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Profiling. Plan for Today. What is Profiling? Offender typologies Problems with profiling Geographical profiling. What is Profiling?. A technique for identifying the major personality and behavioural features of an offender based on an analysis of the crimes they have committed.

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  1. Profiling

  2. Plan for Today • What is Profiling? • Offender typologies • Problems with profiling • Geographical profiling

  3. What is Profiling? • A technique for identifying the major personality and behavioural features of an offender based on an analysis of the crimes they have committed

  4. Goals of Profiling • Suspect prioritization • New lines of enquiry • Interview strategies • Predict dangerousness • Flush out offender

  5. Profiling • What do profilers do? • provide investigators with a personality composite, behavioral tendencies and demographic features of the unknown offender • Also, crime and threat analysis, investigative assistance, strategies for interviews and prosecution, and expert testimony • Mostly homicide, also rape, arson, bombing, espionage, stalking, extortion, kidnapping, terrorism and product tampering • TYPES: Criminal profiling, Geographical profiling, …

  6. Profiling Criminal Profile may include: Gender, age, race, occupation, socioeconomic status, mental status, area of residence, educational and family background, social habits and probable arrest history Geographical profiling: area of “base”

  7. Criminal Profiling. • The process of inferring distinctive personality characteristics of individuals responsible for committing crimes has commonly been referred to as criminal profiling

  8. Criminal Profiling • A profile generalised from behavioral and demographic characteristics shared by other criminals. Product of statistical characteristics and generalisation. Ex: 80% of all serial killers that attack college students in parking lots are white males, age 20-35, who live with their mother and drive Volkwagen vans. Our offender has attacked three female students in parking lots. Therefore our offender is a white male, age 20-35, who lives with his mother and drive a VW van... • Assumptions Individual behavior and motivation can be predicted from the study of individuals who share similar behaviors and motivations.

  9. Different Types of Criminal Profiling Inductive Profiling • Profiling an offender from what is known about other offenders Deductive profiling • Profiling an offender from evidence relating to the crime of that offender

  10. Inductive Profiling 80% of serial killers who attack people in parking lots are white males Our offender has attacked three people in parking lots, therefore it is likely that our offender is a white male

  11. Deductive Profiling Body of a female victim is found with no blood or clothing at the scene Location is not the primary crime site due to the lack of blood and clothing found at the scene

  12. The profiler’s dictionnary: • Modus Operandi (standard procedure) Behaviors committed by the offender during the commission of the crime which are necessary to complete the crime. Can vary as the offender becomes more experienced • MO ensures success, protect identity, offer escape: dynamic • Signature Behaviors the offender has to do to fulfill an emotional need or a fantasy. Thematic nature, it tends to be more stable over time. • Needs of the offender: often ritualized ex: staging, overkill, bondage, etc.

  13. Example of MO and Signature • An unknown subject rapes a woman in her home, using a rope garrote to control her while he rapes her, causing little or no other physical damage. The offense takes 10 or 15 minutes and then the offender leaves through the back door of the residence which shows signs of forced entry. • Over the next two months, two more rapes are committed by the same rapist with roughly the same MO, each taking about ten to fifteen minutes. Investigators are able to make the connections right away because of DNA evidence collected at the various scenes. During rape number three, it is noted, the victim struggled a great deal and very heavy ligature furrows are observed on her neck. • A week later, a fourth victim emerges. The fourth victim explains in her statement how the offender brought her in and out of consciousness intentionally using a rope garrote, and how the offender spent almost an hour with her. DNA evidence is unavailable for this fourth rape: is victim number four related?

  14. Example of MO and Signature • All else being equal, this is the same offender. • What has occurred is that the offender, over time, has eroticized the use of the garrote. During the first rapes, the garrote was a means to acquire and maintain control of the victim (MO Oriented). • Over time and experience, the offender developed a sexual desire to strangle his victims while raping them (Fantasy Oriented). • This is not surprising given the strong association of the garrote with the act of rape during the first few attacks. • The presence of an object or behavior during sex can quite easily lead to it's eroticization and inclusion in fantasy and subsequently fantasy behavior.

  15. How do you create a Profile? • Behavior reflects personality! • Actions before, during and after crime • Look at what offender chose to do and what he chose not to do. (Behavioral fingerprint) • Signature • What did he do that he did not have to?

