Over the years, many famous cases have demonstrated how criminal profiling can be used to assist with an investigation. For this assignment, complete the following:
Choose any one case such as the following well-known criminal cases:
The case of David Berkowitz (Son of Sam)
The case of Ted Bundy
Using the module readings, Argosy University online library resources, and Internet resources, research the chosen case. Respond to the following questions:
Describe the information that was gathered about the perpetrator or offender. This could include the profiler’s conclusions regarding the offender’s mental, emotional, and personality characteristics as well as age, gender, ethnicity, and geographic location.
Describe what sources the investigator used, what patterns of behavior were identified, and what information was given to law enforcement. State if the information that law enforcement received is correct.
Analyze if the profile was accurate and if it did assist or hinder in the investigation.
Explain what factors led to the accuracy or inaccuracy of the profile.
Analysis of a Profiling Case
In law, criminal profiling is used to determine and identify likely suspects and analyze their patterns to predict future offenses or victims. Profiling is one of the important tools used by the government to help in curbing the spread of criminal activities in a region. One of the most popular cases in the history that used this tool is the David Richard (son of Sam) case. David Richard is an American serial killer convicted of a series of shooting attacks in New York. Son of Sam as he is popularly known killed six victims and wounded seven others in the summer of 1977. This essay will attempt to provide the information that was used to profile his case.
David Richard was originally born as Richard David Falco to a businessman by the name Joseph Kleinman and a waitress by the name of Betty Broder. However, David did not get the chance to grow up in the presence of his biological parents as he was given up for adoption shortly after birth. He was adopted by Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz, and that was the moment that he was renamed to David Richard Berkowitz (Brody, 2013). According to his father, David is a Caucasian male who was well groomed, muscular and who stood 5’8’’ tall. David spent most of his childhood in Soundview, and the area consisted of Jewish and Italian families.
The largest percentage of the information provided in this case was provided by the survivors. David was nicknamed .44 caliber killer due to the fact that he carried most of his killings using a .44 Charter Arms Bulldog revolver. Moreover, according to the survivors, David was mostly interested in single women who were alone at the time of the attack, and mostly they would have shoulder –length dark hair and tended to be of college age. Moreover, David also portrayed a behavioral pattern of surprising his victims as he shot them with his gun. Although he loathed the way the media and the police portrayed him, he secretly liked his popularity as he terrorized New York and the surrounding cities. The information sent to the police is correct and can be relied on to help predict his next victim and criminal activity.
The profile was accurate considering that all the information came from reliable sources mostly the survivors. Despite the fact that the information provided by the survivors was accurate, not all information that came to the police was correct, and the police spent months following false leads (Sarteschi, 2016). However, after months of collection and analysis of data, the police eventually were able to come up with a profile which eventually led to his arrest and prosecution.
During all this time, the accuracy of the data provided was enhanced by the letters he used to send to the police to taunt and goad them as well as distracting the media outfit. However, there was a close correlation between the information provided by each survivor as their descriptions of the attacker were almost the same. Moreover, through these descriptions, the police force was able to have a clear picture of the attacker and hence narrow their search which in turn helped in his arrest. Interestingly, on his arrest, David asked the law enforcers why it took them so long to get to him. A car parking ticket was the last piece of evidence that was needed to put David behind bars.
Brody, P. (2013). Son of Sam: A Biography of David Berkowitz. BookCaps Study Guides.
Sarteschi, C. M. (2016). Public Interest in Mass and Serial Murder. In Mass and Serial Murder in America , (pp. 5-15). Springer International Publishing.