Developed by the FBI in the 1970s, Criminal Profiling is used in countless serial murder investigations globally. Using information about a crime, crime scenes, and victims, profilers compose behavioural profiles of wanted. The general public believes profiling to be a reliable and valid scientific way of investigating serial crimes, but the reality is far from that.
Professor Jackson has contributed to over 50 documentaries about violent crimes and murder, and here he reveals evidence showing profiling has never resulted in the identification, apprehension and conviction of serial murderers. He has worked to assist investigations into serial rape, murder, and missing people.
As FBI agents develop their criminal profiles, they “embed” themselves in the mind of a killer and think what a murderer’s ‘signature moves’ and motivations might be. Focusing on some of the most infamous and perplexing serial murder cases in FBI history, the show will reveal how criminal profilers often got it so wrong.
Cases include the manhunts for The BTK (Bind Torture Kill) serial murderer; The Trailside killer; The Unabomber; The Tylenol poisoner; The Yorkshire ripper; The London nail-bomber; The Grindr killer; the Gay Slayer; The Washington beltway snipers, and most infamously the unsolved case of The Zodiac killer. The way many of these cases were solved will be surprising and the truth about criminal profiling as a pseudo-science will be demonstrated.
Jackson dispels many “FBI myths” about serial murderers; they are not “organised” or “disorganised” personalities; or dysfunctional loners; they do not all take souvenirs from victims, or torture animals, and they were not bed-wettters as children. Very few of them are ‘twisted geniuses’ either. Serial murderers have used knowledge of criminal profiling to misdirect police investigations and continue killing, and we will examine how the BTK and Zodiac were not even recognised as a serial murderers by the FBI until both killers claimed responsibility. We will look at serial murderers who correspond with the police or media, and how these killers provide many clues, but often remain free.
The talk will also look how behavioural analysis has been used in high profile murder investigations once detectives hit a brick wall, and how such profiles are far from helpful, including such cases including Robert Napper, Michael Stone, and Vincent Tabac