  16. How do you create a Profile? • Look at evidence, police and autopsy reports, crime scene photos, i.e., learn everything about the offender • Use inductive and deductive reasoning, experience of violent behavior, facts of particular case, and statistical probabilities. • In depth interviews with violent offenders

  17. Organized - Disorganized typology Source: Robert Ressler, Ann W. Burgess, and John E. Douglas, Sexual Homicides: Patterns and Motives. New York: Free Press, 1992, pp. 121-122, 130.


  19. THE ORGANIZED/DISORGANIZED OFFENDER • The organized/disorganized offender is an FBI model. The organized/disorganized offender dichotomy has a strong crime scene focus. • Stage 1: Collecting inputs, which are essential for accurate profiling • State 2: Using Decision Process Models, which is the process of organizing and arranging the inputs into meaning patterns • Stage 3: making the crime assessment, which is the reconstruction of the sequence of events and the behavior of both the victim and the offender

  20. THE ORGANIZED/DISORGANIZED OFFENDER • Stage 4: Developing the criminal profile, a process which addresses the type of person who committed the crime and that individual's behavioral organization in relation to the crime, including background information, physical characteristics, habits, beliefs, values, pre-offense behavior leading to the crime and post-offense behavior

  21. THE ORGANIZED/DISORGANIZED OFFENDER • Stage 5: Continuing the on-going investigation by those assigned to it, with the profiler making adjustments in the profile if fresh information warrants it and being available to discuss the case with those assigned on an as-needed basis • Stage 6: Following the apprehension, reviewing the agreement between the outcome and the various stages of the profiling process are examined

  22. Organized, Disorganized, Mixed – typology

  23. Organized crime scene predicts: • Premeditation, manipulative, cunning, deliberate and methodical. Psychopathic (narcissistic and remorseless) • Pride in appearance, articulate, outgoing, charming • Crimes and aftermath well planned and executed • Chooses targets carefully, brings own weapon, tries to conceal the body • CONTROL (a thinking criminal) • Older, more mature, leave general area (drive)

  24. Disorganized Crime Scene predicts: Loner, few social skills and ties, feels inadequate Sloppy unkempt appearance (home), haphazard impulse crimes against victims of opportunity. More likely to attack family, friends, neighbors or acquaintances Frenzied crime scene – sparked by drugs, mental illness, or inexperience. Mutilation and overkill Symbols of disorganization reflect delusions Blitz attack, leaving victim Attack close to home, walk or public transportation

  25. Mixed crime scene • Young offender making transition to organized predator • Short temper but plans revenge without taking unnecessary risks • Situational factors (inability to control victim) leading to improvised behavior • More than one perpetrator

  26. The profiler’s dictionnary: (con’d) • Serial murder, Spree murder, and Mass murder: Serial: three or more separate events with a cooling off period between homicides) Spree: killing at 2 or more locations with no emotional cooling off period between homicides. Mass : anything more than 3 victims in one location and within one event.

  27. Homicidal trends Serial killers • generally target strangers, consistency in victim profile • Cooling off period • Trophies • At least 3 victims

  28. THE HOLMES TYPOLOGY ACT-FOCUSED (quick kill) • 1 - THE VISIONARY - hears voices or sees visions that tell him to kill (psychotic), thevoices tend to be either God or the devil, legitimating the violence. • 2- THE MISSIONARY - goes on hunting "missions" to eradicate a group of people(prostitutes, Jews, etc.) from face of earth, seems like "fine young man" to neighbors. PROCESS-FOCUSED (slow kill) • 3 - THE COMFORT-ORIENTED HEDONIST - takes pleasure from killing, but also getssome profit or personal gain from it. (mostly women) • 4 - THE LUST-ORIENTED HEDONIST - associates sexual pleasure with murder, sexwhile killing and necrophilia are eroticized experiences. • 5 - THE THRILL-ORIENTED HEDONIST - gets a "rush" or "high" from killing, anelixir of thrills, excitement, and euphoria at victim's final anguish. • 6 - THE POWER/CONTROL FREAK - takes pleasure from manipulation and domination(sociopath), experiences a "rush" or "high" from victim's misery.

