Criminal profiling is a technique that was pioneered by former FBI agent John Douglas, used to determine the possible gender, age, and social-economic status of a criminal. The FBI no longer uses the term criminal profiling. Now instead the FBI uses criminal analysis. The objective of a criminal analysis, learn who the criminal is and how he (or she) works. By determining certain facts about the subject, law enforcement can eliminate suspects that may not fit the profile.
When an agent learns why a particular individual commits a particular type of crime whether it is rape, murder, child abduction, or arson it allows the profiler to “get into the criminals mind.” By getting inside the criminals mind, the profiler is one-step closer to finding the criminal. In order to find a criminal a certain process called an investigative process happens.
The investigative process is how a criminal profiler methodically studies the crimes committed by the criminal. The investigative process allows the profiler to identify any major personality flaws, in addition to certain behavior characteristics. There are roughly seven steps to the FBI’s investigative technique.
The first step involves studying the individual crimes. The second step is to study the crime scenes. Third the victims are studied. Then the initial police crime reports are reviewed in depth, and if a death was involved the autopsy is evaluated. Step 6 finds the profiler compiling and finalizing the criminal’s personal characteristics, which is lastly based on the critical characteristics of the violent offender the profiler saw in the entire analysis performed.
The profiler may make some investigative suggestions to the law enforcement team handling the investigation on how to proceed if warranted. Criminal profiling has become an art, and is time consuming. The process takes someone who is patient and can place themselves in the mind of the criminal. In order to see what the criminal does while committing the crime. Criminal profiling has its advantages, and it has its disadvantages, and takes its toll on those brave enough to enter into the vast darkness of a criminal. John Douglas is the original Mindhunter.