Interview with former FBI profiler Pete Klismet

Today I’m honored and thrilled to have on my blog former FBI Special Agent Pete Klismet.  He was selected to be one of the original group of criminal profilers in the 1980s. He is the founder of Criminal Profiling Associates on the web at: www.criminalprofilingassociates.com. Pete is a retired FBI criminal profiler who teaches, writes, and provides consulting services on this subject. Pete is here to help us understand exactly what he was trained to do—profile criminals.

Pete Kismet

Pete Klismet

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ASSUMPTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT CRIMINAL PROFILING?

“How’d you know that?”

“Are you some sort of a psychic?”

“Do you have a crystal ball or something?”

Anyone who has been trained in criminal profiling and has worked with law enforcement agencies or has taught about the concept in college has heard all of these comments.  And many more.  The word “profiling” conjures up some sinister images in people’s minds and seems almost devilishly frightening to some but fascinating to others.

WHAT IS CRIMINAL PROFILING?

Criminal profiling is the art of developing a behavioral profile of an offender based on evidence from a crime scene and many other factors involved in an investigation of a violent crime.  Profiling is sometimes done by a forensic psychologist, someone who has studied the criminal mind. However, since the mid-1980s the FBI has assumed a prominent role in the use of this technique.  A profile may then be used by police departments to assist in apprehending the criminal.  But a criminal profile by itself rarely solves a crime.  In most cases that is accomplished by old-fashioned detective work.

A profile is intended to be a behavioral portrait of an offender. If done correctly, the profiler may be able to determine “why” a person committed the crime he did.  If “why” can be determined, then we may have motive, and that can help identify the person who committed the crime.  There is a lot that a crime scene can tell a profiler about the person who committed the crime. This is especially true in homicide investigations. Criminal profiling is often used to help investigators identify psychopaths and serial killers who might otherwise go free. It can also be used to help identify other types of offenders such as serial sex offenders.

In criminal profiling a crime scene often helps to label the offender as organized or disorganized. An organized offender will plan ahead, often choosing the victim ahead of time. Any tools needed are brought by the offender. He is meticulous with details, and it is clear that the crime was well thought out. This tells a profiler much about the offender.

 

FBI Badge & gun.

FBI Badge & gun. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Organized offenders tend to be high in the birth order of their family. They are very intelligent but often were underachievers in both school and life. Most of them have a live-in partner, are socially adept, and will follow the coverage of their crimes in the media very carefully.  Contrary to popular belief, a killer of this nature, even a serial killer, is not “crazy.”  Quite the opposite is true.  They also “hide in plain sight,” and when identified are a complete surprise to people who know them and thought they were “perfectly normal.”

A more spontaneous or impulsive offense is often the work of a disorganized offender. He will act impulsively with little to no planning involved, and the crime scene will usually show this lack of planning. Seeing this, a trained profiler can draw some conclusions about this offender.  Disorganized offenders are often of average or slightly below-average intelligence. They were younger children, they usually live alone and are not as socially mature or competent as an organized offender. They often live or work near the scene of the crime and tend to have a poor work history. Typically they are younger than the organized offenders.

Criminal profiling is used not only to find potential offenders but also to narrow down a list of offenders that has already been compiled by the police. Although it doesn’t work in every case, criminal profiling has helped investigators to apprehend hundreds of criminals. By studying the patterns and motives of previous offenders, profiling may enable investigators to predict the characteristics of current and future offenders, allowing killers and other perpetrators to be caught before they can continue on to more crimes.

WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SERIAL KILLERS?

Serial killers are a fairly recent phenomenon on the American landscape, and many people are captivated by what they do and how they do it.  Some of them, such as Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez (The Night Stalker), and Jeffrey Dahmer have even had cult followings, as odd as that may seem.  In some ways it sounds ghoulish, but at the same time the allure of a person who commits multiple murders presents a fear of the unknown, of not being able to comprehend such irrational acts, and a desire to learn more about what makes these people tick.  To some it’s not all that interesting, but to many others it’s something they can’t learn or read enough about.

 

English: Ted Bundy in custody, Florida, July 1...

