Why They Kill - Deductive Prof...

Why They Kill - Deductive Profiling

The session was exclusively based on detailing the psychological and criminal theories and criminal profiling in a forensic perspective. The session has consisted of the following key points.

The study of criminology – when we are dealing with the study of criminology there are some basic things to remember

  • The making of laws
  • The breaking of laws
  • Society’s reaction to breaking of laws
  • What do we measure? When do we measure? Who does the measuring?
  • Think of the criminality association with 9-11
  • Crime as a social phenomenon
  • Serial criminality

Theories of committing crimes

Various theories were discussed in the session which helps to understand criminal profiling. The names and the scientists are mentioned below:

1. Cesare Baecaria concluded that crime is caused by bad laws, not by bad people, the public punishments are inappropriate and torture is common.

2. Jeremy Bentham concluded The Utilitarianism Theory which states that; “All human actions are calibrated in accordance with happiness. The punishment out rays its severity thus, punishment should be reduced to an absolute creativity; then a slight penalty would suffice. There are factors beyond the control of people who are responsible for crime.

3. Cesare Lombrose said that “The more atavistic stigma or physical features of early creatures – The Born Criminal”. There are some changes in brain which interferes with the ability to distinguish between right and wrong and crime should be control through prevention.

4. Raffaele Garofalo talked about moral abnormalities. The Criminal Personality is due to poor physical condition and defective mind. He said that the death penalty could be used to get society rid of Maladjusted Members. 

5. Sheldon & Gluecks relates body build to criminal mind - Somatotype

Inherited criminality – Families produce generations of criminals by transmitting a degenerate trait blown to the line. Three generations of imbricates are enough.

6. Issac ray was the first Forensic Psychiatrist. He concluded that Moral insanity is normal but a part of brain regulates criminal behavior. The studies showed that 25-30% of people in prison had intellectual defects; they are unable of managing own affairs. 

7. Emille Durkheim was founder of Sociological Theory. He concluded that society is responsible for criminal behavior not the offenders; the criminals learn to crime as others learn a trade. The punishments should be evaluated by the harm done.

Anomie – Breakdown of social order as results of a loss of values and standards with disintegration and chaos replacing social cohesion.

Where do we go from here?

  • Something old, something new
  • Neurocriminalogy – the brain is involved.
  • Many themes or theories clash.

Criminal Profiling

It is the process of inferring distinctive personality characteristics of individuals responsible for committing criminal acts. It is relevant for homicides or serial crimes of the following types:

  • Sadistic torture in sexual assaults
  • Evisceration 
  • Post – mortem slashing and cutting
  • Motiveless fire – setting or arson
  • Lust and mutilation murder
  • Rape
  • Satanic and ritualistic crime
  • Pedophilia

Certain assumptions about profiling:

The rationale relies on the uniqueness of experiences and different personality types will be reflected in lifestyles and behaviors. This leads to assumptions about profiling:

  • The crime scene will reflect the offender’s personality.
  • The methods remain similar.
  • The signature remains the same.
  • The offender’s personality will not change.

Role of profiling:

1. Investigative phase: It helps in reducing the number of suspects and linking similar crimes through unique indicators and behaviour patterns. It provides investigators with potential leads and approaches and assess potential for escalation in crime seriousness and frequency.

2. Trial phase: It helps in the evaluation of evidence and assists in developing interview strategies. It also helps in gaining insight into offender’s motivation and suggests crime scene linkage through modus operandi and signature behaviour.

Before beginning the creating of criminal profile, four broad categories of murder were discussed, which are as follows:

Note: These categories can overlap based upon the offender’s particular psychopathology.

There are two different ways, to look at criminal profiling: Inductive reasoning and Deductive reasoning. 

1) Inductive reasoning – An indicative criminal profile is a set of offender characteristics that are reasoned by correlation, experimental and/or statistical interference to be shared by offenders who commit the same type of crime. It involves broad generalization or statistical reasoning where it is possible for the premises to be true while subsequent conclusions are false. Data, possibilities etc. doesn’t always give benefit; thus, inductive profile is best explained as being an average. 

There are two types of Inductive Argument 

i. Inductive generalization – argues from the specific to the general.

ii. Statistical argument – statistical but unreal. 

There are a few disadvantages of Inductive Criminal Profiling:

  • The information used is often generalised from limited population samples and not specifically related to anyone case.
  • Inductive profiles are generalised and average from the limited data collected only from known apprehended offenders.
  • An inductive criminal profiling is going to contain inaccurate that can and have been used to implicate innocent individuals.
  • Inductive profiles tend to be unqualified and non-specific.  

2) Deductive reasoning – A deductive profile is a set of offender characteristics that are reasoned from the convergence of physical and behavioural evidence palters within a crime or a series of related crimes. The arguments made where, if the premises are true, then the conclusion must also be done. It gives general to specific details. An offender’s general patterns of behaviour tend to suggest specific offenders characteristics. 

The information used to argue a deductive criminal profile includes the following:

1. Forensic and Behavioural Evidence –

  • Evidence
  • Witness/ Victim statements
  • Crime scene characteristics
  • Victim – Offender behaviour
  • Reconstruction (Ballistics, Wound patterns)
  • Photographs, Sketches, Videos
  • All available reports

2. Victimology – Study and analysis of victim characteristics.  

  • Risk assessment – Victim, Suspect.

Assumptions of the deductive criminal profile method include: 

  • No offender acts without motivation.
  • Every single offense should be investigated as its own behavioural and motivational existence.
  • Different offenders exhibit the same.

Purpose of deductive profiling: To use behavioral evidence analysis to assist an investigation, at any phase, in moving from a universal set of suspect characteristics to a more discrete set of suspect characteristics.

Deductive Thinking Strategies:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Open mindedness
  • Thinking like a criminal
  • Avoid moral judgements
  • Life experiences
  • Intuition
  • Common sense 


In this way, the theories of committing a crime and criminal profiling were discussed. All the five theories were explained where few theories clash while few give proper reasoning and both inductive and deductive reasoning were explained with examples. Inductive reasoning is average while deductive reasoning is better as it helps in general to specific profiling of a criminal. 

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