Professor John Macfarlane
January 25, 2012
Table of Contents
The information listed on this paper was based on research of criminal profiling. Criminologists actively strive to identify characteristics and typologies amongst criminals. Efforts set forth by criminologists and psychologists are continuously improving the development of criminal profiling and the successful results leading to the capturing of criminals with dangerous minds.
Differences of the Criminal Mind
Generations have passed and a single question remains the same, What goes through a criminal’s mind? Some people are so intrigued by this question, it has become a fascination. For others, just the mere thought of the possible horrors that may encompass a criminals mind, is enough to cripple them with fear. Nonetheless, humans have a need for curiosity and they are intrigued by the reasons following the unknown. During the past three decades, criminologists and law enforcement officers have been able to learn a lot about criminals from interrogations. All criminals have different motives for committing a crime. Through studies, psychologists have been able to further evaluate the reasoning behind criminal behavior. The arguments arise when some criminologists believe that criminal causation is based on the psychological theories and others believing that criminal causation is based on the sociological theories. Psychological theories suggest that criminal behavior is caused by a criminal’s personality and hereditary traits. Sociological theories suggest that criminal behavior is caused by the environment that a criminal was raised in or is exposed to throughout their life. Both theories have been proven to be true in all criminals and some criminals have been affected by both theories alike. Methodology
What is criminal psychological profiling? Criminal profiling refers to the analysis of a crime scene and using the information and evidence found to identify the perpetrator (“Criminal Profiling”, 2009). Criminologists and investigators may use the information in the crime scene to determine the motives for the crime. Body
Today, investigators have learned to understand persons that are wanted for committing serious crimes. Criminal profiling can assist the investigators with identifying the sex, personality, age, and sometimes even the physical characteristics such as the height of the perpetrator (“Criminal Profiling”, 2009). Criminal profilers use crime scene information, autopsy details (for murder cases), interrogations, and police reports from prior cases to assist in determining the offender’s characteristics. The National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) is one of CIRG’s major components. The center’s primary mission is to provide behavioral-based operational support to federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation of unusual or repetitive violent crimes, communicated threats, terrorism, and other matters of interest to law enforcement and national security agencies. The NCAVC consists of four units: Behavioral Analysis Unit 1 (counterterrorism/threat assessment); Behavioral Analysis Unit 2 (crimes against adults); Behavioral Analysis Unit 3 (crimes against children); and Behavioral Analysis Unit 4 (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program-ViCAP) (“FBI”, Unknown). The special agents and other professionals on the NCAVC staff provide advice and support for a range of cases, including child abduction or mysterious disappearance of children; serial, spree, mass, and other murder; serial rape; extortion; threats; kidnapping; product...