Do you know who was the first profiler in the FBI?

Howard D. Teten was the first FBI Agent to give a profile for the FBI.

Mr. Teten started out as a veteran police officer from the San Leandro Police Department in California, joined the FBI in 1962. He was appointed as an instructor in applied criminology at the old National Police Academy in Washington, D.C. Teten was greatly interested in the offender profiling, and included some of the ideas in his applied criminology course.

He studied under, and was inspired by, Dr. Paul Kirk, the internationally renowned criminalist. The inspiration for his work also included the work of Dr. Hans Gross and Dr. Brussel. Teten met Dr. Brussel and exchanged investigative ideas and psychological strategies in profiling crimes. Although Teten disagreed with Dr. Brussels’ Freudian interpretations, he accepted other principles of his investigative analysis.

Hogan's Alley sign at the FBI Academy in Quant...

Hogan’s Alley sign at the FBI Academy in Quantico Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Teten designed a method for analyzing unknown offenders.  His approach included an understanding of forensic science, medicolegal (pertaining to legal aspects of the practice of medicine), death investigations, and psychiatric knowledge, which became the corner stone of Teten’s investigative skills, and shaped his approach to criminal profiling.

He’d looked at the behavioral manifestations at a crime scene for evidence of aberrant mental disorders and other personality traits and then used that information to make deductions.

Teten initiated his criminal profiling program in 1970 for the Bureau. Later that same year, Teten gave his first profile as an FBI agent in Amarillo, Texas.

In 1972, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened the new FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. It was also the year the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) at Quantico was formed with Teten joining FBI Instructor Patrick J. Mullany‘s team.

Hogan’s Alley sign at the FBI Academy in Quantico Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Teten and Mullany designed a method for analyzing perpetrators in unsolved cases. Their ideas on offender profiling were tested when a seven-year-old girl was abducted from a Rocky Mountains campsite in Montana. In the early hours of the morning, the offender overpowered the girl sleeping in a tent near her parents. When an intensive search for the missing child failed, the case was referred to the FBI.

Teten, Mullany, and Col. Robert K. Ressler employed their criminal investigative analysis technique to track down the unknown perpetrator. Their profile declared that the abductor was most likely a young, white, male, homicidal Peeping Tom; a sex killer who mutilates his victim after death and sometimes takes body parts as souvenirs.

The profile led to the arrest of David Meirhofer, a local 23-year-old single man who was also a suspect in another murder case. The search of his house unearthed “souvenirs” (body parts taken from both victims). Meirhofer was the first serial killer caught with the aid of the FBI’s new investigative technique, called criminal profiling.

Neither Teten nor Mullany, the formative minds behind early criminal profiling techniques used by the FBI, ever headed the Behavioral Science Unit.

A decade later, the technique became a more sophisticated and systematic profiling tool known as the Criminal Investigative Analysis Program (CIAP).

I have the utmost respect for the law enforcement profession. These professionals see horrible images of what human beings can do to one another. They see mankind at their worst on a daily bases. They work hard to find new ways of protecting families and communities. Imagine what our world would look like if we didn’t have them.

Hey an idea for another book just popped into my mind!

Happy Writing,

Diane Kratz

Resources:

Criminal Profiling, An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis by: Brent Turvey (2005) pg. 16-17.

http://en.wikipedia.org , http://www.thefreedictionary.com , www.fbi.gov/.

Blog Edited by DeAnn Sicard

5 thoughts on “Do you know who was the first profiler in the FBI?

  1. Terri Snetehn says:

    Really interesting article, Diane. Thanks for providing this info. It’s fascinating.

  2. L.B says:

    I wonder if the FBI would profile Donald Trump, I’d love to read what they make of him.

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