Criminal Minds Essay

1538 words - 6 pages

Criminal Minds: Art imitating life or just good TV?The depiction of a forensic psychologist as shown on the TV show criminal minds is in someway an interpretation on what criminal profilers do. Through the TV show Criminal Minds we can see how criminal-profiling work in solving crimes that are involved with the emotionally unstable, however there is a degree to which this can be performed in real life. Criminal Minds is a TV series about a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) based in Virginia. The show's focus is on profiling criminal 's to find the on-sub and to solve the crime.Despite the lack of empirical evidence to support criminal profiling it can still be used as a helpful tool for the investigation into a crime , however unlike its representation on TV it should not be used as an ending point for solving the crime.To begin to understand whether criminal profiling can be used as an investigative tool, one must understand the origin of offender profiling.As Canter (2004) discusses a case in the 1800's whereby Dr Thomas Bond advised the police about his opinion on a man who violently attacked and killed at least five women in the Whitechapel area of London. This man we now refer to as Jack the ripper. This was most likely one of the first 'offender profiles', and even though it was composed over a century ago it still contains information to be considered as a profile today.One of the simplest way of describing profiling is through the three-stage process which implicates the collecting of crime scene data by the police officers, the advancing of these data's to the profilers, and then the deduction of a personality profile by profilers on the basis of the data (Dern & Dern & Horn & Horn, 2009).Canter (2004) converses about the need for consistency and differentiation, he looks at linking serial offences and the conventions of typology. Consistency is an important part of criminal profiling especially in the case of linking crimes because this assumes that the offenders are consistent in the way they behave across the crime scenes (Woodhams & Hollin & Bull, 2007). Important factor that Canter (2004) considers is that change is a natural aspect of humans processes, therefore their will always be an inconsistency. Apart from being consistent, for the empirically based model to work one needs to be able to tell the difference from one crime scene to another. Canter (2004) looks at the debates in the world of criminology regarding whether offenders are normally specialist or versatile with the way their crimes are performed. Woodhams et al. delves into the significance of linking crimes, it allows for the collection from various crime scenes which will overtime lead to increasing evidence against the offender, it also makes it easier for the information to be investigated together. When linking crimes the behavioral analysis must look at the physical and verbal behavior when studying the crime...

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