Analysis of criminal behaviour and profiling dates back to the 19th century, when Doctors examining the bodies of Jack the Ripper victims, somewhat incorrectly attempted to draw conclusions from the attacks.
If we look into the literary fictional world, then Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, first published in 1866 was the first author to mention criminal profiling as a police investigation tool. His fictional officer, Detective Porfiry creates a profile of a killer from crime scene evidence and psychological intuitiveness, who is later captured.
Later, in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created another fictional Detective, Sherlock Holmes, whose awareness of criminal psychology and behaviour led him to quarry each time.
In the 1950’s and the world of real police investigations, the New York case of (George Metesky) the ‘Mad Bomber’, was one of the first to see a behavioural profile drawn up for the police by a criminologist and psychologist, James Brussel, based mainly on crime scene photographs. Brussel’s profile directly led to Metesky’s arrest in 1957.
A revolution in the police investigative armoury was about to take place. Howard Teten, a serving police officer in the USA seized the opportunity to develop the potential advantages of psychological profiling of criminal behaviour. When he joined the FBI in July 1969 he was to become the forefather of all things pertaining to the criminal behavioural science. The legendary FBI Behavioural Science Unit being formed in 1974.
The most celebrated of this team being Robert Ressler, Roy Hazelwood and the legendary John Douglas. Interviews were conducted with incarcerated serial killers to determine patterns of behaviour, antecedents, demographics, and social experiences.
So, the rudimentary principles that form psychological profiling were formed. In the years since, some academics and parts of medical science in the UK, have damned the FBI and the police approach to profiling, some even claim those who propose it give it a mystical ‘witch doctor - shaman’ type propensity!
It’s my opinion that modern day science and police investigators should be working together, not publicly criticising each other’s skill sets. If we can genuinely work in cohesion, then the world will become a better, safer place with violent offenders being identified at an earlier stage and removed as a danger to society.
"I'm not your friend,
I AM your conscience."
There are four decades of police and investigatory work running in my family. Starting with my great-grandfather, Will Scott, who was I believe the first ever criminal profiler. Will, according to family belief, mixed in the Victorian era with unsavoury characters and villains and killers, and would extract from them details of their domestic and criminal lives. These profiles, he would write up and pass to a local police superintendent (for a fee of course) to help the force determine the type of person who would engage in serious criminality across England.
I've looked evil in the eye, I recognise it now, as it does me! I've found the darker side of humanity lurking in the most unexpected of places. I have made it my business to get deep inside the heads and psyche of serial killers, murderers and sexual deviants and paedophiles, confronting the monster and helping depict a unique profile of what makes them tick.
I am unique, I know that. I'm a true story teller, each of my future crime books will show that.
I'm ready to tell the basis of those experiences in my stories. Everything will come from true to life situations that have been encountered.
I've spent decades confronting real life monsters, serial killers and paedophiles, gaining an incredible insight into what makes them tick. Now, through my entertaining talks and books, you'll have up close and personal access to those monsters.
You've been warned, buckle yourself in, as you'll be going on a journey you're unlikely to ever forget!
In October 2018, a full-length book about my encounters and conversations with serial killers and the profiling work I carried out on them is to be published by Urbane Books.
Mind Games – Inside The Serial Killer Phenomenon will educate, shock, and provide the reader with a human perspective of these maligned individuals.
Also being released on the same date is: Chasing Monsters a gripping and fast moving police procedural novel, introducing DCI Will Scott.
All media enquiries should be directed through
Arlington Talent Management
020 7580 0702
A HISTORY OF CRIMINAL PROFILING
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15th Conversations with USA Serial Killers (Lock 91 – Manchester) 17.30-1930
16th Conversations with Serial Killers (Amersham Arms - New Cross - London) 1930 -2130
17th Solve a Real Life Murder (Lock 91 – Manchester) 1930-2130
19th Serial Killers (Anlaby Library, Hull) 1900 – 2030
22nd Serial Killer on their Victims (Lock 91 – Manchester) 1730 – 1930
25th Conversation with Serial Killers (Lock 91 – Manchester) 1930 – 2130
26th Conversations with Serial Killers (SMX – Bristol) 1930 – 2130
29th Conversations with Female Serial Killers (Lock 91 – Manchester) 1730 – 1930
6th Why Serial Killers Kill (Lock 91 – Manchester) 1730 – 1930
28th Why Serial Killers Kill (Amersham Arms – New Cross – London) 1930 – 2130
31st ‘IT’ Killer Clowns Special (GLOBAL ‘ONE OFF’ SPECIAL EVENT with ‘IT’ Actor Jarred Blancard)
Clapham Grand – London 1930 – 2130
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When FBI officials began to hold conversations with serial killers they had a captive audience, however it was decided to only study those who were willing to participate. Those who did had their own agenda for doing so:
- Some felt it necessary to clarify other people's conclusions of them.
- A percentage wanted to highlight their innocence and illustrate why the could not have committed the murders.
- Others felt empowered by the status the conversations provided, and to tell the FBI researchers how the crimes were committed and motivated.
Most prisoners' recognised that they had nothing left to lose and freely answered all questions. Other prisoners couldn’t establish a rapport with the researchers and were there reluctant to discuss their crimes and behaviour.
Some common denominators were highlighted as a result of this work:
- Killer motivation was usually psychological gratification of some type (anger, thrill, gain, sex or attention).
- Some, not all, suffer from mental illness.
- Most lack remorse or guilt and project blame onto their victims.
- They have an absolute desire for power and control.
They often exhibit impulsivity and predatory behaviour.
They can wear a mask of normality and respectability in public for protective coloration.
They have no boundaries, especially between fantasy and reality.
- Their fantasies deteriorate over time, transforming from dominance, control, sexual conquest, violence, before finally resulting in murder.
- Most serial killers suffer from an antisocial personality disorder, a complete disregard towards the rights of others.
- They lack morals and conscience, with most possessing and a history of petty crime.
The FBI study further ascertained that a quantity of serial killers had the same formative experiences throughout childhood and adolescent years:
- They had a history of being bullied or socially isolated as children and adolescents.
- They would engage in petty crimes: theft, fraud, or vandalism.
They became compulsive and practiced liars.
- The vast majority come from unstable and dysfunctional family backgrounds and have experienced a serious family disruption like divorce, separation, or a serious breach in the child/parent relationship.
- A percentage, but not all, had a history of being abused emotionally, physically, and/or sexually as children.
- They suffer from low self-esteem issues and tend to retreat into a fantasy world where they feel safe and in control
Clearly, the aforementioned traits form a composite picture of commonality between many serial killers. In itself, such detail does not help identify an offender who is on the loose. However, when placed alongside crime scene analysis, police intelligence sources and quality police investigatory work, it is clear that profiling can and does work.
In order to recognise Will’s legacy, I use his name as that of my fictional detective (Will Scott). Thereafter, my grandfather, father and myself, served in the police force. Indeed, my son has maintained the family tradition. That’s well over a century of policing in the family, so there’s a mass of investigatory experience and more than a few stories to tell.
Having a career that spanned four decades within the English criminal justice system, it's fair to say, I've seen a lot. I've seen horrors that no person deserves to see. I've been told things, I wish I'd never heard. I've seen murder, corruption, deceit, and high level cover ups across the spectrum of society.