This post utilises research (Cooksey and Kocsis, 2002) that reveals the different offender profiles associated with varying types of arson. This is some fascinating research and Kocisis one of the authors seems to have written a fair amount on profiling for peer-reviewed journals.
The study involved a database consisting of 148 arson cases.
"All cases featured a minimum of three arson offences..."
The collected dataset spanned a large timeframe, the earliest being from 1980 and the latest being 1998.
Exactly how the data was divided and the classification of categories is available from the review provided at the bottom of this summary.
Disorganised vs organised
Contrary to the common classification of organised vs disorganised, offenders of serial arson tend to exhibit planning, but also a tendency to leave evidence behind.
The authors of the review stipulate that thrill-type arson offenders should not necessarily be classified as disorganised. Rather the crucial features are a desire to set fire to multiple locations. More features include sophistication in the use of various tools or resources to set the fire.
The targets to aren't sporadic, rather the targets may include forests and vegetation.
The authors point out some common features of those who commit these types of thrill serial arson offenses.
Offenders tend to have poor dental work, and some type of physical mark like scarring.
Usually employed and who live with others. Thus they are not socially isolated.
Prior to the offense, they tend to consume drugs/alcohol.
Usually, the offenses take place at least a mile away and thus offenders tend to be mobile.
The offenders usually commit their offenses in the summer or spring.
These offenders are likely to pick highly visible targets
Upon being apprehended this type of arsonist is likely to confess.
Anger type offenses
In this type of offense, the arsonist is finding an outlet for anger and rage. The targets for this type of arson is more likely to be residential property or vehicles. The authors conclude that in this type of offense, the purpose is to cause generalised or personal harm. Some other features include the manual destruction of household property before the arson takes place.
There's plenty more info from the review but this post is already too long 😂: