Fbi Criminal Profiling

Discussion in 'Politics & Government' started by Icewolf, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    I always wonder how the poilice/FBI use psychologist or a database (im nt very sure how they do it) but they determine the most likely candidate for a murder, for example,
    Male, 30 - 40, medium build probably works as a mecganic. Now how on earth do they work these details out?

    - Ice -
  2. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Well it all depends on the scene of the crime for one, which can tell a story, as well as witnesses. And the database part is soon to be a huge national database where former crimes or current crimes suspects, criminals, etc are put in. Then you feed the info, like filling out and application, then run a search on it and it will come back with a possible ID results of what the person may be like. Its what they call biometrics. If you watch CSI, its mentioned in there sometimes. biometrics is a new program that was once just for those police, csi's, fbi that individually used, now they are bringing them all online as a standard database, that can run a search nationwide, as well as interpol and other various public international databases. Its really cool program, worked with it in some of the contract work I did. If you ever watched those sci fi movies where they have databases running like lighting speed searches fro matches, well we are almost there on that. Funny how movies of the 80's showed these cool programs for futuristic crime fighting/warfighting tech, now its on our backdoor.
  3. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    Yes but it freaks me out that jus because you are 30 - 40, white medium build and a mechanic (thats an exampl) that you could be a murderer, it all seems a bit to farfetched to me

    - Ice -
  4. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Maybe I am misunderstanding what you are saying or your question isnt quite clear. Like where are you getting this from or is this a random thought. I like to help answer it more clearly if I can, but need more info, please.
  5. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    Well when a crime is committed the FBI take a criminal profile of who is the most likely supsect. But I odn't underatsnd where they get this from.
  6. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Goes back to what I was saying depends on the scene of the crime, what evidence is found, location, witnesses, friends, activities prior to the crime, etc. Then based on that, you draw a conclusion and work from there, if its a dead end, then re route and go another avenue.
  7. Subdued

    Subdued Emotional Wreckage Premium Member

    It not only depends on the crime scene, but also on the statistic. For example, if the statistic shows that 80% of the cases involving murder of housewives are being committed by 30-40 year old white men, then the FBI agents would look for a 30-40 year old white man, rather than for an 18 year old black teenager. Statistics don't exclude all probable possibilites, but it's always helpful to look for the most certain solution.
  8. Sup Ice...if i may chime in with 2 cents. I believe most of the credit for profiling goes to one Robert Forrester, a fomer FBI agent who pioneered the art of profiling from like a 30 year career. After seeing the same patterns repeatedly, he start keeping a file. From that file grew what we know today as PROFILING (I happen to be extremely interested in serial killers as a study).

    Additionally, he interviewed hundreds of serial killers, murderers and the like and plugged that into the PROFILER database. So the profiled suspect, is basically the most "likely" person not necessarily "the" person.

    It's really not too much in practice of saying that most likely you know what a 3 year old is liable to do as opposed to a teenager. Know what i mean?

    Granted, as Subdued posted, STATISTICS figure in greatly. And Biometrics too as MSCBK wrote.

    peace and respect
  9. Mark

    Mark ♤♡◇♧ Staff Member

    Profiling, although perceived as a bit sinister, actually does assist in real crime solving.

    A good example is that 42 percent of murdered women, are killed by their intimate partners. With that in mind, evrytime a woman is murdered, the first and most likely accurate place to start looking,... is at her man.

    Also, Of the 247 women who died while pregnant (in this study), homicide was found to be the leading cause of death, accounting for about 20 percent of the cases. (again look to the first statement for a good starting point with likely statistics.)


    [Edited on 27-3-2005 by smirkley]
  10. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

  11. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    A scientific approach: Profiling of Criminal Suspects

    The profiling strategy

    The best weapon the police have against an elusive serial murderer's spree is their behavior profile. Douglas, Ressler, Burgess and Hartman divide the FBI's profiling strategy into five stages, with a final sixth stage being the arrest of the correct suspect:

    1. Profiling inputs

    The first stage involves collecting all information available about the crime, including physical evidence, photographs of the crime scene, autopsy reports and pictures, witness testimony, extensive background information on the victim and police reports. The profiler does not want to be told about possible suspects at this stage because such data might prejudice or prematurely direct his or her profile.

