Due to the abnormal increase in the percentage of violent crimes from the past two decades, the investigative technique, most commonly referred to as criminal profiling, has rose in popularity both in practical use and media portrayals.
Criminal profiling as a law enforcement tool emerged in the late 1960s from the work of FBI special agents Howard Teten and Pat Mullany. Nowadays the leading entity engaged in profiling is the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
But what does criminal profiling actually mean?
Developing descriptions of the traits and characteristics of unknown offenders in specific criminal cases, especially in cases involving serial killers, that is the famous technique called “profiling”. It is often used in situations for which authorities have no likely suspect.
There are two basic varieties of profiling: inductive profiling, which involves the development of a profile based on known psychological typology, and deductive profiling, which reasons exclusively from the details of the victim (a practice called victimology) and crime scene to develop an unique profile of the unknown offender.
Deductive profiling involves a process that avoids generalizations and averages. Not only is it based on pieces of evidence discovered at the crime scene, but it also takes into consideration the victim’s background.
A deductive profile is set up based on the offender's actions before, during and after committing the crime. For example, if the murderer used a makeshift weapon, investigators are then able to deduce that the crime was probably spontaneous. Another example involves serial murderers. Investigators are able to find out whether the murder was organized, which means that the killer carried out a planned, premeditated attack on a victim, or if the attack was disorganized, meaning that the murder was unplanned and the killer behaved in an... [continues]
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