Forensic Psychology and Criminal Profiling

By Marie Diaz-Cervo

The legal and justice system hired psychologists to help understand criminals, forensic psychologists are experts which are witnesses during especially criminal trials. They analyze crimes areas to put together criminal profiles which help to pinpoint the right suspects.
My case is a female serial killer name Aileen Wuornos, she was executed in 2002. She shot 7 men in Florida between 1989-1990, she was called “Damsel of Death”. A forensic psychologist could have been helpful because her issues with abandonment, her mother left her when she was very young. Her grandfather sexually and physically abuse her, even her father’s mental problem contributed to her behavior, he killed himself while in jail. Her first husband served 10 yrs prison sentence for sexual assault and the information was not revealed during her trial. Since her father committed suicide in jail, she could copy her father and be dangerous to self. Furthermore, the assessment is from her cation which shows she wanted to hurt others. Mental health clinicians which include forensic psychologist would be present to evaluate her. “Suicide is a leading cause of death of persons detained in jail and is also a significant mortality risk for long-term inmates serving their sentences in prison in addition to former offenders recently released from prison.” Binswanger et al., 2007; Hayes, (2012).

She is definitely dangerous to others based on her RAP sheet. therefore jail was not the answer. She was a great threat to society that psychologist and the justice system want to execute her. “In these circumstances, forensic psychologists are hired by both prosecution and defense counsel to provide their clinical view that an offender will likely re-offend (in the view supporting the prosecution) or that it is less clear or unlikely that an offender will re-offend (in the view supporting the defense).” McCarthy, C. J., DeLisi, M., Getzfeld, A. R., McCarthy, C. J., Moss-King, D. A., Mossler, R., Privitera, G. J., Spence, C., Walker, J. D., Weinberg, R. S., & Youssef-Morgan, C. M. (2016).
She was sentenced to death because she would likely kill people again which made her future dangerousness. She shot 7 people and her father was schizophrenic. The likeness of her commits more crimes was very high.

Profiling can be called by the FBI as “criminal investigative analysis”; prominent forensic psychologist name his work “investigative psychology”; and another person name his “crime action profiling.”
Despite the different names, all of these tactics share a common goal: to help investigators examine evidence from crime scenes and the victim and witness reports to develop an offender description. Winerman, L. (2004).

So many shows have characters for police psychology and they work closely with law enforcement to solve crimes. In the shows, forensic psychologist gets into the minds of the person who committed crimes. They interviewed the victim who escapes getting more information pertained to the crime.
Forensic psychologists need to be very careful to utilize the proper test and interventions. They have to treat prisoners with respect and not torture them. They can not force people to admit to something they did not do. They need to follow the code of ethics.

References:
McCarthy, C. J., DeLisi, M., Getzfeld, A. R., McCarthy, C. J., Moss-King, D. A., Mossler, R., Privitera, G. J., Spence, C., Walker, J. D., Weinberg, R. S., & Youssef-Morgan, C. M. (2016). Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

Sherwood, M. (Director), & Dudgeon, D. (Producer). (2001). Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?

Winerman, L. (2004). Criminal profiling: The reality behind the myth Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/criminal.aspx

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