    2. Decision process models

    In this stage, the profiler organizes the input into meaningful questions and patterns along several dimensions of criminal activity. What type of homicide has been committed (classifications, in short: mass murderers, spree killers and serial murderers, see above)? What is the primary motive for the crime: sexual, financial, personal or emotional disturbance? What level of risk did the victim experience, and what level of risk did the murderer take in killing the victim? What was the sequence of acts before and after the killing, and how long did these acts take to commit? Where was the crime committed? Was the body moved, or was it found where the murder had taken place?

    3. Crime assessment

    Based on the findings during the previous stages, the profiler now attempts to reconstruct the behavior of the offender and his victim. Was the murder organized (suggesting a killer who carefully selects victims against whom he usually acts out a given fantasy) or disorganized (indicating an impulsive, possible psychotic killer)? Was the crime staged to mislead the police? What motivations were revealed by such details as cause of death, location of wounds, and position of the body? For example, as general profiling rules: (1) brutal #@!&% injuries point to killers who know their victims, (2) murders committed with whatever weapon happens to be available reflect greater impulsivity than murders committed with a gun and may reveal a killer who lives fairly near the victim and (3) murders committed early in the morning seldom involve alcohol or drugs.

    4. Criminal profile

    Here, profilers formulate an initial description of the most likely suspects. The typical profile includes the perpetrator's race, sex, age (which is one of the toughest points to nail down in a profile because emotional or experiential age does not always match chronological years), marital status, living arrangements and employment history; psychological characteristics, beliefs and values; probable reactions to the police and past criminal record, including the possiblity of similar offenses in the past. This stage also contains a feedback loop whereby profilers check their predictions against stage two-information to make sure that the profile fits the original data.

    5. Investigation

    A written report is given to the investigators, who concentrate on suspects matching the profile - often, the police have already talked to a likely suspect but did not have reason enough to seriously doubt the suspect's testimony. If new evidence is discovered at this stage, a second feedback process is initiated and the profile will be revised.

    6. Apprehension

    The arrest of the right suspect is the intended result of the above procedures. The key element then is interview technique - ideally, the subject confesses or at least is willing to talk about his crimes to some extent. A thorough interview of the suspect could furthermore help to assess the influences of background and psychological variables.
  12. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

  13. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Heres and example I found on how profiling sort of took a step to being the next crime scene tool.

    Where Profiling Works Best

    Profiles work best when the offender displays obvious psychopathology, such as sadistic torture, postmortem mutilation, or pedophilia. Some killers leave a "signature"—a behavioral manifestation of an individualizing personality quirk, such as positioning the corpse for humiliating exposure, postmortem biting, or tying ligatures with a complicated knot. This helps to link crime scenes and may point toward other types of behaviors to look for.

    What a profile can offer that's helpful are the offender's general age range, racial identity, ideas about the modus operandi, estimates about living situation and education level, travel patterns, the possibility of a criminal or psychiatric record, and probable psychological traits. A profile may also describe a fantasy scenario that drives the person or even pinpoint an area where he or she probably resides. This is all based on deductions about the specific crime from what is already known about offenders and deviancy.

    The best profilers have gained their knowledge from experience with criminals and have developed an intuitive sense about certain types of crime. Their knowledge base is developed from both physical and nonphysical evidence. Generally, profilers employ psychological theories that provide ways to detect mental deficiency such as delusions, spot imprints from hostility, recognize criminal thought patterns, and predict the right character defects. They also need to know about actuarial data such as the age range into which offenders generally fall and how important an unstable family history is to criminality. Much of that information came from actual cases, such as the following.

    An Early Case: The Vampire of Sacramento

    Richard Trenton Chase, the "Vampire of Sacramento," was quickly identified and apprehended with the help of a psychological profile in 1978. He had murdered a woman in her home, eviscerating her and drinking her blood. It was so brutal that the FBI was called in, and it gave the profilers a chance to show what they were worth. Agents Robert Ressler and Russ Vorpagel developed independent profiles, and both wrote about this case in their respective books.
    Ressler says it was the first time he was able to go on-site with a profile, and he was ready. He offers a step-by-step method analysis for how he derived the traits he lists. For example, from a psychiatric study of body type and mental temperament he'd read, he decided the offender was scrawny. Given the disorder at the scene, it was likely that the UNSUB did not have a career or much education - nothing that required organized thinking and concentration. The profile was all a matter of logic and knowledge about principles of human behavior, which Ressler was able to fully explain to anyone who asked. Vorpagel's profile was similar.

