Criminal Minds: Art imitating life or just good TV?
The depiction of a forensic psychologist as shown on the TV show criminal minds is in someway an interpretation on what criminal profilers do. Through the TV show Criminal Minds we can see how criminal-profiling work in solving crimes that are involved with the emotionally unstable, however there is a degree to which this can be performed in real life. Criminal Minds is a TV series about a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) based in Virginia. The show's focus is on profiling criminal 's to find the on-sub and to solve the crime.
Despite the lack of empirical evidence to support criminal profiling it can still be used as a helpful tool for the investigation into a crime , however unlike its representation on TV it should not be used as an ending point for solving the crime.
To begin to understand whether criminal profiling can be used as an investigative tool, one must understand the origin of offender profiling.
As Canter (2004) discusses a case in the 1800's whereby Dr Thomas Bond advised the police about his opinion on a man who violently attacked and killed at least five women in the Whitechapel area of London. This man we now refer to as Jack the ripper. This was most likely one of the first 'offender profiles', and even though it was composed over a century ago it still contains information to be considered as a profile today.
One of the simplest way of describing profiling is through the three-stage process which implicates the collecting of crime scene data by the police officers, the advancing of these data's to the profilers, and then the deduction of a personality profile by profilers on the basis of the...