Between 1940 and 1956, a bomber eluded local police planting more than 30 bombs around New York City. Finally, investigators asked for help and had a criminal profiler assigned to the case to examine the crime scene photos and notes from the bomber. A criminal profile was created, making the assumptions that the bomber was unmarried, foreign, self-educated, in his 50s, and paranoid, and had a vendetta against the power company Con Edison. Ultimately, the profiler’s description helped police locate and arrest the bomber.
While this scenario may seem straight out of a TV show or movie, it is based on the real case of George Metesky, the “Mad Bomber,” who was caught in 1957 by New York City police after evading capture for over 16 years (Winerman, 2004). Despite the usefulness of criminal profiling in this case as well as many others, there is a lot of debate surrounding its effectiveness.
This week you examine criminal profiling and consider whether it is an art or a science. Then you explore the effectiveness of criminal profiling in the detection and apprehension of offenders. Finally, you consider factors that are most important to a criminal profile.
Reference: Winerman, L. (2004, July). Criminal profiling: The reality behind the myth. Monitor on Psychology, 35(7). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/criminal.aspx
By the end of this week, you should be able to:
Evaluate criminal profiling as an art and a science
Analyze the effectiveness of criminal profiling in the detection of offenders
Analyze the effectiveness of criminal profiling in the apprehension of offenders
Analyze the importance of factors in a criminal profile
Criminal Profiling in the Detection and Apprehension of Offenders Name Walden University Date Introduction Criminal profiling is increasingly beneficial in criminal investigations, as this helps in identifying criminal behavior patterns. Criminal profiling also helps in narrowing down the investigation, as there is an emphasis on the identity, behavior and likely personalities of offenders. For instance, the profiling of Bobby Joe Long and the BTK killer captured peculiar details of the offenders even as they were apprehended much later than was anticipated. Even as criminal profiling is effective, it is harder to apprehend suspects who seem fully functioning members of the society. This essay discusses the effectiveness of criminal profiling in the detection and apprehension of offenders. Criminal profiling of offenders Criminal profiling is effective when the tool assists investigators, who have to rely on police reports, forensic laboratory reports, crime scene details, photographs and witness statements. Based on available information the investigators can identify a behavioral blueprint of the crime to create the criminal offenses. Profiling provides information on the criminal’s lifestyle, gender, race, gender, oc