Profiling2 - INTRODUCTION The investigative technique, most...

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INTRODUCTION The investigative technique, most commonly referred to as criminal profiling, has recently risen in popularity both in practical use and media portrayals. A quick visit to any bookstore will reveal the popularity of the true crime section, and the recent flood of fiction works with a likable lead detective who profiles the offender is equal in volume. Depending on the literature one reads, the professional development of profiling over the past several decades will most likely be attributed to the work of the Behavioral Sciences Unit (BSU) at the FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia. More specifically, a few key agents will be known by name, if not by reputation, including John Douglas, Robert Ressler and Roy Hazelwood amongst others. Many of the mass- market conceptions often include an agent as a representative of the BSU working on the case with local law enforcement. While the role of the Bureau in the development of profiling cannot be denied, they are often afforded a greater involvement in criminal investigations than they have in reality, and many of the agents (current and retired) are often attributed with developing methods that were in place before they even reached the FBI. Profiling most notably can be traced back to work done in the latter part of the last century, and possibly before this in a variety of forms. There has been a definite growth since this early work, with a diverse array of individuals doing a great deal of both research and practical work in criminal profiling. It is the purpose of this article to explore the historical roots of modern criminal profiling, and to provide insight into how the modern methods have developed. Firstly, a very general history of profiling shall be covered. Following this, the development of the FBI method will be examined, along with a brief discussion about how this method is applied. Thirdly, the methods of David Canter, a psychologist from the United Kingdom will be examined and a discussion about his methods shall follow. Lastly, the method known as Behavioral Evidence Analysis, developed by Brent Turvey, a forensic scientist from the USA shall be covered. It is not intended to provide an in depth critique of each method, rather, in keeping with the theme of the paper to discuss the historical development of each, which will include a brief overview of each methods major theories. HISTORICAL OVERVIEW Depending on who and what you read, you will often get a very contradictory report of exactly who developed criminal profiling. This is especially true when it comes to the FBI, with many retired agents claiming sole responsibility for the development of many of the methods still in use today. It should come as no surprise that profiling in one way, shape, or form was employed long before the Bureau even came into existence. For many years, the work of individual psychologists and psychiatrists could be described as profiling, in that they often provided advice to police agencies as to the type of perpetrator they were
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2012 for the course HERE 2345 taught by Professor Mikerotch during the Fall '11 term at MO St. Louis.

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Profiling2 - INTRODUCTION The investigative technique, most...

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