PSYC39H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Aileen Wuornos, Reid Technique, Concordia University Massacre

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30 Dec 2016

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PSYC39 Lecture 10 Notes
Slide 2:
Are there types of behaviours that seem to recur within different crime scenes that are different or
specific? Example for Q3. If you found a number of murders committed and each victim had a
ring in their mouth, then it’s suspected to be a highly unusual type of behaviour. All of those crimes
were probably committed by the same person because of the specificity and uniqueness of the
characteristic of the crime scene.
Slide 3:
Evidence gathered from single crimes or multiple crimes if there is reason to believe that they were
committed by the same person. Since it’s based on experience and training, it’s not overly
Slide 4:
This approach isn’t based on gut, intuition or experience but on databases that have been
constructed looking at characteristics of groups of offenders who have committed similar crimes.
These statistics are descriptive. They’re based on how groups of offenders who have committed
similar crimes have acted in the past. Base rate is the percentage of occurrences of a particular
behaviour from within the general population of similar cases. Example: 35% of people who
committed murder on children under 12 are left handed so that 35% would be the base rate for left-
handedness of people who commit murder on children. not a true statistic. Left-handedness
occurs in 10% or below of the population so this base rate is 3.5x the likelihood of that occurring
in the general populations.
Slide 5:
These are helpful in trying to narrow down a large group of candidate suspects or who the police
should look for. If you know some of the characteristics of the individuals within the general pool
of potential suspects for a particular crime, then those unique identifiers can help narrow down the
field. Threat assessment refers to trying to figure out when a threat exists and how likely is it that
the threat will materialize into a particular action. Example: A mother threatens to hit her son.
When threats are made, some threats are more credible and more likely to be put into action. Risk
assessment refers to having information about a particular individuals then based on that
information and actuarial statistics based on people with those characteristics, you can come up
with a probability for how likely it is that people in that group (people who share the density of
these characteristics) will commit a violent crime.
Slide 6:
The point of profiling is to be perspective so looking into the future and Identifying the
psychological and behavioral features of persons who may commit a particular crime.
Example: It is known that people who are pedophilic will look for a job that has contact with young
children. This doesn’t mean everyone working with children are like that. It’s just one behavioural
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feature and raises the profile in one way along with other characteristics. Ie. like a puzzle. Border
services are interested in spotting people who may be part of or organize crime groups or terrorist
groups. Racial profiling shouldn't be used even if statistics show that one group has somewhat
higher criminal rate of behaviour than another group. Most people of all groups aren’t criminals.
Simply using race as an indicator of suspiciousness can lead to a lot of erroneous conclusions.
Slide 7:
Recent and sophisticated. It is used primarily with crimes that nobody witnessed and there’s no
obvious relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. It’s used to figure out where someone
has committed a number of similar crimes, where they live and where they focus their criminal
activities. Example: Perpetrator coming from inner city to commit crimes in the suburbs because
they’re more wealthy. Base of operation would not be in the inner city but out in the suburbs.
Another example is someone from the suburbs might go to the inner city to buy drugs and commits
a few crimes to earn money for these drugs. Two things to geographic profiling: try to figure out
where they live or if their crimes aren’t committed in the area they live in then figure out which
geographic locations the police should be vigilant on and looking for this person. Criminal
Geographic Targeting Program is very sophisticated, specialized and helps focus on where the
police should be looking.
Slide 8:
What does the crime scene look like? All of these things can hep narrow down who the offender
might be.
Slide 9:
Modus operandi typical way in which someone goes about doing their thing. Signatures
specific aspects to how they commit their crime. Although they don’t want to get caught, they still
want to make a statement and individualize it. personation. Staging ritualistic arrangement of
a crime scene for people whom it’s more than a statement. It fulfils some sort of fantasy or deeply
held desire so everything must be arranged in particular way so they can do what they do. Mostly
for sexual offenses.
Slide 10:
Is the crime scene organized or disorganized? Well planned vs not planned or unorganized. Mixed
crime scene part of it is organized and another part is unorganized.
Slide 11:
Malcom Gladwell and profiling negative evaluation of the utility of profiling. People who had
gone through childhood successfully, resolved various conflicts grew up to be honest. Honesty
truthful; not steal. General concept that applied across all situations. Psychologists looked at
honesty across the stages and they found that different people may be honest or generous in some
situations but not in other situations. Consistency of a trait across different situations is not
necessarily true.
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