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Criminal Profiling & Sex Offending

Pennsylvania Forensic Associates April 19th 2013

C. Gabrielle Salfati M.Sc. Ph.D. C.Psychol. F.IA-IP Professor of Psychology Director of Investigative Psychology Research Unit John Jay College of Criminal Justice

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Background to Criminal Profiling (A-C) & Key Psychological Principles Behavioral Consistency (A-A-A-C) & Psychological Typology Beyond Legal Definitions & Psychological Behavioral Consistency Case Focus: Sex Workers & Offender Narratives

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

A strategy enabling law enforcement to prioritize the most likely suspect based on their behaviour at the crime scene
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Crime Scene Analysis


Forensic vs Psychological Meaning of Behavior

Semen

Blood

Hairs

Fibers

Footprints

Fingerprints

BEHAVIORAL EVIDENCE

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Examining behaviour at crime scene (victim, location, wounding etc.) Empirically categorise behaviours into different types (blueprints) of crime scenes Link crime scene types to types of offender characteristics (A ->C) Use this information to help focus police inquiries on most likely suspect
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1880s

1950s

1970s

1990s

Conclusions based on a thorough review of history of the field (Risinger and Loop, 2002) analysis of criminal behavior not based on empirical and scientific evidence Much of what is considered standard practice fell short of current understanding of the various psychological processes and principles
(Alison, Bennell, Mokros, and Ormerod, 2002)

80% of information provided in actual behavioral analysis reports was not supported by empirical evidence (Alison, Smith, Eastman, and
Rainbow, 2003)

Evaluation of case law internationally - analysis of criminal behavior methods is failing the legal tests for admissible expert evidence due to little valid empirical basis (Meyer, 2007) Fails basic expert witness standards for admissible scientific evidence

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Muller (2000)
one of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of acceptance of profiling is that there has been very little authoritative material on it, and almost nothing in the way of scientific studies to support the claims of the profilers.

Dowden, Bennell, Bloomfield (2007)


Review of the literature from first profiling article in 1976 to 2007 132 published articles Majority are discussion pieces (e.g., discussing what profiling is, how profiles are constructed, and when profiling is useful), despite the fact that the processes underlying offender profiling are still not well understood Statistical sophistication of these studies is sorely lacking Needed: Studies that lay down the theoretical foundation of profiling practices and systematic tests of these theories

Validity of Profiling must be based on scientific empirical evidence


Use in Investigations Use in court (Expert Testimony)

Recommendation
Backing Research by X (date) Warrant Majority of offenders who murder women under 35 years are themselves 30 year old Modality 87% chance that... Claim The murderer is under 30 years
Extent to which we can rely on this information (rather than probably, possibly etc.)

Grounds Because this is the murder of a 23 year old woman

(Alison, Smith, Eastman & Rainbow, 2003)

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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Adaptation of recommendations by NPIA profilers (BIA) 2005-2007 Evaluation (Almond, Alison, & Porter, 2007)
47 reports, 805 claims (of which 305 were on offender characteristics) 96% contained grounds for the claims, 63% had a warrant linking grounds and claim But - only 34% had any formal support

Conclusions
UK profiling (BIA) has adopted a much more strict working practice and has clearer boundaries around the claims made and presents material in a more coherent and evidence-based format than previous expert advice However, there is still a gap in fully using empirical evidence to back up claims made Reasons:
Lack of availability of empirical evidence that can be used to back up claims? And if so, what specific areas are lacking in research? Training in terms of relaying new empirical evidence back into practice?

C
Type 1

haracteristics

A
Type 3

ctions

Type 2

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Individual Differences Behavioural Consistency Evidence of psychological consistencies between earlier and later life characteristics A C, Serial offences Phenotypic vs. genotypic manifestation Caspi & Bem, 1990

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Important Issues in Consistency


People dont always act the same way every time Behaviour is situation influenced Behaviour changes over time E.g. Duffy the Railway rapist Linking

Need to understand influence of situation on behavior & how can be seen at crime scene Look at the psychological meaning of the behavior
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Situation:
10 rapes all victims GAGGED 11th rape victim BOUND
Is this last victim part of the same series?

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The Science
CONTROLLING PSEUDO INTIMATE

P
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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

1-2-3

1-2-3

Canter 2000

The possibility of reliably assigning crimes to one of two categories is only the first step towards showing the validity of such a classification schemeif crimes cannot be reliably classified then there is no basis for demonstrating the link between features of the crime and the offender
Canter, Alison, Alison & Wentink, 2004 p.302

Early Work
Evaluation: Are subgroups distinct? Key issues: o Motivation based o Measures that discriminate o Frequencies largely overlooked in classification work o No practical classification criteria

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Key Issues To Take Away


o Role of frequencies largely overlooked in classification work o Need to provide guidelines for: - Measurement - Individual differentiation - Criteria for classification

(Canter, 2000)

Salfati (2003)
Homicide Weapon Cognition Personal agenda Impulsive - Psych distance
(Canter, 2000)

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Salfati (2003)
73% TB 60% more TB than other i.e. CANNOT be profiled!

