History is important and gives us information on what has come before, it gives us a look back on where we have been and what we are becoming. It also reminds us where our knowledge and wisdom came from. History is for critical thinkers, it is for those who will not blindly accept what is handed to them. It is for those that would rather come to understand things.
Criminal profiling came about in the late 1940’s and is mainly used by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), deal with highly organized crimes that local law enforcement agencies refer to them. Serial offenders often commit crimes in a less than organized fashion, leave evidence at the scene, and are usually apprehended after the first, second or third offence so the FBI is not consulted. (Schlesinger, 2009) Criminal profiling is used not only in identifying unknown offenders in serial crimes; such as rape, arson and serial murder. It is also used in hostage negotiations, and anonymous letter writers.
Since the 1970’s, investigative profilers at the FBI’s behavioral science unit (now part of National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime) (Schlesinger, 2009) have been assisting local, state, and federal agencies in narrowing investigations by providing criminal personality profiles, known as the criminal-profile-generating process.
Profiling determines a type of person who did a crime focusing on certain behavioral and personality characteristics. Profiling has been used successfully by law enforcement and is a valued means that narrows the field of an investigation. (Schlesinger, 2009) Crimes such as serial sexual homicides is where profiling has been found to be very useful. These types of crimes are random and are of motiveless nature, and they are given high publicity. Consequently, law enforcement agents are under great public pressure to apprehend the perpetrator quickly. These crimes are also the most difficult to solve, because of their randomness.
Although serial murderer’s don’t generally know their victim, their selection has symbolic significance to him, their victims are not random. Analyzing differences and similarities among victims of a serial murder provides information concerning the “motive” in an apparently motiveless crime. This may also give information about the perpetrator.
An example, would be say the murder was a result of a sadistic fantasy in the murderer’s mind a particular victim is targeted due to the symbolic aspect of the perpetrators fantasy.
In this type of case, investigators face a situation that is different from which a murder occurs as a result of jealousy, or from a family fight, or when another felony is committed. Cases of that nature create an identifiable motive which may provide clues about the perpetrators identity. For this purpose, law enforcement need to look to methods outside conventional investigative techniques when dealing with motiveless crimes, in an effort to...