1), 73-84.Yonge, K. C., & Jacquin, K. M. (2010). Criminal profile accuracy followingtraining in inductive and deductive approaches. American Journal of ForensicPsychology, 28(3), 5-24.Criminal profile information by Gregg McCrary, former FBI agent andprofessor forensic pathology, for