Define and utilize concepts necessary to profile cases such as modus operandi, signature behavior, and crime scene reconstruction and offender typology.

400-600 words.  Read 1,2,3, 5

Objective: Define and utilize concepts necessary to profile cases such as modus operandi, signature behavior, and crime scene reconstruction and offender typology.

Identify the meaning and nature of various crime scene indicators including pattern analysis, evidence characteristics, primary and secondary crime scenes and offender motivation.

For this assignment, you will research 1 of the suggested topics below, and post your findings on the Discussion Board.

Select 1 of the topics below, and attempt to find at least 2 references that address that topic. You may post your opinions and observations, but do your best to find an authority on the subject as well. You must correctly reference your sources using APA format. Note: Do not use wikis as sources.

  • Do school shooters have any characteristics in common with each other? Explain, and provide proof.
  • What reasons can you uncover to explain why America seems to produce a disproportionate number of serial killers? Provide a psychological or sociological explanation. You can also argue that this not true, assuming that you can provide proof.

·         There have been historical examples of police and firemen who have become serial offenders—serial rapists, serial arsonists, and serial killers. Are there any characteristics that define those first responders who later became serial offenders? Explain, and provide proof.

Teachers notes from powerpoint slides:

Do school shooters have any characteristics in common with each other? Explain, and provide proof.

A school shooter is also known as an active shooter.  This is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.  In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.  These shooting are almost always planned.  One thing that really stands out is that school shootings almost take place by males.  There are only 2 recorded female school shootings.  Isolation and/or discrimination tend to be one of the things that most of the shooters have in common. They are not anti-social but followers that are not typically accepted into the groups they would like to be a part of.  There’s no demographic profile of what an active shooter looks like.  They range in age from 16 to 62, with an average age of 28, and they come from all different races.  Now, with the school victim body count near 200, the FBI suggests that many or most school murders “leak” threats before they kill.  Many display observable pre-attack behaviors which, if recognized, can lead to the disruption of a planned attack.  One student announced that “Monday will be the day of reckoning” the week before killing 3 of his peers.  Another high school student’s essays were filled with scenes of carnage, and this began 4 years before he brought a hunting rifle to school and started shooting.  Even Virginia Tech’s shooter leaked; so much so that he was escorted by campus police to a mental hospital in the days before the shooting incident.  As a personality trait, shyness probably ranks as one of the more seemingly benign characteristics that someone can possess, but new research suggests that at least some forms of shyness may have violent, and often deadly, consequences.  Analyzing 8 school shootings over the past decade, psychologist Bernardo Carducci and his team at Indiana University found that young shooters in these incidents shared nearly all of the 29 personality and behavior characteristics that Carducci categorized as Cynical Shyness.  This form, Carducci, who directs the Shyness Research Institute, differs from normal shyness in that sufferers disconnect with others when their efforts at socialization are rebuffed.  “These are people who want to be with others but who are rejected in a very harsh way.”

What reasons can you uncover to explain why America seems to produce a disproportionate number of serial killers? Provide a psychological or sociological explanation. You can also argue that this not true, assuming that you can provide proof. 

While normally shy people would continue to try, and eventually succeed, in connecting with others, cynically shy individuals internalize the rejection and alienate themselves.  “As they develop a sense of disconnect, they move away from people; and as they move away from people, that makes it easier for them to hurt them.  The characteristics include: Social Withdrawal, Preoccupation with weapons and violence, Anger or violence reflected in work or journals, and Hostility toward classmates and teachers.  Identifying these individuals is critical so that parents, teachers and mental health professionals can intervene to halt this shyness from progressing into anger and rage against others.  This is the first step toward understanding students who perpetrate violence against their peers.  Although school shooters share several characteristics in common, such as fascination with violent video games, a history of having been bullied, and so forth, most characteristics are not uncommon to non-shooters (i.e., they are not unique of predictive characteristics).  The only characteristics that is predictive is that school shooters tend to talk about their plans to peers, friends, and so forth prior to the act.

