Why Is Criminal Profiling Wrong

1578 Words7 Pages
Criminal Profiling: Science or Guessing Game Criminal Minds, Silence of the Lambs, the Profiler. What do these shows have in common? Glorification of criminal profiling. Criminal profiling is defined by psychologist David Canter as “…the derivation of inferences about a criminal from aspects of the crime(s) s/he has committed” (Canter, Criminal Differentiation). In TV shows criminal profiling always works. It is flashy and big and the crook is always caught. But do movies and shows portray the reality of the situation? While it may seem cool and in some cases has great success, often criminal profiling is just another tool that makes mistakes. To get a basic idea about criminal profiling itself, it is necessary to go back to its roots, how…show more content…
David Canter, in the book Investigative Psychology: Offender Profiling and the Analysis of Criminal Action, states that at a crime scene, “...as well as material traces, he [the committer of the crime] also leaves psychological traces, tell-tale patterns of behavior that indicate the sort of person he is...” So the perpetrator actually leaves something psychological behind at the crime scene. How can one discover traces of something that cannot be seen physically? The FBI thought of a way to do just that. There are actually six stages of criminal profiling. These stages include profiling input, decision process models, crime assessment, criminal profile, investigation, and…show more content…
Any details about the crime scene, any medical findings, and everything about the victim are included. Suspects are not looked for to avoid bias later on in the profiling process. That information gathered in the first stage is then organized into patterns in the decision process models stage. They classify the different crimes and look for things like risks, intent, time factors, threat of the crime getting bigger, and location. In the crime assessment stage the profilers go through and almost reconstruct the crime itself. They go more into motivation and the visible crime scene evidence. Next comes the criminal profile stage. This is where the profile or the description comes out. The kind of behavior related to the crime and the type of person the criminal is is put together. It must fit the crime and everything gathered in the previous stages. Stage five the profilers try to match that profile to an individual. And hopefully in stage six a suspect is arrested and then convicted (The

More about Why Is Criminal Profiling Wrong

Open Document