I became friends with the husband of one of my former students, an Air Force major, some years ago.  We both enjoyed golf and would get together once or twice every couple of weeks and play 18 holes.  After one round, we sat down and were enjoying a couple of cool, refreshing beers.  Without any prompting and literally out of the clear blue sky, Paul said, “By the way, I want to thank you for ruining my love life.”

“Me?  What did I do?”

“Brandy lies in bed every night with a book about one serial killer or another.  I have a hard time getting between her and her books.”

“Sorry….my bad.”

While we both got a good laugh out of that, I know I’ve had more than a few of my college students who were similarly absorbed with learning more and more about the dark and gruesome, illogical actions of people who kill others for “fun.”  It’s one of the most irrational things man can do, yet trying to learn what drives them to kill with such blood-lust can almost consume one’s life.  Unfortunately, we are using rational minds and thinking to try to understand their behavior.  Thus the only explanation we can come up with is “they’re crazy.”  Which is only rarely true.

English: The Seal of the United States Federal...

English: The Seal of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. For more information, see here. Español: El escudo del Buró Federal de Investigaciones (FBI). Para obtener más información, véase aquí (Inglés). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I went through what we called “Profiling Boot Camp” at the FBI Academy in the mid-1980s, I was the same way.  Since then I’ve spent nearly thirty years reading virtually every book on particular serial killers that I could get my hands on.  To the present date, that probably numbers well over one hundred books.  With every book I read I learn something new, and I’ve continued to do the same thing for many years.  I’ve also spent hundreds of hours studying these offenders and taught a class in college on “Criminal Profiling.”

Tell us about your new book.

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FBI DIARIES: PROFILES OF EVIL

When I combine my years of training and experience with what I have learned from research and extensive reading, it almost seems unfair not to share that knowledge with other people who may have a similar interest or may be taking a course on criminal profiling in college.  There are other books out there which some consider textbooks.  Some of these contain information which is not consistent with what I learned and practiced.  A few of these books offer the author’s own personal “spin” on profiling and, more often than not, this is someone who declared themselves a “profiler” because they read some books and perhaps have taken some psychology classes in college, including “Abnormal Psychology.”

I suppose anyone can make the same claim, but relatively few of us can make the claim with the training, education and experience to back it up.  And I think that’s what’s driven me for so many years.  No one “knows it all” about criminal profiling, and I certainly don’t claim to.  In fact, one thing I’ve learned over the years is the more I learn, the less I seem to know, but I continue to want to learn as much as I can.  And that’s what I hope to offer anyone who reads this book, whether you’re similarly fascinated and want to know more or whether the topic simply intrigues you.  And that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.  Anytime I tell people what I have done for most of my life, I get a similar “Gee whiz” reaction, and they want to know more.

This is not an academic treatise in which you will have to review statistical tables with boring columns of numbers and percentages.  Unlike a college textbook, I’ve tried to write this in a conversational manner.  I try to take you through some of the training we received and provide several cases which may give you an understanding into how a profiler’s mind works and why they think the way they do.  Hopefully I’ve written it in a way that will be understandable, and the cases I’ve reviewed should add some credibility to the concepts in an early part of the text.

I promise you that I’ve put as much of my learning and experience into this book as I possibly can, and if you study some of the concepts and cases I’ve studied or profiled, you may gain a similar thirst to know even more.  If I make you think in a different way, I’ve done my job.  And an author or a teacher can’t hope to accomplish more than that.

THANK YOU, Pete, for taking the time to visit my blog! I wish you many sales for your book! I’m waiting for mine to arrive in the mail as I type! Your book will help me better define my character, Johnny Gaston, who so far sounds like your fictional clone!

Here is the blurb for Pete’s book: FBI Diary: Profiles of Evil at Amazon

Step into the shoes of an FBI agent working cases in the field.

Walk along the path as he is selected to be one of the original FBI “Profilers.”

Take an inside view of the extraordinary and groundbreaking training received by this “new breed” of FBI agents made famous by the renowned Behavioral Science Unit.

Work along with him and see what he’s thinking as he analyzes facts and develops profiles in several murder cases he investigates.