    Ressler figured the UNSUB for a disorganized killer as opposed to an organized one, with clues pointing toward the possibility of paranoid psychosis. He clearly had not planned the crime and did little to hide or destroy evidence. He left footprints and fingerprints, and had probably walked around oblivious to the blood on his clothing. In other words, he gave little thought to the consequences. His domicile would be as sloppy as the place he had ransacked, and his mental capacity was likely screwed up. That meant he probably did not drive a car, indicating he lived in the vicinity of the crimes. He was white, 25-27, thin, undernourished, lived alone, and probably had evidence that pointed to the crime in his home. He was likely unemployed and the recipient of disability money. All of this was derived from known information that such crimes tended to be intra-racial, specific to a certain age range, and similar to other people with a paranoia-based mental illness. From what Ressler knew, it was also likely that this offender would kill again, and keep on killing until he was caught. They had to work fast.

    Three days after the first murder, the killer struck again, this time slaughtering three people in their home, including a man and a child. He grabbed a baby and stole the family car, but then abandoned it in broad daylight. This suggested an oblivious, unhinged mind and offered more information for refining the profile. Ressler and Vorpagel were sure he lived close to both scenes, and after a massive manhunt the police found Chase living less than a block from the abandoned car. His appearance was just as anticipated and he suffered from paranoid delusions. He was also 27 years old. Body parts, empty pet collars, and a bloodstained food blender were found in his apartment. He lived alone, was unemployed, and had a history of psychiatric incarceration. He had been released only months before he began to kill. His arrest stopped a string of murders that apparently, from marks on his calendar, was to include some 44 more victims that same year.

    Vorpagel faced this man in the interrogation room, and Chase admitted he had committed the murders, but had done nothing wrong. He was saving his own life, because his blood was turning to sand and he needed theirs to prevent it. Talking to someone like Chase helped to confirm what the profilers thought, and it was cases such as this that gave Ressler an idea.
  14. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    The same guys that did the Vampire of Sacremento, took it further and became the professional fathers of profiling, here is how they did so.

    The Prison Interviews

    While on the road teaching local jurisdictions this method of behavioral analysis, Ressler thought it might be a good idea to visit some of the prisons they were near to gain access to dangerous criminals. They were profiling unknown offenders but could actually talk to known offenders and find out more about their motives and their crimes. If the BSU could devise a protocol of questions to ask, and could get detailed responses, they could start a database of information about traits and behaviors that these men shared in common.

    "In 1978," Ressler recalled in an interview, "I had come up with the idea of improving our instructional capabilities by conducting in-depth research into violent criminal personalities. I suggested we go into the prisons and interview violent offenders to get a better handle on them and formulate a foundation for criminal profiling. Initially, it was me and my partner who did this while we were on road trips for teaching purposes. If I was in California, I would contact the agent who was our training coordinator and have him set up interviews at local prisons with people like Charles Manson or Sirhan Sirhan."

    John Douglas and Robert Ressler both write about these visits in their books, and they were generally the team who did the prison interviews. "If you want to understand the artist," Douglas writes in Mindhunter, "look at his work."

    Initially, they contacted different types of offenders, from mass murderers to assassins (even failed ones) to serial killers. Jeffers goes into extensive detail on this aspect of the program. He makes it clear that the team did not want to ask questions that psychiatrists might have used during prison assessments. They were interested in law enforcement not psychoanalysis. Data were collected on 118 victims, including some who had survived an attempted murder, and finally the team devised a questionnaire routine that covered the most significant aspects of the offenses. The goal was to gather information about how the murders were planned and committed, what the killers did and thought about afterward, what kinds of fantasies they had, and what they did before the next incident (where relevant).

    Source: www.crimelibrary.com

    [Edited on 3-27-2005 by mscbkc070904]
  15. by the way Ice...that was ROBERT RESSLER, not FORRESTER. My bad....
    peace and respect