The difficulty of profiling killers

The Guardian has a compelling yet disturbing article on criminal profilers and how the practice is attempting to recover from the early days of profiler ‘experts’ who based their predictions on little more than guesswork, sometimes with disastrous results.

It’s written by journalist Jon Ronson who takes an incisive look into the history of criminal profiling in the UK and the impact of the Rachel Nickell case where a profiler wrongly implicated a man who spent 14 months in custody while the actual murderer went on to kill a mother and her daughter.

The practice has become considerably more scientific and considerably less dramatic as a result. The piece is essential reading if you’re interested in the psychology of profiling and a revealing look into the mistakes of the Nickell case.

Link to Guardian article on criminal profiling (via @researchdigest)

One Comment

  1. Posted May 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    My all-time favorite piece on the perils of forensic profiling is Malcolm Gladwell’s “Dangerous Minds,” in the New Yorker. My link to that essay, and related commentary and resources, is here:

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26,866 other followers