Reviews:

“Pete has a fascinating story to tell, and the reader is fortunate to have been invited to listen. Read and enjoy.”
-Legendary FBI Profiler Roy Hazelwood – best selling author of Dark Dreams and The Evil That Men Do.

“The stories he shares of his days in the FBI and the years he spent as one of the agency’s first profilers are incredibly engaging. After reading this book, all I can say is, ‘I’m sure glad Pete was on our side!'”
David Gibb, best selling author of Camouflaged Killer. 

You can find his book trailer for FBI Diary: Profiles of Evil on YouTube at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcmgAPGHFbo

You can connect with Pete at:

Website:  www.criminalprofilingassociates.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pete.klismet

I hope you all have enjoyed this as much I as have.

Until next time,

Happy Writing!

Diane Kratz

Blog edited by Sally Berneathy

Everyone goes through phases, even profilers.

Phases In Profiling

Special Agent John Douglas
Photo credit: criminalminds.wikia.com

John E. Douglas and Robert Ressler, both FBI Agents who worked in the Behavioral Science Unit, developed the idea of the “organized/disorganized opposition.”

Special Agent Robert Ressler
Photo credit: criminalminds.wikia.com

They believed they could tell what type of murderer they were dealing with by looking at a crime scene and examining the behavior of the person who created that crime scene.

English: Detail of the crime scene composite o...

English: Detail of the crime scene composite of the produced by the Science Division of the Italian national police, Scientifica which was submitted as evidence in the subsequent trials. Can you guess which type we have here?
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Organized crimes are premeditated and carefully planned, so little evidence is found at the scene. Organized criminals are antisocial but know right from wrong, are not insane and show no remorse.

Organized murderers are thought to have advanced social skills, display control over the victim using those social skills, leave little forensic evidence or clues, and often engage in sexual acts with the victim before the murder.

English: Detail of the crime scene composite o...

English: Detail of the crime scene composite of the produced by the Science Division of the Italian national police, Scientifica which was submitted as evidence in the subsequent trials. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In contrast, the disorganized offender is described as impulsive, with few social skills. His/her murders are opportunistic, and crime scenes suggest frenzied, haphazard behavior including a lack of planning or attempts to avoid detection. They may engage in sexual acts after the murder because they lack knowledge of normal sexual behavior. Disorganized crimes are not planned, and criminals leave such evidence as fingerprints and blood. Disorganized criminals may be young, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or mentally ill.

According to Douglas and Ressler’s theory, profiling has five distinct phases:

Profiling phases

  1. The first phase is the assimilation process. All information available in regard to the crime scene, victim, and witnesses is examined in detail. This may include photographs of the crime scene, autopsy reports, victim profiles, police reports, and witness statements.
  2.  The next phase, the “classification stage,” involves integrating the information collected into a framework. This is the phase that classifies the murderer as “organized” or “disorganized.”
  3. Following the classification stage profilers attempt to reconstruct the behavioral sequence of the crime. Specifically they attempt to reconstruct the offender’s modus operandi or method of committing the crime.
  4.  Profilers also examine closely the offender’s “signature” which is identifiable from the crime scene and is more idiosyncratic than the modus operandi. The signature is what the offender does to satisfy his psychological needs in committing the crime.
  5. After further consideration of the modus operandi, the offender’s signature at the crime scene, and an inspection for the presence of any staging of the crime, the profiler moves on to generate a profile. This profile may contain detailed information regarding the offender’s demographic characteristics, family characteristics, military background, education, and personality characteristics. It may also suggest appropriate interview techniques.
FBI Badge & gun.

FBI Badge & gun. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although the FBI approach has gained public attention, some psychologists have questioned its scientific solidity. Ressler, Douglas, and the other FBI agents were not psychologists, and some psychologists who looked at their work found methodological flaws.

Former FBI agent Gregg O McCrary agrees that some of the FBI’s early research was rough. “Early on it was just a bunch of us [FBI agents] basing our work on our investigative experience,” he says, “and hopefully being right more than we were wrong.”

McCrary says he believes that they were right more than wrong even in the early days, and emphasizes that FBI methods have improved since then leading to an even higher degree of accuracy.

