Psychological profiling started in ``the 1800s.”Some of the people that contributed to psychological profiling are Alphonse Bertiollon, Ernest Kretschmer, Hand Grosss and Jacob Fries. Psychological Profiling entails studying the crime committed and the manner the offence is committed, in order to establish a connection in crimes that indicate similarity in terms of the crime nature and mode of commission.
Jack the Ripper Case” is the first case whereby psychological profiling was applied to facilitate capturing the perpetrator of the crimes. Jack was a ``serial killer.”Jack killed five prostitutes before his capture. The profiling aided the investigators to formulate a mechanism to enhance arresting him because it was convincing that he murdered the prostitutes (Whittington, 1975). The profiling conducted by the investigators indicated a certain similarity in the manner the whores are killed. Jack mutilated the bodies of his victims by removing the kidneys and intestines and the private parts of the victims were usually exposed. At some point, jack started signing notes and leaving them behind the dead bodies thus forming a characteristic that could be used to identify him.
There is no evidence to show that profiling is effective. Snook in the journal ``the criminal profiling illusion. Criminal justice and behavior” argues that profiling rely on prediction thus it should not form the key basis of the investigation (Snook et.al., 2008).However, it is evident that people believe that profiling is effective despite lack of evidence to back up this claim. Lack of evidence is due to factors such as stereotyping, the changes in circumstances surrounding the commission of the offence and errors make it impossible to come up with evidence that can be referred to after a crime occurrence. Moreover, there is no ``scientific research” presentation that backs psychological profiling. We all know that scientific research form the basis of most reasoning thus lack of its backing in psychological profiling makes it seem like an ``opinion” based approach that cannot be trusted.
The cases that are best suited for psychological profiling are rape, arson and murder. Psychological Profiling work best in the cases aforementioned because they involve the use violence and technique to commit them. Further, physical evidence that is usually left behind after the occurrence of ``crimes,’’ make profiling of various crimes helpful in discovering and arrest of criminals. We find that factors such as emotions and body strength of crime offenders are detected from the manner in which a crime has occurred, thus the commission of several cases by one individual is recognized through psychological profiling (Snok.etal, 2007).
However, psychological profiling entails various steps (Turvey, 2002).The first step deals with collecting information about the crime. The information collected helps the investigator to understand the crime in regard to ``where, how, when and why” a ``crime’ has occurred.
The second step is categorizing the information collected into either an ``organized or non organized behavior.” Categorization facilitates the ``classification” of an offender. After categorization, an assessment that entails analyzing the crime from the victim’s and the perpetrator’s side is carried out. It entails studying the events ``before, during and after” the crime.
The final step is constructing a profiling. Having gathered the relevant information in step one to four, the investigator obtains characteristics that aid him in recognizing the kind of person that has committed the crime.
Profiling starts with basic information such as the (Snook.et.al, 2007) ``name, sex, age, race, mental health status and family background.”After profiling, a report that helps in the investigation is prepared using the information obtained from the psychological profiling.
It is crucial to note that information gathered regarding the victim is very important in identification of a suspect via psychological profiling. Examining a victim after a crime has been committed, will answer questions pertaining to`` how, when, where, why” a certain victim was targeted by a criminal. Further, information about a ``victim” helps an investigator to gather information about a criminal. The information is obtained by studying the body of the victim by finding out whether violence was applied, looking out for marks and cuts on the body and by studying about how the mutilation is carried out in order to link the crime in question to a previous crime. Linking crimes that inhibit similarities imply that they are committed by the same person thus making it easy for the investigators to trace him by using similarity in aspects such as locality of the crimes committed (Turvey, 2002).For instance we find that linking crimes facilitated the arrest of jack ``the serial killer” whose mission was killing prostitutes.
In conclusion, psychological profiling is described as the process of ``collecting” information pertaining to ``unknown criminal” in order to study his ``mind and characteristics” to facilitate his identification (Hicks, 2006). Another name for Psychological profiling is ``Offender profiling or criminal profiling.” Crime scene profiling, however deals with the study of the crime and the physical evidence available to facilitate the establishment of precise action that happened during ``the crime in question.”Crime scene profiling thus incorporates aspects such as taking photographs from the crime scene.
Hicks, S. J., & Sales, B. D. (2006). Criminal profiling: Developing an effective science and practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Snook, B., Eastwood, J., Gendreau, P., Goggin, C., & Cullen, R. M. (2007). Taking stock of criminal profiling: A narrative review and meta-analysis. Criminal Justice and Behavior Journal, Vol 34.
Snook, B., Cullen, R.M., Bennell, C., Taylor, P.J., & Gendreau, P. (2008). The Criminal Profiling Illusion: What’s behind the smoke and mirrors? Criminal Justice and Behavior Journal, Vol 35.
Turvey, B. (2002). Criminal profiling: An introduction to behavioral evidence analysis. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Whittington Egan, R. (1975). A casebook on Jack the Ripper. London: Wiley.