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A Well-Prepared Criminal Profiling

Outline

This essay discusses criminal profiling. Here the discussion is based on the given profile of a killer. It analyzes the important advantages and limitations of the given profile from an investigator’s point of view, concerns of the investigator about a profile and value given to a profile as an investigative tool.

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Introduction

A well-prepared profile is a brilliant tool for doing an investigation about the offender. Generally, a profile gives a formal review or analyzed report related to something. A criminal profile gives particular information about the criminal. It will help to determine the identity of the criminal. Usually, a criminal profile gives information about the criminal’s personality, age, sex, physical structure and cultural background. By using the information from the profile, identification of the suspect becomes easy. (Criminal profiling, n.d.).

Drawbacks of the given criminal profile

Here a criminal profile is given. It indicates some features or characteristics of the specific perpetrator, but it can’t be considered as a well-prepared criminal profile. The reason for that is it lacks some important details related to the criminal. So by using this profile an investigator or public can’t determine the identity of the offender beyond doubt. Some major drawbacks of the given profile are described below.

  1. Generally FBI uses dichotomous typology which helps to identify whether the perpetrator is a marauder, who works within the ‘home base’ or a commuter, who travels from one place to another and does crime. In this profile, this dichotomous typology is not clearly applied. (Rogers, 2003).
  2. Criminal age is an important factor in criminal profile. This profile does not mention anything regarding his age.
  3. For identifying a criminal and his psychology, knowledge regarding his ethical background is very important. The given profile does not consider any point about the perpetrator’s family, economic or cultural background.
  4. A clear understanding of the physical structure of the offender will help the investigator and the public to identify the person. But by reading this profile no one gets any idea about his physical structure.
  5. From this profile one can’t understand what is the motive for his action – whether it is for robbery or anything else.
  6. This profile does not clearly or vaguely mention the method and manner of crime.
  7. From this profile one can understand that the offender is interested in military and police tactics. But it does not indicate whether any weapon is used for conducting the crime. One can’t understand the modus operandi of the crime.
  8. Body disposal is another important point that helps to identify the criminal and his personality. This profile does not mention anything about that.

The above-mentioned points are some potential shortcomings and inadequacies of the given profile.

General drawbacks of criminal profiling

  1. In criminal profiling, a profile is prepared based on some particular cases and assumes that it is the criminal’s general nature.
  2. Criminal profiling can possible only in the case of familiar offenders, but the intelligent, skilled offenders seem to be protected from law enforcement.
  3. It may cause to trap innocent people due to the preparation of profile by an unskilled and unprofessional profiler.

Advantages of the given profile

Even though the given profile has the above-stated drawbacks, one can see certain advantages. The major advantages of this criminal profile are given below.

  1. This profile well illustrates the psychological aspect of this particular criminal. The reader can easily understand that this person is paranoid, and has some personal and behavioral problems.
  2. Personality is an important factor for determining the identity of the offender. This criminal profile can help, to a certain extent, to identify his personality.
  3. Post-offensive behavior is another important phase in criminal profiling. This profile clearly mentions his post-offensive behavior. That is, he may react to the media report and may blame the victims. (News: Contents (in chronological order), n.d.)
  4. Another advantage of this profile is that it, not specifically but indirectly, forces the public to inform the authority about this perpetrator if he lives with them.

Advantages of the given leads

An investigator uses the method of criminal profiling to short-list the number of suspects since it provides a detailed description of the behavioral pattern and personality of the perpetrator. It has been widely used as a method in the investigation which evolves out of crime scene analysis and assessment of the characteristics of the offender. But as modern criminals adopt innovative methods in committing crimes and there is a growing concern over the increase of cybercrime the need to reform or modernize the profiling methods becomes imperative. The profile should include the application of modern technologies such as DNA analysis that will help the investigator. If the profiling can be more inferential that include the prediction of the physical features of the offender, finding the culprit becomes easier. The tendency of generalization of the cases in profiling may not be always accurate. Same offenders can execute crimes using different modus operandi. Another concern about profiling is that it is not an exact science. But the method is found reliable and the fact that it evolves out of years of research and experiences makes profiling acceptable.

The value is given to profiling as an investigative tool

In situations where exact details of the person who committed a crime are not available, the only tool the investigator has to lead the inquiry is the criminal profile. The different manifestations of the crime as revealed in case scene analysis are often assessed by an expert profiler. According to Susan Jones “There are three possible manifestations of offender behavior at a crime scene – Modus Operandi, Personation or Signature, and Staging which are the offender’s actions while committing the crime.” (Jones, 2000, Abstract, para.3). Staging occurs when someone changes the crime scene before the police arrived. In this case, a good profiler can reconstruct the crime scene effectively. The given profile is very helpful as an investigative tool because it points to the fact that the killer has close contact with the area where the crime was committed which makes investigation easier. Furthermore, the profile gives an explicit description of the killer’s short temper. This psychological understanding would definitely help the investigator to identify the killer when questioning all suspects. The killer cannot respond calmly during interrogation. All these facts indicate that some importance should be given to the given profile in identifying the killer.

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Generally speaking, profiling cannot be regarded as a final word in determining the offender since it relies on some speculations. It can be used as a means of investigation, but depending solely on it is not advisable.

Conclusion

To conclude, an analysis of the given profile shows its inadequacies and strengths and sheds light on the use of profiles in identifying the offender. It can be understood that profiling is commonly used in the investigation, and if cleverly used, can become an effective tool of investigation.

Reference

Criminal profiling. (n.d.). Web.

Jones, S. (2000). The process of criminal profiling when applied to a serial killer: Abstract. Web.

News: Contents (in chronological order). (n.d). Criminal Profiling Research.

Rogers, M. (2003). The role of criminal profiling in the computer forensics process. Web.

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