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WEEK 2: SC6051 - Profiling - Theory

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Jessie B

on 16 October 2013

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Transcript of WEEK 2: SC6051 - Profiling - Theory

WEEK 2: SC6051 - Profiling - Theory
By Jessie Bustillos

What is criminal profiling?
How did we get here?
The profiler

What is profiling?
'Inferring the traits of individuals responsible for committing criminal acts'
'profiling is also seen as an educated attempt to provide investigative agencies with specific information as to the type of individual who would have committed a certain crime'
Some essential qualities of a profiler
An abundant store of energy at all times
A high grade of self-denying power
An agreeable manner
Fine speculating skills
A predisposition for the careful weighing of facts
An unostentatious character with little interest in public success
A profound knowledge of men and human nature (including victims, witnesses, criminals and experts
Case point:
Profilers as a last resource?
Andrei Chikatilo - Rostov
Serial murder - more than 50 victims 1980s

In 1985 the police consulted Dr. Alexandr Bukhanovsky, the first such consultation in a serial killer investigation in the Soviet Union
'Everything comes to the reader as interpreted by the historian. Everything seen through the medium of personality...thereader is at the historian's mercy. The conflicts of the past are perpetuated by the chroniclers who recount their history'

(Cheney, 1988 cited in Turvey 2008: 2)
This is something to keep in mind when reading the available histories of criminal profiling.
(Turvey, 2008: 2/3)
Professionals engaged in this practice have historically included a broad spectrum of investigators, such as,
behavioural scientists, social scientists and forensic scientists.
Their involvement in unsolved cases has been more commonly identified with criminal investigations or suspect identification. Criminal profiling techniques have been widely used to
help identify criminals, narrow suspect pools, assist with case linkage and develop investigation leads.
(Petherick, 2013:2)
Profiling the profiler
Thinking point:
What do we see as essential qualities for a criminal profiler?
Important point: profilers and criminal profiling don't stop when a suspect is apprehended
knowledge of both criminal and physical evidence is key for investigators.
'All criminal investigations are concerned with people and with things. Only people commit crimes, but they invariably do so through the medium of things'
(Kirk, 1974:1)
Clarke, P. , Briggs, T. and Briggs K. (2013) Extreme Evil: Taking Crime to the Next Level. Canary Press.
Kirk,P. (1974) Crime Investigation. 2nd Ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Petherick, W. (2013) Profiling and Serial Crime: Theoretical and Practical Issues. Newness Press.
Turvey, B.(2008) Criminal profiling: An Introduction to Behavioural Evidence Analysis. China: Elsevier Press.
( Turvey, 2008:xxiii)
Case point:
Profilers as a last resource?
Bukhanovsky's profile:
The attacker was between forty-five and fifty years of age with an unsociable yet not psychotic personality, an ordinary, solitary, non-threatening individual. His necro-sadism was the reason for his relentless stabbings, they were a way to enter his victims sexually due to his impotence.
Finally apprehended

on 20th November

Chikatilo and profiling: after apprehension.
(Clarke et al, 2013)
In custody Chikatilo refused to admit to the crimes. Yet on the penultimate day before he was to be released Bhukanovsky tried and after a few hours Chikatilo admitted to having committed over 36 murders.

With time Chikatilo took investigators on tours to his murder sites which revealed other 17 bodies not initially associated with the case and even showed and enacted for police how he attacked, overpowered and killed his victims.
(Clarke et al, 2013)
Thinking point:
How might have Bukhanovsky reached these deductions regarding Chikatilo's profile?
Profiling Methods - Philosophers, Psychologists?
profiling as psychology - challenging myths
Deductive reasoning -
Inductive reasoning

Almost all people are taller than 26 inches
Steven is a person
Therefore, Steven is almost certainly taller than 26 inches
All men are mortal.
Aristotle is a man.
Therefore, Aristotle is mortal.
The most influential typological profiling approach was developed by the US Federal Bureau of
Investigation in the late 1970s. It was originally based on interviews with 36 convicted serial killers
and rapists, combined with insights from many crimes investigated and solved by the FBI. The
cornerstone of the FBI approach is the classification of crime scenes (and hence offenders) as either organised or disorganised. FBI profiling is a four-stage process (Petherick, 2013)
1. Data assimilation:

Investigators gather
together information
from multiple sources
e.g. crime scene photos,
police reports,
pathologists’ reports.
2. Crime scene

Profilers decide whether
the crime scene
represents an organised
or disorganised offender.

Crime reconstruction:

Hypotheses are
generated about what
happened during the
crime e.g. victim
behaviour, crime

Profile generation:

Profilers construct a
‘sketch’ of the offender
including demographic
and physical
behavioural habits
Profiling stages
(Petherick 2013)
'The basic assumption of psychological profiling is that the crime scene reflects the personality of the offender...Not only is the manner in which the victim was fatally dispatched important, but the physical and non-physical evidence will also lend, to some degree, an assessment of the type of personality involved in a particular crime'
Reference list
Offenders' classifications
Organised -
evidence from crime scene:
Weapon brought to scene
Evidence removed
Control of victim
Likely characteristics:
Unknown to victim
Socially & sexually competent
Normal to high intelligence

Disorganised -
Evidence from crime scene:
Weapon improvised
Evidence left at scene
Little control of victim
Likely characteristics:
Possibly known to victim
Socially & sexually inept
Low intelligence
Severely mentally ill

Case Study:
In seminars you will look at the case report from week 9 (the last reading in the reading folder by Leistedt).
1. The case study needs to have a clear introduction specifying why the topic was chosen and providing the order in which the case study is presented and the structure of arguments presented.

2. The following section should review relevant academic literature on the topic chosen and why the literature presented is important for the particular topic of the case study.

3. It should also have a brief account of the case details with a historical overview of the importance of the case or type of offending chosen for the case study.

4. This should be followed by a discussion on the typology behind the crimes analysed or the type of offending, consider using some profiling theory in this section and support and extend arguments with relevant literature, particularly the literature described in section 2.

5. You need to provide sociological explanation to the crime don't over rely on statistics or on sensational descriptions of the type of offending or crime scenes, analyse!

6. There must be a closing section with good substantive conclusions and a very clear overview of what the case study was reviewing.
7. Reference list is needed with all the sources used in the case study you must use at least three readings from Weblearn.
Cite accurately, use books and journals, do not over rely on stats or on the internet and proof read as well as write in an engaging but still academic manner.

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