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Psychological Aspects of Crime Scene Profiling:Validity Research

Criminal Justice and Behavior , Volume 25 (3): 319 – Sep 1, 1998


Sage Publications
Copyright © 1998 by SAGE Publications
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Psychological Aspects of Crime Scene Profiling:Validity Research


Crime scene profiling is distinguished from psychological profiling and offender profiling, and the profiling process is described. A review of the literature on offender types indicates that it may be possible to generalize from various behavioral aspects of a crime scene to some characteristics of the perpetrator. There is some evidence that it may be possible to type offenders and crime scenes as organized or disorganized, and that this categorization may be related to certain aspects of offender personality. There is also some evidence that those who are FBI trained in profiling may perform better at the task. At this time, however, the evidence for the validity of profiles is weak, and it is recommended that profiling not be relied on to the exclusion of other alternatives. There is a need for more specific validity research, especially when profiling is generalized beyond its original purpose of providing leads and focusing investigations.
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