23 terms

criminal psychology and behavior profiling

modus operandi
method or procedure that a criminal uses when committing a crime with three basic objectives
1. Complete the crime
2. Affect escape
3. Avoid capture (e.g., investigation)
There are 9 commonly accepted parts of the MO.
The MO may evolve as the criminal commits more crimes.
unusual characteristics of a murder that are repeated at several crime scenes and serve to satisfy the emotional and psychological needs of the offender and usually define the theme of a crime. The signature stays roughly the same throughout the each crime.
a person suffering from a chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior
a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of a conscience
criminal profiler
a person who infers the personality and characteristics of a suspect based on information gathered from a crime scene
person who has experienced harm, injuries, loss, or death
The study of the victim's role in a criminal event. High risk lifestyles of the victim can play a role in the ability of a serial criminal to access them.
forensic psychology
the application of psychological principles to situations involving the law, crime, and criminal investigation
mass murderer
kills four or more people in one place at a time
-knows why
-no "cooling off" period
-may want to send message
-more deaths the better
-typically ends in suicide or law enforcement kills them
spree murderers
kills more than one person at two or more locations
-murders happen quickly
-no cooling off period
-killer constantly moving
-often ends in suicide
serial killer
kills three or more people over a period of more than a month
-cooling off between murders
-uses time to unwind and come down from "killing high"
-motivation usually is based on psychological gratification
-rarely displays rational motive
-murders appear unconnected
-killer is usually a stranger to victim
criminal profiling
a behavioral and investigative tool that is intended to help investigators to accurately predict and profile the characteristics of unknown criminal subjects
organized crime scenes
-planned, victim targeted, little evidence, weapon is taken, body is moved, aggressive acts, restraints used, controlled crime scene, controlled conversations, submissive victims, personalizes the victim
disorganized crime scene
characteristics may include-spontaneous, victim unknown, depersonalize victim, minimal conversation, chaotic crime scene, sudden violence, sex after death, body not moved, weapon left, physical evidence left
organized offender
characteristics may include-high intelligence, socially adept, sexually competent, lives with partner, high birth order status, childhood discipline inconsistent, situational stress causes crime, charming, is mobile, follows crime in media
disorganized offender
- below average intelligence, socially inadequate, sexually incompetent, works at unskilled labor, low birth status, received harsh discipline, mood is anxious, stress is not a factor in causing a crime, lives alone, poor personal hygiene, not interested in social media, nocturnal, significant behavioral changes after crime
Behavior Analysis Unit
The Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is a department of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) that uses behavioral sciences (psychological profiling) to assist in criminal investigations, applying case experience, research, and training to complex and time-sensitive crimes, typically involving acts or threats of violence.
Examples of organized killers...
Ted Bundy, Joel Rifkin and Dennis Rader
Examples of disorganized killers...
Jack the Ripper, Ed Gein, Edmund Kemper
the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
physical evidence
any physical material that links a person to a crime or crime scene
The medical dissection and examination of a body in order to determine the cause of death
the questioning of a suspect in police custody

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