Approaches to Profiling

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What is the American FBI system of profiling offenders?
the Top down approach
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What is this based on?
the crime scene
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What is evidence from the scene compared to?
previous crimes in order to build up a profile of the offender
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What happened between 1979 and 1983?
profiles were generated based on the interviews of 36 murderers
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Who was included?
Charles Manson and Ted Bundy
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and information on what?
behavourial crime unit
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What were typical offenders classified?
organised or disorganised
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What was it based on?
evidence at the crime scene
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how many organised criminals were there?
24 out of 36
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What did organised criminals?
plan their crimes, show self-control at the scene, leave few clues and ususally have IQs over 120
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What did disorganised killers do?
12 out 0f 36, act in an unplanned way, leave more clues, tend to be socially inadequete, unskilled and have IQs between 85 and 90
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What do cases of real life serial killers provide?
TDA distinction between organised and disorganised murderers
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What did supporters of the TDA claim?
support from Douglas' research
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What was his profile of the Green river valley killer?
offender was a white male, aged 20-30 who knew the river well, organised and despised prostitues
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What was the accuracy of this profile?
led to Ridgway's conviction
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What did Douglas also find?
77% of TDA cases, profiling helped to focus the investigation
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What does this suggest?
TDA approach is successful in real cases
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In terms of methodology, what did the original 36 TDA interviews have?
some validity
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as they were in depth and detail
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Nevertheless, what did critics of the TDA attack?
these interviews on the grounds that the pps were psychopaths whose personality disorders would have lead them to lie
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and what?
manipulate the interviewers
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Also what was the sample?
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What were the interviews?
unstructured chats
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What were all the killers?
male, sexually motivated and had been caught
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What does this suggest?
methodology on which the TDA is based may have problems with reliability as it does not apply to female killers or those who were never captured
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However, isnt the organised/disorganised typology of the TDA what?
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Who challenged its validity?
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What did he analyse and what did he find?
100 murders very few fitted neatly into either the organised and disorganised category
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What did they actually fit into?
both categories
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What does this suggest?
TDA is reductionist
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What would be better?
a continuum
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What is the British system of profiling?
bottom up approach
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Instead of classifying a crime into pre-exsisting categories?
a BUA uses data analysis and knowledge of the criminal's forensic awareness to create a unique
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What does the profiler start with?
the raw data from the crime scene and then works up to a profile that makes sense of the data
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What does it involve?
searching databases of previous cases in order to identify similar but unusual characteristics of an offender
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What do they also look at?
nature of the victim
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What do criminals tend to do?
commit crimes within their own social group
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For example?
Ted Bundy killed 30+ students, whilst he himself was a student and Jamie bulgar was abducted, tortured and killed by two other children
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What is the BUA based on?
psychological theory
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that people what?
behave consistently
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For example?
serial rapists will always treat their victims in the same way, which will reflect how they treat women in the rest of their life
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What does profiling help?
narrow down the range of potential offenders in cases such as the railway ******
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Although what?
%s of successful profiles is not high, profiling when combine with other techniques
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What did the supporters of the BUA claim?
support from Canters profile of the railway ******
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What was john Duffy on the suspect list?
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What did Canter suggest?
****** lived locally, knew the railways had a partner, was in his 20s and 5'0 was sexually experienced and semi skilled
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What was the accuracy of this profile?
lead to further investigations of Duffy
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and what?
ultimately his conviction
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In addition, what did Copson send out?
Questionnaires to police officiers in the UK
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What did he find?
80% said profiles had been useful tools in helping focus investigations
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What does this suggest?
BUA approach is successful in real cases
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In terms of methodology, what do Supporters of the BUA claim?
The BUA is strong as it is based on reliable psychological theory
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What does it lean on research evidence?
which shows that people tend to act consistently over time and across different situations
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What is this approach considered?
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it deals in numbers in order to establish probabilities
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these are the basic ideas which underpin the BUA
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What do supporters claim their approach?
basic ideas which underpin the BUA, supporters claim their approach is scientific and reliable
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and thus what?
superior to the TDA
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however what do critics od both types of profiling point?
to the very low % of cases in which a profile actually leads directly to a conviction
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For example?
Copson's research in the UK revealed profiling had led to a conviction in less than 3% of cases
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What does this suggest?
in reality, profiling is perhaps of limited value
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However, what is the reductionist nature of both the above approaches is, to some degree, overcome what?
when a third approach to profiling is used in conjunction with either the TDA or BUA
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What does geographical profiling analyse?
the locations of a series of crimes to indicate where the offender might live, work, etc
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What does it reconstructs?
the offender's cognitive map in order to narrow down possible suspects
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What % of rapists attack in their area?
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What % of serial murderers kill less than 10km from their homes?
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What does this suggest?
a combination of different approaches to profiling is the way forward
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Who was arrested wrongly for murder of Rachel Nickell?
!922, Colin Stagg
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How long was Stagg in prison for before the real killer went free?
14 months
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Card 2


What is this based on?


the crime scene

Card 3


What is evidence from the scene compared to?


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Card 4


What happened between 1979 and 1983?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Who was included?


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