According to McCrary, the basic premise is that behavior reflects personality. In a homicide case, for example, FBI profilers try to collect the personality of the offender through questions about his or her behavior at four stages:

1. Antecedent: What fantasy,  plan or both did the murderer have in place before the act? What triggered the murderer to act on a particular day as opposed to other days?

2. Method and manner: What type of victim or victims did the murderer select? What was the method and manner of murder—shooting, stabbing, strangulation, or something else?

3. Body disposal: Did the murder and body disposal take place all at one scene or at multiple scenes?

4. Post-offense behavior: Is the murderer trying to inject himself into the investigation by reacting to media reports or contacting investigators?

Psychology’s contributions and the law enforcement relationship

Sigmund Freud

Professor David Canter, PhD, is the pioneer of scientific offender profiling. He developed the discipline of Investigative Psychology as a response to his dissatisfaction with the scientific bases for this activity. He founded the field of investigative psychology in the early 1990s and now runs the Centre for Investigative Psychology at the University of Liverpool. The IAIP of which Canter is President seeks to set professional guidelines for practice and research in this area.

Canter includes many areas, including profiling, where psychology can contribute to investigations. The goal of investigative psychology’s form of profiling, like all profiling, is to infer characteristics of a criminal based on his or her behavior during the crime. But, Canter says, the key is that all of those inferences should come from empirical, peer-reviewed research and not necessarily from investigative experience.

For example, Canter and his colleagues recently analyzed crime scene data from 100 serial homicides to test the FBI’s organized/disorganized model. Their results indicate that, in contrast to some earlier findings, almost all serial murderers show some level of organization.

Among those in the profiling field, the tension between law enforcement and psychology still exists to some degree. “The difference is really a matter of the FBI being more oriented towards investigative experience than [academic psychologists] are,” says retired FBI agent McCrary.

“But,” he adds, “It’s important to remember that we’re all working toward the same thing.” I’ve also just learned that John Douglas has his own website (list below)  and he has added the “Mixed” to his “organized and disorganized” theory.  He states, “Mixed. When I say mixed classification, I mean a case such as that of O.J. Simpson, where the crime scene appears to be very premeditated. The subject brings to the scene the weapon, gloves and a hat — premeditated. Yet the crime scene appears disorganized. The subject had a well-planned idea but did not expect to be confronted, as the subject was, in this case, by Ron Goldman. So he — O.J. — basically lost control over the situation so the crime’s ultimate appearance shifted from organized to disorganized.”

Interesting stuff! Who would have guessed Ressler and Douglas were not psychologists! I hope this gives my followers a more accurate/realistic account of the criminal profiler and of the villain characters in their books.

Happy writing,

Diane Kratz

Resources:

Criminal Profiling An Introduction To Behavioral Evidence Analysis, Brent E. Turvey.

Criminal profiling the reality behind the myth, Lea Winerman. American Psychological Association. July 2004, Vol 35, No. 7. 

 http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/index.html

http://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/criminal.aspx 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki 

http://www.johndouglasmindhunter.com/home.php  

John Douglas books include:

Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

The Cases That Haunt Us by John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker and John Douglas

Journey Into Darkness by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

Obsession: The FBI’s Legendary Profiler Probes the Psyches of Killers, Rapists, and Stalkers and Their Victims and Tells How to Fight Back by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

The Anatomy of Motive : The FBI’s Legendary Mindhunter Explores the Key to Understanding and Catching Violent Criminals by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet by John E. Douglas and Stephen Singular

Inside the Mind of BTK: The True Story Behind the Thirty-Year Hunt for the Notorious Wichita Serial Killer by John Douglas and Johnny Dodd

He also had his own website/blog called, John Douglas Mind Hunter at: http://www.johndouglasmindhunter.com/home.php He actually IS involved with his site.

