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Criminal profiling
In Questions & Answers
Dec 30, 2021
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Hey, I also found interesting information on my Forensic Psychiatry textbook, which I translate here from Greek: The science of creating a psychological profile for a forensic investigations dates back to 1880s when two doctors, George Phillips and Thomas Bond, used evidence from the crime scene to make predictions about the personality of a British serial killer (Jack the Ripper), it was also used in the case of George Metesky in 1950, who, over a period of 8 years, caused thirty-two explosions in NYC. Thus, Dr. James Brussel, a psychiatrist, made a profile that described an obsessive, paranoid man in his forties, with Eastern European roots, most likely living close with his sister or aunt. In fact, he predicted that when arrested the perpetrator would wear a suit with all the buttons fastened. Metesky, who was arrested shortly afterwards, was of Slavic descent in his early fifties and lived in Connecticut with his two unmarried sisters. When he was arrested, he was indeed wearing a suit. Still, it is argued that Brussel does not explain how his profile helped arrest the perpetrator. These early profiles were based mainly on psychoanalytic principles, as well as, to a large extent, on the intuition of clinicians. The first empirical study in the field of serial profiling of murderers, sex offenders, and criminals in general, was conducted in the early ‘80s by the FBI aiming to develop a technique of profiling more systematically, by gathering a large amount of information about already known offenders and their crimes in hopes that the information gathered could help analyze future crimes. Interviews were conducted by John Douglas and Bob Ressler.
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