There have been historical examples of police and firemen who have become serial offenders—serial rapists, serial arsonists, and serial killers. Are there any characteristics that define those first responders who later became serial offenders? Explain, and provide proof.

What reasons can you uncover to explain why America seems to produce a disproportionate number of serial killers?  What is a serial murder?  The British author John Brody first used the term in 1966, and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) defined serial murder in 1988 as “a series of 2 or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, b one offender acting alone” (Newton 2000, P. 205).  Another perspective is that of Steve Egger, who used 6 characteristics in his definition of serial murder: (1) There are a minimum of 2 murders (2) The killer and victim are unrelated (3) The murders have no direct connection to each other and occur at different times (4) The murders usually occur at different locations (5) victims may have characteristics in common with earlier or later victims (6) the murders are not committed for material gain but for gratification based on fantasies.  A large distinction that separates serial killers from murderers is their motives to kill.  Normally homicides are committed due to disputes that range from family affairs, gang violence, financial difficulties, and disputes between lovers and between friends.  Serial killers are only driven by instinct and a desire to kill.  The FBI and other law enforcement agencies estimate that there are between 35-50 serial killers on the loose in the US.  Other estimates put the number of killers close to 500.  In either case, officials expect these numbers to continue their dramatic rise.  It is believed that presently there are up to 6000 people a year dying in the hands of a serial killer.  Psychological factors in the development of serial murder have sometimes included obvious abuse or emotional isolation in childhood.  But not all cases show obvious massive family dysfunction.  Many cases, however, show loss of a parent or parental rejection.  Although there are many theories regarding the fact that America produces most of the world’s serial killers (up to 85% according to one source), there is no one completely agreed-upon theory to explain this fact.  Popular theories include:  (1) America has a culture of violence, and serial killers are the ultimate expression of that culture (2) America promotes freedom and individualism, and serial killers are a “byproduct” of those values (3) It is not true that America produces more serial killers than other nations, it is just that they are better publicized here than in other countries.  Comparable to this position is that many other countries (e.g., Mexico, Brazil) have much higher crime rates than the US; including homicides.  There have been historical examples of police and firemen who have become serial offenders-serial rapists, serial arsonists, and serial killers.  Are there any characteristics that define those first responders who later become serial offenders?  Some experts say that people become police officers and firefighters because they seek the power and status of the job.  It was the excitement and the ability to wield absolute power over other human beings that attracted them as well as the prospect of being cited as heroes for doing so.  Others say that recruits join because they have a desire to help people, but over time they become cynical or corrupted.  Both the police and firefighting cultures instill a sense of entitlement to power and authority over the rest of society.  Police training especially is designed to strip the individual’s previous identity and “make” a police officer. The police uniform, badge, and gun are universal symbols of power and authority.  When the individual puts on the uniform, he assumes the authority that goes with it.  He expects and commands obedience and respect of the public.  Donning the uniform and wielding the power of the job contribute to what is knowns as the “police personality.”  Some officers leave the police personality on the job, while others carry it everywhere, all the time.  The most persuasive theories is that these professions attract persons interested in positions of power and control and use those positions to further their criminal activities.  For firemen that become serial arsonists, there may be a frequent desire to “play hero” or to demonstrate their superiority over their peers.  Other theories are possible depending on the references used.  The point is that some criminals are attracted to what they perceive as “high voltage” occupations.  Serving as police officers or fire fighters provides a cover to do as they choose, misusing their positions of authority.

Criminal profiling has also been referred to, among less common terms, as behavioral profiling, crime scene profiling, criminal personality profiling, offender profiling, psychological profiling, criminal investigative analysis, and, more recently, investigative psychology.

Criminology is the study of crime, criminals, and criminal behavior. It involves the documentation of factual information about criminality and the development of theories to help explain those facts.

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