Robert Ressler books include:

Whoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI by Robert K. Ressler and Thomas Schachtman

Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives- Paperback by John E. Douglas, Ann W. Burgess and Robert K. Ressler

I Have Lived in the Monster: Inside the Minds of the World’s Most Notorious Serial Killers (St. Martin’s True Crime Library) by Robert K. Ressler and Tom Shachtman

Criminal Profiling from Crime Scene Analysis by John Douglas, Ann Burgess, Robert Ressler and Carol Hartman

David Canter books

Criminal Shadows, Inner Narratives of Evil by David Canter, Robert D. Keppel

Principles of Geographical Offender Profiling (Psychology, Crime and Law) by David Canter and Donna Youngs, David Canter and Donna Youngs

The Social Psychology of Crime: Groups, Teams, and Networks (Offender Profiling Series, Vol. 111) by David Canter and Laurence J. Alison

Investigative Psychology: Offender Profiling and the Analysis of Criminal Action by David Canter and Donna Youngs

The Faces of Terrorism: Multidisciplinary Perspectives by David Canter

Mapping Murder by David V. Canter

Blog edited by: Sally C Berneathy

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

Did you know The Profiler at the FBI is actually a computer robot ruled based expert system programmed to profile serial crimes? 

TV show Criminal Minds


When researching the FBI for my character Johnny Gaston, (a FBI profiler ) I came across a lot of conflicting information about the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.  First, the BAU has been called by several names. Second, it isn’t like anything television portrays it as.  Which is one of the reasons I wanted to make this blog, to set things straight.

FBI Academy.

FBI Academy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The FBI’s NCAVC

NCAVC– (National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crimes) is located at Federal Bureau of Investigation, Training Division FBI Academy at Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Virginia. NCAVC is the brains of the BAU.

Agents assigned to NCAVC do the following; coördinate investigative and operational support functions, criminological research, and training to give assistance to federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies investigating unusual or repetitive violent crimes (serial crimes).

The NCAVC also provides investigative support through expertise and consultation in non-violent matters such as national security, corruption, and white-collar crime investigations.

Every one of the FBI’s fifty-six field offices has at least one NCAVC Coordinator in residence. The coordinators are the primary liaison with the field offices and with local and state law enforcement. They’re working with local authorities every day, so they’re in a position to know when there’s something that would benefit from us looking at it. The coordinators are FBI’s front line.

Typical cases for which NCAVC services are requested include- child abduction or mysterious disappearance of children, serial murders, single homicides, serial rapes, extortions, threats, kidnappings, product tampering, arson’s and bombings, weapons of mass destruction, public corruption, and domestic and international terrorism.

Research and training programs support the operational services of the NCAVC. Requests for NCAVC services are typically facilitated through NCAVC coordinators assigned to each FBI field office. Special agents collaborate with BAU on research and training matters, but they’re involved in training, primarily at the National Academy, and are not operationally involved in cases. Yep, sorry to burst your bubble, but contrary to what the Television portrays, these guy’s are analysts and researchers.

The FBI's Behavioral Science Unit
includes Robert Ressler and Ray Hazelwood
Picture courtesy of cja.mansfield.edu

The NCAVC currently consists of four units: 

Behavioral Analysis Unit 1 (counterterrorism/threat assessment)

Behavioral Analysis Unit 2 (crimes against adults)

Behavioral Analysis Unit 3 (crimes against children)

Behavioral Analysis Unit 4 (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program-ViCAP)

Special Agents Training in Behavioral Analysis Units

  • Basic psychology
  • Criminal psychology
  • Forensic science
  • Body recovery
  • Criminal Investigative Analysis
  • Death investigation
  • Threat assessment
  • Statement/document analysis
  • Crimes against children
  • Child abduction and homicide
  • Sexual victimization of children / Internet issues
  • Interview and interrogation procedures
  • Serial murder

The training is a 16-week program.

Names Previously Used by the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit)

BSU– (Behavioral Science Unit)-Started in 1974, to investigate serial rape and homicide cases, Serial Crimes Unit -Behavioral Science Investigative Support Unit -Critical Incident Response Group- Investigative Support Unit- Child Abduction/ Serial Killer Unit- Profiling and Behavioral Assessment Unit- Behavioral Analysis Unit East and Behavioral Analysis Unit West- Child Abduction and Serial Murder Investigative Resource Center (CASMIRC).

