CREATING A CRIMINAL PROFILE
Creatinga Criminal Profile
According toLocard`s exchange principle, there is always a transmission ofevidence when an offender comes into contact with their victim orlocation (Turvey, 2011). This theory proposes that a criminal willoften leave something of their own and take away another thing fromtheir victims. It is these behavioral patterns that assist increating a criminal profile of the potential lawbreaker, particularlywhen there are no suspects drawn. These signature behaviors are theacts committed by an offender that are not only necessary forcompleting the crime, but are useful in determining offenders`psychological and emotional needs (Van der Watt, Van Graan &Labuschagne, 2014).
The first victimwas an elderly white woman whose body was found in the middle of herliving room in a prone position. The woman was casually dressed, witha broken vase next to her body. She had no other injuries except theknife that had stabbed her in the chest. All the doors were locked,and only the door to the garage was left open, and the window in thegarage was also left ajar. The only things missing were some littleitems from the victim`s purse. A similar crime occurred in theneighborhood one week later where a neighbor heard the sound ofbreaking glass. He saw a young Caucasian male escaping from the sceneupon knocking on the door. The police found the elderly woman asleepin her home, and her wallet from her purse was missing.
Thecharacteristics of the victims provide the context to which thecrimes were carried out and the state of mind of the culprit. All ofthe victims were Caucasian females of elderly age who were frail orunder medication due to old age. Both of these victims were alsoattacked when they were alone in their homes. The locations of thesecrimes were at their victims` house where they were not likely toexpect the offense. The lifestyle victim risk was low since they wereelderly and depended on other, the possibility of crime was likely tooccur outside of their homes. The victim`s point of entry into thehouse was through the window, and he left from the exterior of thehouse. The offender attacked the victims in the evening, and therewas little use of force or weapons except in the first case where thewoman was stabbed after resisting, a deduction made from the brokenvase.
A look at thecircumstances surrounding the crime reveals certain features of theoffender. The criminal is a young male of Caucasian descent. Turvey(2011) asserts that the ancestry of the criminal is usually the sameas that of their first victim. The witness at the second crime scenereported seeing a young Caucasian male running away from the woman`shouse. The primary intention for the breakings was to steal smallitems of minimum financial value meaning the victim enjoyed pleasureand thrill from stealing. Furthermore, there seems to be no intentionof violence except in the first case where the victim resisted.
It is more likelythat the offender is a Kleptomania as other valuable items in thehouse were left untouched, and he only stole small items. Theoffender is also more likely to have a previous arrest record sinceit is a habit. The acts seem premeditated as there was littleevidence left at the crime scene indicating that the criminal mightbe of an above average intelligence. The criminal profile can be usedto narrow the focus of the investigation but does not providesufficient reason to arrest a suspect (Van der Watt, Van Graan &Labuschagne, 2014).
Turvey, B. E. (2011). Criminal profiling: An introduction tobehavioral evidence analysis. Academic press.
Van der Watt, M., Van Graan, J., & Labuschagne, G. (2014). Modusoperandi, signature and fantasy as distinctive behaviour: Fundamentalconsiderations in the case linkage of child rape cases1. ChildAbuse Research in South Africa, 15(1), 61-72.