Offender profiling, also known as criminal profiling, is a behavioral and investigative tool that is intended to help investigators to accurately predict and profile the characteristics of unknown criminal subjects or offenders. Offender profiling is also known as criminal profiling, criminal personality profiling, criminological profiling, behavioral profiling or criminal investigative analysis. Geographic profiling is another method to profile an offender. Television shows such as Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Profiler in the 1990s, the 2005 television series Criminal Minds, the 2011 one season television series Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, and the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs have lent many names to what the FBI calls “criminal investigative analysis”. Holmes and Holmes (2002) outline the three main goals of criminal profiling: * The first is to provide law enforcement with a social and psychological assessment of the offender; * The second goal is to provide law enforcement with a “psychological evaluation of belongings found in the possession of the offender” (p. 10); * The third goal is to give suggestions and strategies for the interviewing process. Ainsworth (2001) identified that there are four main approaches to offender profiling: * The geographical approach, in which the patterns are analyzed in regard to timing and location of the crime scene, in order to determine where the offender lives and works * Investigative psychology, this approach focuses on the use of psychological theories of analysis to determine the characteristics of the offender by looking at the presented offending behavior and style of offense * The typological approach looks at the specific characteristics of the crime scene to then categorize the offender according to the various ‘typical’ characteristics * The clinical approach to offender profiling in which the understanding of psychiatry and clinical psychology is used to determine whether the offender is suffering from mental illness of various psychological abnormalities 5 Procedural steps in generating a profile: * 1. A thorough analysis of the type/nature of the criminal act is made and it is then compared to the types of people who have committed similar crimes in the past * 2. An in depth analysis of the actual crime scene is made * 3. The victim’s background and activities are analyzed, to look for possible motives and connections * 4. The possible factors for the motivation of the crime are analyzed * 5. The description of the possible offender is developed, founded on the detected characteristics, which can be compared to with previous cases In modern criminology, offender profiling is generally considered the “third wave” of investigative science: the first wave was the study of clues, pioneered by Scotland Yard in the 19th century; the second wave was the study of crime itself (frequency studies and the like); this third wave is the study of the psyche of the criminal.