FBI TERMINOLOGY FOR PROGRAMS INSIDE THE NCAVC

The Profiler– is actually a computer robot rule- based expert system programmed  to profile serial crimes.

 CIAP– (Criminal Investigative Analysis Program) is a computer program designed to investigate serial crime.

VICAP – (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) a computer program that identifies and links the signature aspects in violent serial crimes. Pierce Brooks was responsible for its creation. Brooks was a detective from Los Angeles came across a case he knew the killer had to have killed before. He spent years researching other cities for similar crimes. He pushed to get a centralized database.

CIRG– (Critical Incident Response Group) – consists of a cadre of special agents and professional support personnel who provide expertise in crisis management, tactical operations, crisis negotiations, hostage rescue, hazardous devices mitigation, critical incident intelligence, and surveillance and aviation. CIRG will deploy investigative specialists to respond to terrorist activities, hostage takings, child abductions, and other high-risk repetitive violent crimes. Other major incidents include prison riots, bombings, air and train crashes, and natural disasters.

LEO– (Law Enforcement Online) – LEO is a secure, Internet-based communications portal for law enforcement, first responders, criminal justice professionals, and anti-terrorism and intelligence agencies around the globe. LEO catalyzes and strengthens collaboration and information sharing by providing access to sensitive but unclassified information and various state-of-the-art communications services and tools. It is available to vetted users anywhere in the world around the clock and is offered free of charge to members.

LEO started in 1995 as a small dial-up service with just 20 members. Now, it has more than 100,000 members across the world and a host of features and capabilities offered through a Virtual Private Network on the Internet.

What does LEO offer specifically? Here’s a rundown:

  • A national alert system directing members to the LEO site for information on emergencies (like the London bombings, for example)
  • Some 1,100 Special Interest Groups (SIG) that allows members who share expertise or interests to connect with each other, including sections on terrorism, street gangs, and bombs.
  • Access to important and useful databases, like those run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
  • E-mail services, which enable members to submit fingerprints to the FBI for processing by our Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
  • A Virtual Command Center (VCC)—an information sharing and crisis management tool that allows the law enforcement community to use LEO at local and remote sites as an electronic command center to submit and view information and intelligence.
  • Distance learning, with several online learning modules on topics like terrorism response, forensic anthropology, and leadership.
  • A multimedia library of publications, documents, studies, research, technical bulletins, and other reports of interest to LEO users.

*I should note that LEO could also mean Law Enforcement Officer to other Law Enforcement Agencies.

IAFIS– (The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) – is a national automated fingerprint identification and criminal history system maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. IAFIS provides automated fingerprint search capabilities, latent searching capability, electronic image storage, and electronic exchange of fingerprints and responses. IAFIS is the largest biometric database in the world, housing the fingerprints and criminal histories of 70 million subjects in the criminal master file, 31 million civil prints and fingerprints from 73,000 known and suspected terrorists processed by the U.S. or by international law enforcement agencies.

NGI – (Next Generation Identification) is a project of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The project’s goal is to expand the capabilities of the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, which is currently used by law enforcement to identify subjects by their fingerprints and look up their criminal history. The NGI system will be a more modular system (allowing easy expansibility). It will also have more advanced lookup capabilities, incorporating palm print, iris, and facial identification.

UNSUB – Unknown subject

Signature– Characteristics of idiosyncratic to specific criminals which fulfill a psychological need.

Serial Murder– A person who has killed three or more people.

Resources:

http://www.fbi.govhttp://www.trutv.com/library/crime and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki.

Writer’s note:

Fiction is called fiction for a reason. It’s a made up world created by a writer. Writers give their story credibility through research. Readers expect us to know what we are writing about. On the same token, if reader’s think of a FBI profiler as they’ve seen on Criminal Minds or other TV shows, and buy a book expecting this same type of character, then they will be disappointed if the writer went strictly by research, and not buy another book by that author. I believe a successful writer will write a character with the reader in mind. My character is a FBI profiler, even if in reality the job title doesn’t exist in the FBI.

Happy writing!

Diane Kratz


A Look Inside the Behavioral Analysis Unit