Behavioral Sciences & the Law

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Volume 4 Issue 4 (Autumn (Fall) 1986), Pages 351-490

Criminal profiling from crime scene analysis (pages 401-421)


Since the 1970s, investigative profilers at the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit (now part of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime) have been assisting local, state, and federal agencies in narrowing investigations by providing criminal personality profiles. An attempt is now being made to describe this criminal‐profile‐generating process. A series of five overlapping stages lead to the sixth stage, or the goal of apprehension of the offender: (1) profiling inputs, (2) decision‐process models, (3) crime assessment, (4) the criminal profile, (5) investigation, and (6) apprehension. Two key feedback filters in the process are: (a) achieving congruence with the evidence, with decision models, and with investigation recommendations, and (b) the addition of new evidence.

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