The team provides a wide range of investigative and teaching support to the entire Criminal Justice community. Our personnel provide support through detailed analysis of complex violent crimes – primarily homicides, sexual assaults, suspicious deaths, serial crimes, and threat or risk assessment. This support often involves analyzing behavioral and forensic evidence at crime scenes, analyzing victim background (victimology), and reviewing investigative reports and other relevant information to provide a personality profile or behavioral composite of the type of individual who would have committed a certain crime. This ‘profile’ can then be used by investigators and attorneys to help eliminate or assess possible suspects, suggest possible motives, provide insight into the suspect’s pre or post offense behavior, and help focus the investigation. Members of the team consist of highly trained and experienced detectives, polygraph examiners and behavioral clinical and criminal psychologists who work in collaboration on these endeavors to which we have labeled our Behavioral Analysis Team (BAT)
Investigative Analysis or Criminal Profiling – is an educated attempt to provide investigators and attorneys with specific information as to the type of individual who may have committed a certain crime, or other key factors as to circumstances surrounding a crime. It can be a valuable investigative tool, particularly when the offender is unknown. A criminal profile could be considered a composite of an offender’s likely personality characteristics, or an overview of characteristics about the crime that may provide additional insight or direction to investigators and attorneys.
While crime scenes have evidence that can and should be physically collected, there is also evidence that can be observed, but not necessarily collected. Observable evidence of anger, rage, organization, disorganization, or other features can bring to light a great deal about the offender’s personality and/or circumstances surrounding the incident, as well as any possible relationship between an offender and victim.
The investigative analysis/profiling process can often supply investigators and attorneys with additional information such as offender age, sex, race, probable marital status, living situation or general lifestyle, level of education, or general physical characteristics. The process may also reveal whether or not the offender has a history of criminal behavior and for which types of offenses, whether this person may have been treated for mental health issues, or whether the individual served in the military. In addition, the process may provide insight into what the offender did prior to, during, and after the crime, and what interview strategies are most likely to elicit incriminating information once the offender has been identified. Further, this process may help investigators and attorneys narrow the list of potential suspects so they can more effectively direct available resources. Cases best suited for profiling include murder, sexual assault, questionable deaths, serial crimes, missing persons and incidents involving threats of violence, to name a few.
The information necessary to develop a personality profile or to assess a crime scene comes from the scene itself, forensic evidence, witness accounts, date, time, and location of the crime, victim information (victimology), investigative reports, research and statistical information based on similar cases where the outcome is known, and training and experience of the investigator.