Forensic behavioral analysis and profiling
Criminal behavioral analysis reveals forensically relevant typologies about an offender based on physical crime scene characteristics and the behaviors directly associated with case circumstances plus the victimology. Stated succinctly, the ‘what’ plus the ‘how’ equals ‘who’.
Establishing an offender’s behavioral typology, inclusive of motive, method, modus operandi, location, sequencing events, victimology, etc. can direct and refine your legal casework to render the best outcome.
I am a criminal behavioral analyst/profiler (D-ABP) and neuroscientist (PhD) with special expertise in forensic science. My expertise can provide strong scientific support to inform your criminal or civil casework.
Adjunct to this discipline, to assess any given subject’s truthfulness in regards to the commission of an offense, I have earned certification to conduct investigative interviewing and advanced interrogation: the Reid Technique.
Special skill sets
My neuroscientific expertise (PhD) confers an analytical approach to criminal behavioral profiling. My biomedical background is especially advantageous since I can liaise with medical examiners effectively and interpret autopsy/toxicology reports as well as neuropsychiatric clinicians. Further, my knowledge of bloodstain pattern analysis and crime scene reconstruction is a uniquely advantageous forté.
What is not profiling?
Forensic psychologists and psychiatrists are not profilers. Neither are investigators, detectives, criminologists, counselors, medical examiners, law enforcement officials, etc. (Unless, of course, such professionals also happen to be specifically trained in criminal behavioral profiling apart from their given field).
In the court of law, both forensic psychologists and psychiatrists principally focus on the mental state of the patient/defendant rather than the behaviors associated with their alleged violation. Depending your need, my approach may better serve your practice.
For context, a forensic psychologist is clinician who holds a doctorate in psychology (PsyD or PhD). Forensic psychologists directly assess patients/defendants (or witnesses or victims, in some instances) vis-à-vis to determine if they are competent to stand trial, understand the charges against them, ability to work cooperatively with their attorney, assess credibility/trustworthiness, level of risk/harm, etc. Forensic psychologists can diagnosis neuropsychological conditions, plus proffer diminished capacity and/or not guilty by reason of insanity defense for the statute. A forensic psychiatrist is a clinician who holds a medical doctorate (MD) with specialty in psychiatry and can prescribe medication. Like psychologists, forensic psychiatrists directly interact with patients/defendants vis-à-vis. Psychologist and psychiatrists principally focus on patient wellness, care and treatment.
Conversely, criminal behavioral profilers do not necessarily hold any academic graduate degree, i.e., masters or doctorate (although some do), each having varied backgrounds, but rather are trained specifically in profiling.
Why profiling matters
Investigative analysis helps to optimize investigative resources as the case unfolds whereas forensic analysis, conducted in accordance with the statute, presents conclusive findings admissible in court. Investigative profiling benefits include:
- Establishing a comprehensive profile informs, refines and vectors investigative directives.
- Excludes impossible or improbable case scenarios, alleviating ‘needle in the haystack’ investigative guesswork.
- Conserves investigative resources and funding for police agencies.
- Better allocation of time, resultantly reducing risks to public safety.
- Helps realistically sequence and reconstruct crime scene events.
- For serial crimes, profiling can help reveal a suspect’s geographical location or refine the search.
- Linkage analysis identifies and systematically compares consensual behavioral factors to help answer the investigative question, “Are these cases related?” I.e., is the same offender responsible for more than one incident?
Positing from findings gleaned through my most recent geographic profiling project, ‘where’ is the other critical missing factor in identifying an offender.
Psychogeographic Analysis of Serialists
Abstract | Serial crimes pose an especially dire threat to public safety. Serial murderers volitionally choose places to prey, encounter, kill and dispose of their victims using distinctively identifying mental maps. Criminal behavioural profiling may be succinctly described as the ‘what’ plus the ‘how’ equals ‘who’. Based on finding from this study, ‘where’ emerges as the other critical missing factor in identifying serial murderers. Using a novel application of mapping technology and sophisticated imaging techniques, this study explicitly addresses the geography of serial murderers as a function of their behavioural profiles by analyzing three solved cases: Robert Hansen, Israel Keyes and Cody Legebokoff. This study highlights the need for identifying, classifying and collecting comprehensive serial crime scene location data to refine investigative profiling directives in support of implementing Savanna’s Act and allaying risks to public safety. Psychogeographic profiling emerges as a powerful investigative approach.
The Reid Technique is a procedural assessment of a subject’s truthfulness or deception in regards to the commission of an offense. The Behavioral Analysis Interview (BAI) is a structured, standardized question/answer program used to establish a behavioral baseline and determine the validity of subject’s account independent from a polygraph examination followed by a nine step interrogation to elicit a confession.
The BAI technique, historically developed by John E. Reid and associates (circa 1947), is based on identifiable verbal, non-verbal (e.g., eye movements, posture, gestures, etc.) and paralinguistic features (e.g., voice modulation, intonation, word choice, etc.) exhibited by the subject in tandem with known circumstances and physical evidence. The Reid Technique is non-confrontational and volitional, inviting the subject to present her/his own experience of events and their motivating factors.
Occam’s razor is a problem solving principle stating that simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex solutions, i.e., everything should be kept as simple as possible, but not simpler. Defying Occam’s razor risks introducing artefactual information. The law of parsimony. Mathematical elegance. “Entities shall not be multiplied without necessity” (William of Occam, c. late1200s).
Dr Amy Du Beau
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Du Beau A., Matanuska Forensic Science, LLC. http://matanuskaforensicscience.com