(Canter, 2000)

(Canter, 2000)

How do we use this in practice? How do you identify whether someone is displaying a certain type, what are the classification criteria? How do we determine IF they belong? How certain are you that they do? How much DO they belong

Case Study 1

(Based on Salfati & Canter 1999 model

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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Case Study 2

(Based on Salfati & Canter 1999 model

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Case Study 3

(Based on Salfati & Canter 1999 model

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Summary - How Do We Identify a Type?


Previous studies have not delineated criteria for classification Need for stringency First studies to provide guidelines & benchmark
Salfati & Canter 1999 Salfati 2000 Salfati 2003 Salfati & Bateman 2005

Later adopted by other researchers Review by Trojan & Salfati 2009


Results strengthen argument that a standard protocol for determining dominance should be adopted to increase consistency across studies to add to the development of Investigative Psychology
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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

IPRU Research Collaborations


Teaching & training future crime analysts Training of law enforcement NYPD & FBI Research collaborations with law enforcement internationally
IPRU POLICE TRAINING

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

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Offender Profiling (A)abc (C)abc

Behavioral Consistency

Aa1 Ab1

Aa2 Ab2

Aa3 ... Ab3 ...

Ca Cb

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Until recently, most writings were speculative and not based on empirical studies Most of the literature to date is based on assumptions of motivations that underlie all of these behaviors Problems of relying on motivation (for investigative purposes) Problems of motivations as basis of empiricaly valid typologies

5 days 135 subject matter experts 10 countries, 5 continents Law Enforcement Prosecution & Defense Media Academics Clinicians
http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder

Google
Linking serial crime Linking serial homicide Linking serial murder Linking serial rape 38,500,000 21,400,000 17,800,000 8,640,000

Google scholar
Linking serial crime Linking serial homicide Linking serial murder Linking serial rape 28,900 20,500 23,000 18,600

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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

22 papers on linking serial crimes with methodology /how-to focus Most focus on linking pairs Not necessarily first two offenses within a series, nor necessarily
in order of occurrence

Understanding of series as a whole is limited Only 3 empirical papers on consistency Salfati and Bateman2005 Bateman & Salfati 2007 Sorochinski & Salfati 2010 No papers on sequence More on rape forthcoming

1. 2. 3.

Are offenders consistent ? How this is displayed? What behaviours are the most reliable to focus on? Consistency & Change

Key issue

Individuals tend to display consistency across situations


Furr & Funder, 2004; Mischel & Shoda, 1995; Shoda, Mischel, & Wright, 1994

More psychologically similar situations increase consistency


Furr & Funder, 2004; Shoda et al., 1994

Interplay between Person and Context


Wright & Mischel, 1987; Mischel, 1991,, Shoda 1991

Age affects consistency


Woodhams et al. 2007

Social Psychology

Investigative Psychology

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Interpreting a behavior needs to be done within its context Will help identify
Behaviors intrinsic to offender Behaviors influenced by context e.g. Canter et al. 2004, hand over mouth

Behaviors can be understood in terms


External (visual phenotype) Internal (psychological genotype)

Context Victim interaction Development & Maturation Experimentation Learning Signatures What is consistency? Consistency in inconsistency

The Influence of the Unit of Analysis


Key Questions oDo offenders always engage in the same behaviors across e.g. their series? oUnit of analysis we use, may affect the nature of the results we obtain Controlling Bind & Gag Psychological type/theme Psychological Descriptive May increase chances of e.g. linking

Individual behavior

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

The Influence of the Unit of Analysis


First 2 empirical studies on serial homicide testing:
1. 2.

How consistent are offenders across a series In what way

Bateman and Salfati (2007)


Linking by using behaviours (signatures) Consistent but high frequency Consistent but low frequency Only 1/6 subgroups consistent

Salfati and Bateman (2005)


Linking by using themes (26-13%)

Consistency is not straight forward Problem of profiling based on no scientific evidence This highlights considerable problems with linking using current understanding of consistency Need to understand what factors are the most useful for linking Focus on key behaviours Eliminate behaviours that are situationally dependent

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Validity of Profiling must be based on scientific empirical evidence


Use in Investigations Use in court (Expert Testimony)

1923 Standard for admitting expert testimony based on scientific evidence Scientific evidence must be "generally accepted" by scientific community

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

1993 Many states move away from generally accepted test New focus on reliability and results of empirical evidence 1999 Extended to include non-scientific expert testimony

