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Criminal Profiling Should Become A Common Tool In Criminal Investigations Because It Provides A Plethora Of Critical Information That Has Led To The Arrest Of Elusive And Dangerous Criminals In The Past.

3241 words - 13 pages

Russo 1
Lauren Russo
Honors English 11 Pd 8
Mrs. Tarnowski
2 April 2013
Research Paper on Criminal Profiling
A serial killer runs rampant across the country. New victims are being discovered every
day, yet the police have no solid leads. All hope seems lost in catching the criminal responsible,
yet the uncommon practice of criminal profiling may be the answer to this quandary. However,
very few individuals are familiar with the techniques of profiling in the United States. Criminal
profiling should become a common tool in criminal investigations because it provides a plethora
of critical information that has led to the arrest of elusive and dangerous criminals in the past.
Used on rare occasions, and almost exclusively on serial murder cases, criminal profiling
analyzes all aspects of a crime. A criminal profiler examines the different phases of a crime, the
key elements involved, and the patterns followed by serial criminals. Profilers can even classify
the type of criminal involved in a crime. All the observations, theories, and conclusions drawn by
a profiler are then compiled together and presented in the form of a profile to local authorities in
charge of a case. Past occasions where the use of criminal psychology proved vital to the
success of a criminal investigation include the George Metesky case and the Richard Trenton
Chase case. These successful investigations opened the door for forming the Behavioral Science
Unit of the FBI in Quantico, Virginia. Tradition methods of criminal investigations pale in
comparison to use of criminal psychology in providing vital aid to seemingly unsolvable cases.
In criminal profiling, investigators first look at the crime itself. Lea Winerman, a senior
member of the American Psychological Association who has written over 90 articles on

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psychology, defines in her article "Criminal Profiling: The Reality Behind the Myth," four
phases in any given crime, such as a murder. The first phase, the antecedent, questions the
motives of the man or woman who committed the crime. The investigator must determine both
the trigger and plan of the perpetrator before the crime was even committed. Finding the motive
for a crime is extremely helpful because it allows authorities to develop a list of possible
suspects. The second phase of a crime is the method and manner. Winerman defines this phase
with the questions, "What type of victim or victims did the murderer select? What was the
method and manner of murder: shooting, stabbing, strangulation or something else?". Identifying
the victim type and murder weapon is imperative to authorities working on a case. This allows
the suspect pool to be narrowed down based on the type of person who would be most likely to
utilize a specific weapon to go after a specific type of person. The third phase of a crime is body
and evidence disposal. This questions whether the crime itself was committed at the "dump site"
of a body, which is where the body was found, or if the...

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