Crime has been around since the beginning of time and will be around until the end of civilization. The only things that have changed is the crime that is being committed, the punishment attached to the crime and the manner in which the crime is committed. Laws are enacted to curb society from performing unlawful acts. However, even though an individual may be caught and punished, some still choose to break the law. When this happens, there will always be individuals that are assigned to bring these criminals to justice. French sociaologist Emelie Durkheim (1858-1917) stated that “criminal behavior is a normal part of all societies. No society can ever have complete uniformity of moral consciousness. All societies must permit some deviancy, including criminal deviancy, or they will stagnate. The criminal as an acceptable human being and one of the prices that a society pays for freedom.” (“Definition of Criminology,” 2018) Therefore, crimnals will continue to commit crimes no matter what the punishment and law enforcment will have to evolve and change their way of thinking, investigating and evaluating crimes. Criminal profiling is one method that recently has drawn a lot of attention in aiding policing agencies in solving criminal acts.
Criminal profiling finds its roots in criminology. Crimology is “the scientific study of the causation, correction and prevention of crime” (“Definition of Criminology,” 2018) It includes other fields such as sociology, psychology, pschiatry, biology, and anthropology. Many of these disiplecines also achnowlegment in the profession of criminal profiling. Criminal profiling is “the analysis of a person’s psychological and behavioural characteristics, so as to assess whether they are likely to have committed a crime under investigation”. (“Criminal profiling definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary,” 2018) It has also been referred to as crime scene profiling, behaviorial profiling, offender profiling, psychologial profiling and criminal personality profiling.Profiles do not give specific information such as the name of the suspect or his address, however, it does provide law enforcment with a method of narrowing down a large pool of suspects into a managable number. Profiles analyze crime scene information and evidence when developing their profiles.
Cesare Lombroso, also known as the father of criminology, knew that in order to understand criminal behavior, a system had to set in place to clasify and compare these individuals. In 1876, “Lombroso published his topic The Criminal Man. By comparing information about similar offenders, such as race, age, sex, physical characteristics, education and geographic region, Lombroso reasoned that the origins and motivations of criminal behavior could be better understood.” (“Criminal Profiling,” 2018) He did a study on 383 Italian criminals and developed theires regarding the origins of criminal behavior. His conclustion clasified criminals into three types:
1. Born Criminals are primitive degenerates who bear lower evolutionary physical characteristists
2. Insane Criminals are those who suffer from physical or mental illness
3. Criminaliods included the largest class of criminals. They do not have any mental illness or physical characteristics to set them apart from others. However, they do have an enate predisposition to commit crimes and will do so if the situation or circumstances allow them to preceed. (“Criminal Profiling,” 2018)
When the history of criminal profiling is researched, it usually begins with the creation of the Federal Burea of Investigation Behavior Analysis Unit. However, this is not true. One of the first documented uses of a criminal profile was developed by two London physicians George Phillips and Thomas Bond in the late 1800. During this time London was plagued with a series of brutual murders involving prostitutes. At the end of 1888, five visious murders were committed by an unknown criminal who called himself Jack the Ripper. He was reported to have send letters to the London police department taking credit for these heinous crimes.
The profile created by Phillips and Bond used “autopsy results and crime scene evidence in the fall of 1888 to make informed predictions about legendary serial killer Jack the Ripper’s personality, behavioral characteristics and lifestyle”. (Bond, Ph.D., 2016) They also concluded that all the murders were committed by the same killer, the victims were lying down when killed and the murderer had no medical training or anatomy knowledge. (Bond, Ph.D., 2016) At the time, these conclusions were hard for the police department to comprehend because it was in complete contrast to their analysis. Dr. Bond concluded by stated that the killer “must have been “a man of solitary habits, subject to periodic attacks of homicidal and erotic mania, and the character of the mutilations possibly indicating satyriasis” or uncontrollable sexual desire.” (Bond, Ph.D., 2016) Even though Jack the Ripper was never apprehended, it is noted that more than a dozen witnesses decribed the killer with at least one of the characteristics that Phillips and Bond had described in their report. (Layton, 2006) Many wonder if Jack the Ripper would have been caught if the investigators had access to modern day techniques and technologies.
In 1956, Dr. James A. Brussel, a psychiatrist and Assitant Comissioner of ental Hygiene for the State of New York, was asked by the New York City Plice Department to aid them in searching for an invidiual who was the cause of a series of bombings that plaqued the city for over 16 years. This criminal became known as the “Mad Bomber”. He studied photographs and hand wriitin notes from the bomber and from this developed the first modern day workable crimnal profile that aided in the caputre of a vicious criminal. He “developed a very detailed physical and psychological profile of the suspect based on the evidence he was given.” (Bonn, Ph.D, 2017)
Dr. Brussel in his profile concluded that “the perpetrator would be unmarried, a foreigner, self-educated, middle-aged, reside in Connecticut, suffer from paranoia and have a vendetta against the Con Edison power company.” (Bonn, Ph.D, 2017) The profile was dead on and enabled the police department to arrest George Metesky. He was “apparently driven to violence due to anger and resentment over events surrounding a workplace injury he had suffered years earlier.” (Bonn, Ph.D, 2017) The criminal profile continued to state that “Male, former employee of Con Edison, injured while working and seeking revenge, paranoid, 50 years old, neat and meticulous, foreign, some formal education, unmarried and living with female relatives, but not a mother who probably died when he was young, upon capture will be wearing a buttoned up double-breasted jacket.” (“First Criminal Profile – Forensic Psychology Online,” 2018) Even though some of the profile was based on assumption, Dr. russels years of education, training and experience in his field led him to create an accurate and usefil profile that saved many lives and once again made New York City a safer place for their residence.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation formed the Behavioral Analysis Unit in 1972 and was originally called the Behavioral Science Unit. Its was developed on the concepts of agents Robert Russler and John Douglas who wanted to bring the foundation of spychology into the workings of profiles to catch vicious criminals. The first order of business with the Behavioral Analysis Unit was to investigate serial rapes and homicide. In 1984 the unit split into two seperage units known as the Behavior Science unit and the Behaviroial Science Investigation Support Unit. The Behavioral Science unit