  29. Serial Killing • Hunting grounds for serial killers: 1. sin strips 2. gay bars or single bars 3. skid row areas 4. college campuses • “Sites and zones” 1. VICTIM'S LAST KNOWN LOCATION 2. COMFORT ZONE (activity spaces, hunting grounds, stalking sites) 3. BUFFER ZONE (offender's residential location) 4. ATTACK SITE (edge of comfort zone; actual crime scene) 5. HOLDING SITE (sometimes used) 6. VEHICLE DISPOSAL SITE 7. PROPERTY DISPOSAL SITE 8. BODY DUMP SITE or DISPOSAL ZONE

  30. Most frequently selected victims[Hickey (2002; 399 serial killers)]

  31. Methods 1. Firearms mainly(41%) 2. Suffocation (37%) 3. Stabbing (34%) 4. Bludgeoning (26%) 5. Firearms only (19%) 6. Poison (11%) 7. Drowning (3%) 8. Other (2%) Motives 1. Sex (55%) 2. Control (29%) 3. Money (19%) 4. Enjoyment (16%) 5. Racism and hatred (11%) 6. Mental problems (6%) 7. Cult-inspired (5%) 8. Attention (2%) Male Serial Killers:

  32. Methods 1. Poison (80%) 2. Shooting (20%) 3. Bludgeoning (16%) 4. Suffocation (16%) 5. Stabbing (11%) 6. Drowning (5%) Motives 1. Money (74%) 2. Control (13%) 3. Enjoyment (11%) 4. Sex (10%) 5. Drugs, cultinvolvement, cover up, or feelings of inadequacy (24%) Female Serial Killers:

  33. Spree killers • No cooling off period • Different, indiscriminate locations • Victims are generally strangers or are utilitarian murders • High suicide rate • Often “suicide by cop”

  34. Mass Murderers • Kill 4 or more people at one time and place • Mentally unbalanced, paranoid and suffering from chronic depression • Plagued by personal failure • “workplace violence”

  35. Serial Rapists Power Reassurance rapist • lacks confidence socially and sexually with women, rapes to reassure his masculinity • Will fantasize a consensual relationship (may even believe it) • Can be apologetic e.g., “the gentleman rapist”

  36. Power Assertive Rapist • Attacks to assert his masculinity • Believes women are objects for gratification • Macho self-perception • Women are seen as second class citizens • Will strike impulsively

  37. Anger Retaliatory Rapist • Wants to hurt, punish and humiliate victims • Hates women in general (or specific group) • Wants to “get even” for some real or perceived injustice • Will strike impulsively

  38. Anger Excitation Rapist • Known more commonly as sexual sadists • Least common but most violent rapists • Highly ritualistic crimes • Fantasies usually involve some master-slave relationship • Seeks complete control over victims and derives pleasure from their suffering • Crimes are methodically planned

  39. Opportunistic and Gang Rapists Opportunistic rapist is already committing another crime • often involves drugs (especially alcohol) Gang rapes often operate on a mob or pack mentality (always a pack leader) - likelihood of serious physical injury to victim

  40. Criticisms of Profiling

  41. Criticisms • Despite its successes, profiling as a field is not without criticisms. Include in these criticisms are: • untrained or inadequately trained profilers • promising too much and delivering too little • relying on inadequate or dated databases • overstating the meaning of physical evidence

  42. Problems with profiling • Can only create imprecise stereotypes, descriptions are vague and general • There is little theoretical foundation for generated demographic and personality factors • Can narrow the investigation parameters • Art based on experience rather than science

  43. H A Cheaper Alternative?

  44. What is Geographic Profiling? • Geographic profiling is a technique typically used in serial violent crime investigations. It involves an analysis of crime scene locations in order to determine the most probable area of offender residence.

  45. What is Geographic Profiling? • Geoprofiling/GP is an investigative strategy that uses the locations of a series of crimes to determine the most probable area of the offenders residence • GP does not “solve” crimes; it does prioritize suspects and their likely addresses • This allows investigators to focus their resources and strategies, e.g., saturation patrol, surveillance, and neighborhood canvasses

  46. Where Does a Geographic Profile Fit? • Occurrence of a crimes series • Use of traditional investigative techniques • Linkage analysis • Criminal profile • Geographic profile • New investigative strategies

  47. 1. Awareness and Activity Spaces AWARENESS SPACE ACTIVITY SPACE

  48. H H MARAUDER COMMUTER 2. Importance of the Home

  49. H 3. Buffer Zone • An area surrounding the criminal’s home where targets are viewed as less desirable (and therefore crimes are less likely).

  50. S5 S4 S1 S7 S2 S3 S6

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