Criminal Profiling

Criminal Profiling

Marlene Libby     CRMJ 420           Barbara Bailey-Instructor

Thesis:   In conjunction with law enforcement, forensic psychologists are working to integrate psychological science into criminal profiling.

I.   Criminal Profiling.

  A. Racial

  B. DNA

  C. Forensic

II. Notable Profilers

  A. Thomas Bond

  B. James Brussel

  C. Howard Tetan

III. Controversies

  A. White v African American

  B. False Positives

  C. Scientific Validity


This paper investigates criminal profiling. It gives a brief introduction of its history and first use, then explores how effective it has been in solving crimes. Arguments against its use are presented, and a conclusion on how to enhance its usefulness is also included.

"When it comes to solving crimes, law enforcement agencies use numerous tools, resources, and people to aid them in their search for answers. One rather new resource comes from the field of forensic science, and more precisely from the field of forensic psychology. Law enforcement agencies use forensic psychologists to construct certain characteristics about a criminal who commits a certain crime; the characteristics are then formed into a criminal profile (offender profile in the United Kingdom). The law enforcement agencies then use these profiles to help identify, apprehend, and prosecute the criminals. This paper will examine criminal profiling to see whether or not it is an accurate and truly useful resource in the ever-evolving fight against crime."

Criminal profiling is based on the notion that criminality is a form of behavior that can be predicted based on knowledge of the perpetrator's personality and personal characteristics. This paper looks at how during the last two decades of the 20th century, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) made extensive use of criminal psychological profiling in identifying perpetrators of...