Criminal profiling is a tool of investigation and a process of drawing conclusions about the characteristics of the perpetrator based on the consequences of the committed crime.
Profiling is an investigative method used to identify and locate unknown perpetrators.
The psychological profile of perpetrators, with special emphasis on the perpetrators of the most serious crimes, such as murder and rape, has always been the subject of much research. While the psychologists, psychiatric, and experts of similar disciplines used to analyze the perpetrator only after his deprivation of liberty, now it is possible, with the help of these experts, to perform profiling during the investigation.
To obtain a criminal profile of the perpetrator, it is necessary for the profiler to analyze all the evidence found on the spot, as well as the collected data on the victim of the crime. , photographs, life habits, etc.
Criminal profiling means a technique of finding out the characteristics of the perpetrator, based on the analysis of his behavior, his interaction with the person and the victim, and the actions during the crime.
All profiling techniques have the same goal, and that is to help the police eliminate some from the total number of suspects, that is, direct them to potential perpetrators.
One of the most well-known methods of forensic profiling is forensic investigative analysis, which usually consists of the following steps:
- Gathering information necessary for creating a profile
- Decision-making process
- Crime assessment
- Criminal profile
- Deprivation of the perpetrator's freedom
The collection of data necessary for the development of the perpetrator's profile includes data on the victim, the scene, autopsy results. In the process of analysis, it is necessary to establish whether the victim was pre-determined for the attack or was chosen by chance. The profile of the perpetrator will be more accurate if the profiler manages to paint the victim more completely. The profiler will analyze the scene by studying the documentation from the inspection, reconstructions of events, etc. Here, special attention is paid to intentionally changing the person of the place, making fake, which will significantly complicate the further course of the investigation and analysis of the perpetrator.
For example, the results of an autopsy, in the case of a murder, will tell us which weapon was used for the execution.A certain type of weapon has the greatest effect on a certain part of the body, for example, a firearm has the most severe injuries in the head and heart, a knife in the chest and neck, etc.
The type of weapon is considered a personal seal of the killer, which will help better to analyze his caracter, temperament, and other personal characteristics. On the basis of all profiling techniques, there are two basic logical methods, induction and deduction.
By inductively concluding the profiling of the perpetrator of the criminal act, conclusions of a general nature are reached, which only represent a greater or lesser probability that the perpetrator possesses certain characteristics. With this method of profiling, data of lesser importance are obtained and they are mainly based on a comparison of previous perpetrators of similar crimes.
The deduction is used by extracting assumptions about the characteristics of the perpetrator from statistical data on previous cases. This profiling process is not carried out to confirm the existing assumptions, but to test every possible trait of the perpetrator on specific evidence and determine its inaccuracy. When, in the end, each of the stated hypotheses is rejected or reconstructed, only hypotheses remain that have not been refuted in any determination of compatibility with material evidence.
In the end, we conclude that the profiling of perpetrators of criminal acts in criminal investigations is a very extensive and interesting topic, but also very demanding for every profiler, who wants to fully dedicate himself to this analysis, in order to reach the ultimate goal, which is deprivation of liberty of perpetrator.
By Sanela Nikolic, Serbia State Police Officer
IPO Headquarters - Special Division