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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for beginners, 13 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Offender Profiling and Crime Analysis (Paperback)
I happen to be interested in Serial Murder as a hobby and purchased this to gain a more academic view of the methods used in modern profiling and got just what I was looking for.
This book looks at different methods of profiling for serial murder and surprisingly other crimes too such as rape, petty theft and vandalism which is a strange concept as I always thought that profiling was a tool used to find serial killers only- since their crimes would be more distinctive and readable compared to the more common felonies.
Chapter 1 kicks off with an attempt at describing what Profiling is. The author doesn't give the common 'layman' enough credit and would have us think that most average joes use The Silence of The Lambs as a standard for what profiling constitutes. The overall conclusion is that with the many disagreements in the field there is no single coherent definition of what Profiling is, underlining just how fractured this science is at its current level.
Chapter 2 discusses the Nature (internal) Vs Nurture (external) argument; which is more important for understanding a criminal? This typically leaves us with the idea that both are essential for a more complete picture overall. Sadly, as the author is primarily a researcher of Psychology he fails to give us more detailed descriptions on the influences of genetics. For example, he asks (paraphrase) 'how is it possible for genes to cause a person to be hyperaggressive during his teenage years and then revert to being more subdued at an older age?' As a graduate in Biochemistry I have a good idea of how that may be possible. However, Mr. Ainsworth is better at detailing the social aspects and influences of criminal motivation. He points out that with the endless variations and possiblities in life it is impossible to make an objective study of people while ruling out all corrupting variables. This depressive view is true of any scientific endeavour, but hopefully does not mean that research is futile.
Chapter 3 is the most interesting in my opinion as it covers many topics that I am completely unfamilar with. Especially the idea that criminals can be affected by the architecture of buildings that make up a community.
Chapter 4 concerns itself with human error with regards to data collecting. The complex bias and perceptions that the police force, witnesses, and perpetrators have on a case and how this creates a coloured lens for which researchers see through.
The rest of the chapters briefly describe the style of the different schools of Criminal Profiling. There is the pervading notion that the current stalemate in progression of profiling is down to the fact that there is a terrible lack of peer reviewed analysis of the research behind the methods; with each institution closely guarding their knowledge (FBI, and other "intuitive" profilers such as Paul Britton) rather than allowing outsiders to test and refine their hypothesis. British researcher David Canter is keen on geographical profiling and seems to be pushing for the systematic rigours of the scientific community.
I've noticed that his more recent theory involving some venn diagram-like maps produces similar knowlege that FBI profilers use when describing brief profiles in their books. The FBI also use(d) computer software to help match certain variables with a certain type of killer.
Ignoring the fact that a combined approach of all types of profiling, along with the expertise from different fields such as Sociology and Medicine would greatly aid an investigation, this begs the question "Exactly how far apart is profiling in different departments and institutions?" Perhaps a future edition will shed light on the progress to date. In terms of research, this textbook is arguably outdated at this point.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and very straight forward!, 1 May 2012
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This review is from: Offender Profiling and Crime Analysis (Paperback)
I have always been very interested in human behaviour and reading books on profiling has become one of my hobbies! This book is very clear and concise, I made notes all the way and once you start it, it will be difficult not to finish it! I really recommand it as it gives a very good understanding on how profilers work and focus on the different profiling styles and techniques. A very good buy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Condition Good Price, 29 July 2013
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This review is from: Offender Profiling and Crime Analysis (Paperback)
Excellent condition and a good price. It was the cheapest by far that I could fine so I am very happy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 12 May 2013
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Miss D. Najdenowa "deedeebg" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Offender Profiling and Crime Analysis (Paperback)
shows a brand new approach - the author combines various fields to analyze the crime patterns - some of the ideas he has are well-established, other are quite innovative (at least for me) - like the influence of the urban architecture on the criminals...
Will definitely recommend.
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Offender Profiling and Crime Analysis
Offender Profiling and Crime Analysis by Peter Ainsworth (Paperback - 1 Mar 2001)
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