Profiling: The Psychology of Catching Killers


The true stories of how professional profilers help catch serial killers.

Profiling reveals the confidential arsenal of tactics that real-life FBI investigators used to solve some of the most horrific murders in modern history. It begins with an overview of how profiling was first developed as a viable ...

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The true stories of how professional profilers help catch serial killers.

Profiling reveals the confidential arsenal of tactics that real-life FBI investigators used to solve some of the most horrific murders in modern history. It begins with an overview of how profiling was first developed as a viable technique, followed by illustrated chapters that describe the specific parts of the profiling process:

  • The FBI's crime scene analysis procedure
  • Crime scene facts and evidence
  • The organized and disorganized classifications of violent serial offenders
  • Geographical profiling
  • Types of rape and the clues they leave
  • A serial killer's crime signature
  • Identifying child abductors and abusers
  • Profiling criminals through written documents
  • How profilers work with other investigators and interrogators

Profiling focuses on 50 notorious true crimes to explain profiling, describing how crime scene evidence is processed and revealing the psychological clues and how the profilers helped to solve the case. Some of these headline-grabbing cases are:

  • The Black Dahlia murder investigation
  • David Carpenter, the Trailside Killer
  • Robert Hansen, a highly organized killer who abducted prostitutes and left them in the Alaska wilderness so he could hunt them with a rifle
  • Ted Bundy
  • Jeffrey Dahmer

Profiling is the gripping behind-the-scenes story of a topic that has had fans of Criminal Minds and the CSI series glued to their television screens for many years.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As law enforcement professionals seek to enter the minds of murderers in order to identify, anticipate, and ultimately incarcerate them, the process of profiling plays an increasingly notable and controversial role in modern fact-and fiction. Profiling is a fledgling study, often more art than science, and in this systematic review experienced true crime writer Owen guides readers through 50 case studies from around the world, offering detailed breakdowns of the disparate criminals that have been caught through the use of these techniques. He examines both organized and disorganized serial killers and a number of rapists and child molesters, and even touches on how profiling techniques are currently being used to anticipate terrorists and suicide bombers. For such a complex subject, however, Owen's commentary is surprisingly cursory, not unlike what could be gleaned from a careful reading of The Silence of the Lambs. But Owen brings his book alive with a surprisingly graphic (and borderline exploitative) collection of crime scene photos (both real and reconstructed), and his summarized studies of famous killers like Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy. Owen succeeds on a basic level in not only educating readers, but also disturbing them.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Halifax Chronicle Herald - Jodi DeLong
David Owen's Profiling: The Psychology of Catching Killers is a fascinating look into the science of profiling. There's certainly far more to profiling that what we glimpse on television shows such as the popular Criminals Minds, and Owen describes numerous scenarios and rationales that shed much light on the minds of those who commit heinous murders.
New York Journal of Books - Laura Schultz
In a crime investigation, a police detective usually asks, "Who had the means, motive, and the opportunity to commit this crime?" ... David Owen displays a consummate grasp of the difficult pieces of the jigsaw puzzle necessary to solve a violent crime. [He] is both intuitive and extraordinarily knowledgeable in his ability to answer the most frequently asked questions and concerns about the methodology used by the best professionals in the art of criminal profiling... The specific details of cases of yesteryear and issues facing profilers then and now are presented in logical sequence, making this book highly digestible for laypersons with an interest in forensic matters, law enforcement professionals, and true crime aficionados... While the reader is left with a feeling of having completed a course in profiling and/or forensic psychology, the information and the way it is presented captures the reader from the first few pages of the book--and doesn't let go until the final words.
Shelf Life - Joan Sutter
For anyone interested in crime and all it entails, this book is a must-have for the library.
Book News
This book aimed at general readers offers an eye-catching visual layout, with cases illustrated by color photos on every page. The book's layout is designed to look like a real file with paperclips and notes. background on 50 real cases of historical and contemporary killers, demonstrating how crime scenes are analyzed, how profiles are developed, how profilers work with other investigators, and how professionals use psychological clues for predicting behavior patterns. Color photos show real killers, victims, and evidence gathering at real locations, but there are also staged color photos of crimes being committed, evidence gathering, and types of evidence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554077250
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/30/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 620,198
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

David Owen has written about military deception, air accident investigations, electric intelligence and computer crime. He is the author of Hidden Evidence, Hidden Secrets, Police Lab and Spies, all published by Firefly Books.

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