Essay about Issues In Psychological Profiling

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Issues In Psychological Profiling
Historically, crime and criminals have always caught the attention of law-abiding citizens. Whenever there is mention of serial killers or unsolved murders or abductions, psychological profiling, floats to the top of the list of concerns (Egger, 1999). Psychological profiling is an attempt to provide investigators with more information about an offender who has not yet been identified (Egger, 1999). Its purpose is to develop a behavioral composite that combines both sociological and psychological assessment of the would-be offender. The type of person who could have committed the crime can often be identified on the premise that accurate analysis and interpretation of the crime scene can point to a
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By the mid-1950s, a psychiatrist named Dr. James Brussel, with no prior links to law enforcement, was asked by the New York City Police Department to profile the “Mad Bomber of New York” (Padbury, n.d.). After studying crime scene evidence and the bomber’s mail to the press, Brussel was able to develop a profile that described the bomber in detail. He claimed that offender would be heavy set, middle aged, and foreign-born. That he was Roman Catholic, single and lived with a sibling. He added that when found, the offender would most likely be wearing a buttoned, double-breasted suit. This proved to be very accurate. Brussel went on to aid other investigative agencies between 1957 and 1972. His work would lead to the arrest of Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler in 1964 (Padbury, n.d.). It was Brussel’s technique of interpreting bizarre behavior of these killers and then applying his knowledge of psychiatry to the investigative realities that proved to be a very effective means to assist law enforcement solve cases such as these (Egger, 1999). In 1976 and 1977, the Son of Sam terrorized New York City shooting couples as they sat in their parked vehicles throughout the city. Dr. Murray Miron was asked to assist forensic experts in creating a psycholinguistic analysis of the notes sent by the Son of Sam to local newspapers. When David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam, was finally

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