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View Full Version : Is anyone here a profiler/forensic psychologist, etc?



FashionQueen
06-11-2008, 07:50 PM
Hi, if anyone out there understand profiling killers from looking at crime scenes, I would really appreciate your help.

In my book, the serial killer is a sociopathic murderer, who kills women. The main reason for his crimes is control, as his mother was an alcoholic, who left him with his father, who sent him to boarding school after his mother died. Anyway, his mother would visit him on Wednesdays for a couple of weeks, before disappearing for moths at a time, before returning. Anyway, each visit his mother gave him coincides with a murder, until her death (also on a wednesday). He returns to where he was born and murders women every Wednesday, until the day of his mother's death. On that day he plans something spectacular, but I can't tell you anymore because it would spoil the ending.

He stalks people, sends them flowers, cold-calls them, then shoots them in the back on midday on Wednesday. He also writes the word 'Evil' on each of the victims back (referring to them being evil) with their own lipstick. He hits them on the head then shoots them, which to me suggests he needs to control them, but I'm not a professional so I can't be sure.

Anyway, he switches cities every four murders and he writes his name on the walls. But, no-one has been at all the cities at all the times so he's using multiple identities. Also, in each city the victims are all connected to each other (but not to victims in other cities), through an identifying feature (age, hair colour, eye colour, height, weight, etc).

He also kills for fame, as he wants to be remembered after he's dead. The killer taunts them and he does seem as though he's playing a dangerous game (ringing one of the detectives up and repeating his name isn't smart, but a great way to get attention and dig under their skin).
Anyway, what I'm asking is, does this sound like a controlling, killer, who also kills for fame and has issues with woman after his mother? Or am I totally of track and will I have to redo things?

Really appreciate a reply. Sorry I wrote so much, I just felt I had to get the killer accross.

heyjude
06-11-2008, 09:25 PM
Have you read John Douglas' books? They've helped me immensely. Sorry I can't give you a more definitive answer, this isn't my branch of psychology. :)

waylander
06-11-2008, 10:00 PM
I believe AW member WriterX316 is studying to become a criminal forensics guy

Horseshoes
06-12-2008, 08:13 PM
In scene profiling for murder, esp serial, offenders are broadly categorized into organized or disorganized. There are piles of details collected at the scene and with investigation that lead to IDing the suspect, but these details do not follow the Hollywoood fodder of elaborately intricate patterns with very boiled-down reasons why. (There are no good reasons why to be a serial killer.) That said, you've no obligation to write a procedural that more closely resembles real life than the story you've imagined. Plenty of murder stories have elaborate --and on the fourth Wednesday, he offs vic 17 with the short blond hair, working up to the 18th with the long red hair, whatever-- methods and plans of a killer with a neat package of explanation as to why he did it.

Yes, your killer is a controller--as well he should be--and has a problem w/ women. You're fine there.

FashionQueen
06-13-2008, 12:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseshoes http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2440857#post2440857)
Yes, your killer is a controller--as well he should be--and has a problem w/ women. You're fine there.

Good, thank you for your help and your right, it doesn't matter whether it's 100% true to life (which it isn't) as its fiction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjude http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2437313#post2437313)
Have you read John Douglas' books? They've helped me immensely. Sorry I can't give you a more definitive answer, this isn't my branch of psychology. :)

That's the retired FBI profiler guy, right? I think I read one of his books when I debated what to take at University. It was very, um... lets just say I didn't take forensic psychology. PS Thanks for the suggestion, I may dig that out of the loft just to check a few things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waylander http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2437430#post2437430)
I believe AW member WriterX316 is studying to become a criminal forensics guy

I meant forensic psychology (UK version of profiling) not criminal forensics. One works on catching the guy based on evidence of the person's character, one works on evidence such as DNA, etc. Thanks for the heads up, though. If I want a forensic scientist I'll know where to send a message.


PS can I apologise for first sending this under the name 'Bayley'. My sister and I both have accounts on absolute write and both tick the 'remember me' box. I thought I was the last person to go on absolute write, so I sent the message without checking I was logged in under my account. Sorry again for any confusion caused.

HeronW
06-15-2008, 04:44 AM
Watch CSI, Profiler Numb3rs and similar shows for ideas of narrowing down the killer's:
victims,
methodology: assault type/weapons/wound placement/chemicals used/found
preferences for place/time/weather/dates/moon cycles,
if the body is moved to a secondary or tertiary spot, how/if it's treated after death by killer,
handwriting analysis, etc.

Perks
06-15-2008, 04:45 AM
Read the book Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert Ressler.

heyjude
06-15-2008, 08:56 PM
Watch CSI, Profiler Numb3rs and similar shows for ideas of narrowing down the killer's:
victims,
methodology: assault type/weapons/wound placement/chemicals used/found
preferences for place/time/weather/dates/moon cycles,
if the body is moved to a secondary or tertiary spot, how/if it's treated after death by killer,
handwriting analysis, etc.

From my research on the subject, CSI often gets this kind of thing wrong. Criminal Minds is a superior show, and they work closely with the BAU. Their cases are more often than not culled from real-life cases.

archetypewriting
06-16-2008, 02:29 AM
Katherine Ramsland wrote a book called The Criminal Mind on just this sort of thing. It's a Writer's Digest book. I also like DP Lyle's stuff, though he's not quite what you're looking for right now...

waylander
06-16-2008, 02:34 AM
From my research on the subject, CSI often gets this kind of thing wrong. Criminal Minds is a superior show, and they work closely with the BAU. Their cases are more often than not culled from real-life cases.


interesting, but not terribly useful to the OP as Criminal Minds is not shown on UK TV

waylander
06-16-2008, 02:36 AM
Katherine Ramsland wrote a book called The Criminal Mind on just this sort of thing. It's a Writer's Digest book. I also like DP Lyle's stuff, though he's not quite what you're looking for right now...

Available from UK Amazon for just over a fiver plus 2.75 shipping
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/1582970793/ref=sr_1_olp_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213569328&sr=1-8

heyjude
06-16-2008, 06:04 PM
interesting, but not terribly useful to the OP as Criminal Minds is not shown on UK TV

Oops, sorry OP. You might be able to get this on Amazon as well.