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Criminal Profiling how they do it.

A Criminal Profiler provides the investigator with a personality composite of the unknown suspect(s) that will aid in apprehension.

By studying the crime scene from a psychological standpoint, the criminal psychologist is able to identify and interpret certain items of evidence at the scene which provides clues to the personality type of the individual or individuals who have committed the crime.

Not exactly what it looks like in Hollywood, but close.

6 Stages of 

Criminal Profile Process

Crime Scene Investigator

STAGE 1

PROFILING INPUTS

Involves the gathering and organizing of all relevant case information. This includes such items as 

  1. a detailed report on the criminal investigation

  2. crime scene photographs

  3. description of the neighborhood or area where the murder occurred

  4. medical examiner’s report

  5. a timeline of the victim’s movements immediately before death

  6. detailed background profile of the victim

Crime Scene Investigator

STAGE 2

CONSTRUCTING A DECISION PROCESS

Involves the gathering and organizing of all relevant case information. This includes such items as 

  1. a detailed report on the criminal investigation

  2. crime scene photographs

  3. description of the neighborhood or area where the murder occurred

  4. medical examiner’s report

  5. a timeline of the victim’s movements immediately before death

  6. detailed background profile of the victim

Crime Scene Investigator

STAGE 3

CRIME ASSESSMENT

Profilers decide whether the crime scene has the characteristics of an organized offender, a disorganized offender, or a mix of both.

 

Profilers use a list of factors such as

 

  1. whether the victim’s body was positioned or posed

  2. whether sexual acts were performed before or after death

  3. whether cannibalism or mutilation was practiced on the body.

 

These factors are used to predict whether an unknown offender is an organized or disorganized killer.

Crime Scene Investigator

STAGE 4

THE CRIMINAL PROFILE

The profiler produces a report for local investigators that predicts the unknown offenders possible

 

  1. personality

  2. physical characteristics

  3. social characteristics

 

The profile lists

  1. objects that might be in possession of the killer

  2. may propose strategies for identifying

  3. may propose strategies for apprehending

  4. may propose strategies for questioning

 

A profile can vary in length from a few paragraphs to a number of pages depending on how much information the profiler had to analyze at the input step.

Crime Scene Investigator

STAGE 5

INVESTIGATION

The profiler produces a report for local investigators that predicts the unknown offenders possible

 

  1. personality

  2. physical characteristics

  3. social characteristics

 

The profile lists

  1. objects that might be in possession of the killer

  2. may propose strategies for identifying

  3. may propose strategies for apprehending

  4. may propose strategies for questioning

 

A profile can vary in length from a few paragraphs to a number of pages depending on how much information the profiler had to analyze at the input step.

Crime Scene Investigator

STAGE 6

APPREHENSION

The accountability or proof-of-performance step.

 

The accuracy of a profile can be determined by matching its characteristics & details to those of the actual offender in custody.

 

Successful investigations are added to the database in Quantico and the computerized algorithms used by the profiling system are fine-tuned in order to increase profiling accuracy in the future.