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Lecture 2

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PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

Lecture 2 (May 10 ) Criminal Profiling  Criminal profiler: psychological consultant or investigator who examines evidence from crime scenes, victims and witnesses o Retroclassification – goal: to constrict accurate profile/description of perpetrator o Draws inferences about perpetrator’s personality, behaviour and motivation o Normally, success rate is very low  Techniques pioneered by FBIs “Behavioural Science Unit”, Quantico, Virginia, 1970s o Relatively new – only 40 years or so Want to be a criminal profiler?  Few criminal profiling jobs o Approximately 12 in the U.S., maybe one in Canada  Training controlled by law-enforcement in the US and Canada o Psychology has very little to do with a criminal profiling background  Profilers mostly psychologists in UK and Netherlands  Expert testimony not admissible at trial – does not meet court standards o The key attribute necessary to be a good profiler is judgment – a judgment based primarily on the analysis of facts and figures, but on instinct...(Douglas & Olshaker, 1997, p15) Why Develop Profiles?  To Solve mis-matches o Between physical information from crime scene with characteristics of specific suspect  Jeffrey MacDonald  Pregnant wife & 2 young children brutally clubbed and stabbed  Cyril Wecht: Physical evidence fit, psychological profile did not  To overcome false stereotypes/simplified assumptions about... o Motives: Why criminals do what they do?  “they’re stupid”  Edmund Kemper (very smart serial killer, IQ of 136)  “they hate”  Ted Bundy – charming man who is able to talk extremely well, can lie well  Just because they say something, does not necessarily mean it’s true  “it’s what they know best”  BTK – claims that he was possessed and had not control over his actions  Do they ever take personal responsibility for their murders? Do they blame something? o i.e. Ted Bundy blamed pornography o Personality Types – murder? Rape? Fraud? o Backgrounds – impoverished backgrounds or broken homes?  Interviews with 36 male murderers  Less than 50% from largely “intact” families (some dysfunctionality)  IQ scores: 20% less than 90, 50% within normal range, 30% greater than 120  Divorce tends not to be a problem unless parents of children constantly fight o However, there are many other variables that stem from divorce, such as a poor socioeconomic status Stereotypes about Crime Statistics  #1 criminal killer in Canada = impaired driving  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration o Individuals between the ages of 1-34 – impaired driving is the leading cause of death o It is the 8 leading cause amongst all ages  Impaired driving: 74,331 (charges laid) in 2002 o 94% classified as operating a vehicle with a BAC over 80mg  Sexual Assault: 22,136 (less than 6% of sexual assaults reported)  Arson: 13,504 (deaths unknown)  Homicides: 605 (25% involved firearms, 22% knives, 9% blunt instrument, 27% other) Profiling: Which Crimes?  Rape, homicide, arson, serial bombing o Serial crimes! o Can classify crimes by behaviour or motive  Arsonists – few caught, few witnesses, little evidence o Classification by behaviour  Serial arson: greater than or equal to 3 fires at different times, emotional cooling off period, and targets are random  Spree arson: greater than or equal to 3 fires in succession, no cooling off period  Mass arson: greater than or equal to 3 fires in same location in limited period  i.e. in a building, setting fires to different floors, etc.  Organized arsonists: set fires after stress trigger, planned, methodical, target selected  Disorganized arsonists: opportunists, target random, more evidence than organized arson  Spur of the moment – not much planning o Classification by motive  Vandalism, profit, excitement, revenge, crime concealment o Profile – “young white male – loner with history of problems” (p.73)  Know which classification is most popular for arsonists (motive or behaviour – look in text) What is a criminal profile?  “...biographical sketch of behavioural patterns, trends and tendencies”  May include: o Personality and motivations of offender o Signature o Sex, age, race o Sometimes called sociopsychological profile Jack the Ripper: First Modern Example  person who conducted autopsies on his victim came up with a profile of Jack the Ripper o “A man of great physical strength” (because he subdued his victims easily – deductive reasoning) o “A man of great coolness and daring” (crimes were committed in public places) o “...likely to be a quiet, inoffensive looking man, probably middle aged and neatly and respectably dressed” (because he did not call attention to self) o “...habit of wearing a cloak or overcoat” (because hid blood on clothes and hands) o “solitary and eccentric...without regular occupation” (Because too corrupt to interact with others) (although this one is probably false – people like Ted Bundy) Three Approaches to Criminal Profiling 1. Profiling historical and political figures (look in text) 2. Profiling offenders common characteristics o Similarities in personalities, backgrounds and behaviours of offenders across similar crimes – inductive profiling o E.g.) Miss Marple – similarity in crimes = similarity in offender characteristics  (un)reliability of self-reports  Childhood abuse not reliable predicto
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