Date of Publication
Criminal profiling is increasingly becoming a more highlighted part of the investigation process. By evaluating the crime scene, combining information about the victim and other evidence, a profiler deduces characteristics of the offender. The profiles that are created are based on research, fact, and previous experience. Although they generally will not solve crimes, they can help by narrowing down long lists of suspects and providing direction for an investigation.
Psychology is an essential piece of the profiling puzzle, and much of the analysis is based in data from the field. Specific disorders revealed through many aspects of the crime can help to identify possible suspects and a multitude of information about their mental processes. The criminal justice system is becoming aware of what criminal profiling can offer and the positive effects that psychological study contributes to the process.
Studies into the criminal mind by psychological experts can also be a helpful contribution to this base of knowledge. As many of the roots of criminal profiling are in psychology, the study of such should be emphasized in the education of future profilers. Nothing can replace the intuitive technique and experience of a criminal investigator.
However, in attempting to prevent future crimes on society all disciplines should be given a chance to offer their assistance. Whether it is offender characteristics or possible locations for the next crime, a criminal profile provides leads and directions for investigations into crimes that might otherwise go unsolved.
Hadley, Melissa, "Criminal Profiling as a Psychologically Influenced Aid to Criminal Investigations" (2005). Senior Honors Theses. 77.