Creating a Profile

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3.1 Top-down typology

  • 'top-down' approach uses previously known information about similar crimes and apllies existing knowledge to each new crime scene
  • profilers use the 'big picture' of the crime and then looks for smaller details that support the 'big picture'
  • referred to as the Deductive Method as evidence fits the hypothesis
  • american approach- used by FBI
  • based on belief that different types of criminals will have similar characteristics & behave in similar ways 
  • created typologies through interviews with 36 convicted serial killers e.g. ted bundy
  • created 57-page document asking offenders to indentify factors leading up to the criminal event
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Creating a Top-down profile

Stage 1- Data assimilation:

  • The collection of all information from as many sources as possible

Stage 2- Crime Classification

  • Putting the crime in a category according to the evidence
  • did they hide the body? organised or dissorganised? etc..

Stage 3- Crime Reconstruction

  • Create a hypothesis about behaviour of victims and modus operandi of the criminal based on a reconstruction of the crime

Stage 4- Profile generation

  • Development of a profile which contains suggestions of the offenders apperance and characteristics
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3.2 Bottom-up approach

  • 'Bottom up' approach based on profiler gathering info on each crime and forming conclusions about what happened based on those details only
  • Inductive method as the evidence forms the hypothesis
  • British approach
  • developed by David Canter
  • Approach looks for inconsistencies in offender's behaviour during the crime 
  • British approach makes no initial assumption about the criminal until a statistical analysis has been carried out on details of the crime
  • useful method as it ahs led to the development of the 'five factor' theory
  • Shows how an offenders behaviour changes over a series of offences 
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The Circle theory

  • The theory proposes two models of offender behaviour 'marauder' and 'commuter' model

Maurauder Model

  • Assumes that an offender will go from their home base to commit crimes

Commuter model

  • Assumes that an offender will travel a distance from their home base before commiting a crime
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3.3 Case study

  • Case study approach to profiling involves range of difference methods being used to collect info that will lead to the identification of the characteristics of a potential offender
  • The 'Railway Rapist' caste study used by Canter 

How the profile was created

  • 1988, canter was invited by the metropolitan police to draw up a profile of the Rapist.
  • examined each detail of the crime to build up a profile of attacker spersonality

two significant themes in the attacks

  • The attacker seemed to try and relate to victim- suggests previous relationships which were abusive
  • The minimum amount of force was used to dominate the victim-suggests a weak,insecure individual
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3.3 Case study continued

  • Canter also studied the location of the crimes over the previous 4 years, laying transparent acetate sheets with crime scenes marked on top of a map
  • helped him build up a geographic profile which helped pinpoint the attackers residential location
  • suggested the killer was a marauder
  • Other features of the profile that were correct include living in kilburn-which he did, physically small-5'4", interest in martial arts-member of a martial arts club and semi-skilled job-worked as carpenter for national rail
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