Going back to the 1970s the FBI was extremely frustrated with the fact that crime scenes were not painting an accurate picture of who the individuals were that they should have been looking for. They started to utilized data from different types of homicide cases to sexual assaults in an effort to see if they can be able to Able to identify who they were looking for and or the characteristics of the offender.
With this in mind, the FBI set out to interview over 36 convicted killers to be able to try to identify key important information this information includes:
- An in-depth examination of the crime scene
- An enhanced study as it relates to the nature of the attack itself
- An examination of the examiner /coroner’s report
- An understanding of the victim and those characteristics that were involved
Then we start to understand the offender and who the offender is based upon those characteristics. It first starts to understanding if an offender is organized or disorganized. The FBI has consistently maintained that those two individuals have very different behavioral characteristics and demographics.
According to the FBI, the crime scene of an organized offender shows the following features:
- They might show signs of planning of the crime
- They might show signs that point to the offender being in control at the crime scene
- They might show signs that the offender has some basic knowledge of forensic evidence and what’s left behind
Ressler et al maintained that organized offenders tend to:
- Have a high birth order (often being the firstborn son in a family).
- Their father’s work history is generally stable.
- Parental discipline is perceived as inconsistent.
- Have mobility (his car is in good condition).
- Likely to choose a stranger as the victim.
- This type of offender is intelligent and possibly an underachiever.
- Socially skilled.
- Sexually competent.
- Likely to be living with a partner.
- Likely to be depressed and experiencing a great deal of anger around the time of the attack.
- Likely to follow news reports about the attack and likely to leave the area after the attack.
On the other hand, the FBI maintained that the crime scene of a disorganized offender tends to show the following features.
- They tend to show no sign or little sign of preparation or planning
- They tend to show that attacks were random and not coordinated
- They tend to show that an offender might have been dazed, confused, or out of a normal state of mind.
- There might be signs of disorganization
- The offender rather than pre-planning the crime with a weapon might just find anything at the crime scene such as a tree branch or a rock
- There was little or no temp made by the offender to try to hide conceal or destroy any of the elements of the crime scene
It is also been identified and suggested that an offender that is disorganized tends to
- They might live within close proximity of the crime scene
- They are likely to live alone or is isolated
- They are likely to be above average or low intelligence
- They might be socially or sexually inept
- They might suffer from some sort of mental illness
- They might be likely to have suffered sexual abuse or physical abuse as a child
- They might have likely been subjected to harsh parental discipline
- This type of offender also might have a poor work history or no work history
By classifying offenders into one of these two categories helps to determine right off the get-go whether a series of attacks is likely to be that of one person or more than one person.
Next, we want to understand a little bit more about the offender in detail. We will explore any evidence of criminal skill, the knowledge of the victim, knowledge of the crime scene, knowledge of materials or methods, and what some problems might arise during this analysis.