1975
Judge as gatekeeper An experts testimony does not have to be generally accepted as reliable in the field, so long as the trial judge finds that the underlying theories and techniques are indeed reliable 1. Expert's testimony is "relevant to the task at hand" 2. Rests "on a reliable foundation

2000
Ammendment - A witness may only testify if 1. the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data 2. the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods 3. the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case

Daubert caused judges to become amateur scientists, many lacking the scientific literacy to effectively fulfill their role as gatekeeper of scientific evidence

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Problems with jury DM Ability of jurors to judge evidence Clinical ET more influential than is testimony based on actuarial prediction (Krauss & Sales, 2001) Qual more influential than quant description (McQuiston-Surrett & Saks, 2009)

Profiles X Profilers & analysts opinions Linking (similar fact) Relies on interpretation & experience Not based on theoretical or empirical evidence

Validity of Profiling must be based on scientific empirical evidence


Use in Investigations Use in court (Expert Testimony)

C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Answers to important questions regarding behavioral patterns across time & definition of consistency
(Salfati, 2008)

Specific focus The Legal vs Psychological Context

Assault

Rape

Rape

Sexual Homicide

Sexual homicide

Legal definitions of crime (Salfati & Taylor,2006; Salfati, 2008)


Legally - separate crimes Psychologically - series of sexual assaults (consistency) + development, change & escalation

Criminal career timeline (Salfati, 2008; 2009)


Progression across whole criminal career Effect of each incident during the series By going beyond mere legal definitions, we therefore establish a different methodology for the analysis and understanding of consistency & change

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Establishing what is current series & what is criminal history Sample selection based on index offence (allows to identify subjects) Influences analysis & conclusions about consistency patterns + A C
(From Salfati, 2008)

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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

1. Why certain victim groups are vulnerable and targeted 2. Evaluate the importance of the victim to an offender based on the behavioral analysis of the crime 3. Assess offending patterns based on an offenders interaction with the victim Victims are key to understand offenders Equally important is actual behavior engaged in
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All victim types Predators Women Children Predators are often serial Hunting patterns Marauders Commuters e.g. prostitute VULNERABLE VICTIMS

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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

LOW consistency across series in general Planning & Control Consistency Victim type Development Experimentation Learning
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Cognition
(psychological meaning of the world)

Time pattern

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One of the most targeted groups of women One of most targeted groups in serial homicide Most likely to go unsolved Reflect attitudes of offenders
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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

1880s - First known profile of a serial killer by Police surgeon Dr. Thomas Bond in the UK

The women I killed were filth - bastard prostitutes who were littering the streets. I was just cleaning up the place a bit

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The plan was I wanted to kill as many women I thought were prostitutes as I possibly could. I picked prostitutes as my victims because I hate most prostitutes and I did not want to pay them for sex. I also picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away, and might never be reported missing. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught
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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

It is unlikely that any occupation or lifestyle exposes a woman to the threat of assault and gratuitous violence as constantly and completely as prostitution
(Fairstein, 1993, p.171)

Violence Sexual violence

73-82%* 37-68%
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(*Various studies, see Salfati 2009 for overview)

1998-2000, 2.7% of female homicide victims were prostitutes (US) 60-120 times more likely to be murdered than non-prostitute females (Canada) Homicide is the leading cause of death amongst prostitutes (US) 69% remained unsolved 10 years later (UK)

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Serial murder account for 35% of prostitute homicides Serial offenders are clients
(Brewer et al., 2006)

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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

But - serial offenders dont always ONLY target prostitutes Salfati (2007) 19 series with at least 1 prostitute victim in series (106 victims) Prostitutes only = 37% of series Mixed series = 58% of series
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Sexual component Salfati (2007) Sexual assault does not appear to differentiate between victims Prostitutes (46%) Non Prostitutes (44%)
Need to look at other factors such as vulnerability
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1. Anger vented at specific individual (Person) 2. Transferred anger from another situation with a prostitute that has been generalised to all prostitutes as a group (Vehicle) 3. View of prostitute as public (sexual) property (Object)

(Salfati, 2008)
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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

Object

Vehicle
(Canter & Heritage 1990)

Person
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Situational context defines behavioral patterns Psychological focus (vulnerability) remains the same (across cultures?) Prostitutes & vulnerable victims

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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)

A(wareness)

C(ritical Evaluation)

C. Gabrielle Salfati, MSc PhD CPsychol F.IA-IP Professor of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Director of Investigative Psychology Research Unit Email: gsalfati@jjay.cuny.edu Website: web.jjay.cuny.edu/~gsalfati Mailing list for more information: ip_info@jjay.cuny.edu
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C. Gabrielle Salfati (2013) Investigative Psychology Unit (IPRU)