The Canter Studies (Offender Profiling)

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Canter - The organized/disorganized typology of se

The aim of the study was to investigate if there is a scientific basis for the organised/disorganised typology classification of serial killers.

The participants were 100 cases of serial, sexual homicides committed by 100 US serial killers.

The method was a content analysis followed by multi-dimensional scaling test of co-occuremce of 39 factors. Examples of these were in the organised category: Murder weapon missing (67%), body concealed (58%), tampered with evidence (21%). Examples in the disorganized category were: Weapon left in victim (19%), body left in isolated spot (54%), belongings scattered (47%.

The results showed twice as many disorganised crime scene actions were identified than organised crime scene actions. The frequency of actions varied. 

In conclusion, the analysis did not validate organised/disorganised typology.

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Canter - A multivariate model of sexual offence be

This study aimed to identify associations between aspects of the offender's characteristics and offence behaviour using scientific, objective measures.

The participants were 27 sex offenders.

The method was a content analysis and subsequent smallest space analysis (SSA). 33 offence variables were identified through the data availiable.

Results - The analysis of factors indicated that there are 5 variables that are central to ****:

1. Vaginal intercourse, 2. No reaction to victim, 3. Impersonal language, 4. Surprise attack

5. Victim's clothing disturbed.

Another constellation of variables, "attempted intimacy" and "impersonal interaction" would be predicted to be a reflection of a general approach to women in offender's everyday life (seeing them as sex objects rather than people).

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Canter - The Case of John Duffy

The aim of this study was to document crimes and crime scene details in order to infer possible behavioural characteristics of an offender.

Canter calls this Investigative Psychology and believes:

1. Crime involves communication between 2 people; the way the offender behaves towards the victim will reveal something about the offender's dealing with people in everyday life.

2. A systematic/scientific approach is essential, which includes consideration of all available evidence, nothing should be discounted just because it "doesn't fit".

3. An offender is likely to commit crime, at least initially, in a familiar area (often called a "home-range"), this could be where the offender lives or works.

The method was a systematic data evaluation exercise in order to generate an offender profile.

Results. Canter's profile suggested a number of possible offender characteristics which allowed the police to narrow down their list and eventually catch Duffy. E.g. Some of the characteristics Canter listed were: Lives in Kilburn where the attacks occurred, need to dominate women, keeps souvenirs. Duffy lived in Kilburn, had previously attacked his wife and kept 33 house keys from his victims as souvenirs.

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