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Posted: October 27th, 2022

Criminal Profiling

Criminal Profiling

Sources should be less than 10 years old and if using statistical data, it should be less than 5 years old. Do not forget to use in-text citations to credit your sources.

Note that references used for your research need to be peer-reviewed/scholarly journals.

Use of newspapers, news magazines, and similar periodicals must be kept to a minimum and will be acceptable only as sources for supplementary information.

Examples of Possible Criminal Profiles:

David Berkowitz (son of sam)
Dennis Rader (BTK)
Ted Bundy
Jeffry Dahmer
Albert Fish
John Wayne Gacy Aileen Wuornos

Make sure you provide the following:

1. Give a thorough description of the criminal’s background (life story).

2. Utilize course material to explain the criminal’s behavior to include geographical mobility, victimology, modus operandi, and signature.

3. Discuss how psychological theories and research contributed to the apprehension, prosecution, understanding and/or treatment of this criminal.

The paper should be of high quality, free of spelling and grammatical errors, and of original work. Plagiarism will not be permitted and occurrences of it will result in the procedures outlined in the “Student Handbook.”

Criminal profiling plays a very important role in helping identify and understand the personality and behavior of a given criminal since it involves analyzing the characteristics of their past crimes (Devery, 2010). By undertaking criminal profiling of a given suspect, Devery argues that investigators and other law enforcement agencies are able to understand the characteristics of the offender and the likely cause or motivation of their actions. Psychologist believes that an individual’s behavior is a reflection of their personality, which implies that a criminal’s motivation or behavior to commit crime is a reflection of the offender’s psychological and personal characteristics (Mcgrath & Torres, 2012). Criminals such as serial murderers commit their crime by killing two or more victims in a systematic manner. This implies that serial murderers don’t kill their victims frequently but they tend to have an organized way of committing their crimes such that they are planned in detail to escape being caught (Aken, 2015). One of the most famous serial murders in the United States was Ted Bundy whose activities in the 1970s had a profound impact on how the American society thought and treated serial killers. This discussion aims to highlight the criminal profile of Ted Bundy to understand what could have been the psychological motivators of his murders.
The Early Life of Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy can be described as an American kidnaper, serial murderer and rapist whose activities in the 1970s led to the death of very many young women in different states within the United States (Williams, 2019). A background check on his early years of development shows that he had a very problematic childhood which gives a hint to a character that would later emerge as one of the most dangerous serial murderers in the American history. Interviews done on Bundy and his close friend’s show that he had a mischievous childhood (Williams, 2019). However, some Bundy characteristics are exhibited by other young children who never became murders which mean that understanding Bundy’s childhood would give some clues as to why he ended up becoming a serial killer.
Young Bundy was raised up in his grandparents homestead. Historical records show that his grandmother ailed from agoraphobia and depression while the grandfather had a very fierce temper (Holtzman, 2011). His grandfather’s tempers were so rampant that even the animas in the homestead knew his wrath. There is no clear record about Ted Bundy father but some experts suggests that his grandfather might have raped his mother to sire him through his ranging temper (Holtzman, 2011). According to Bundy’s confessions, he grew up believing that his grandparents were his own real parents while his mother was his sister (Williams, 2019). Though Ted Bundy insisted that he had a good relationship with his grandfather, experts believe that he must have undergone psychological and physical torture under the hands of his grandfather.
As a young boy, Bundy often displayed some disturbing and weird behaviors where according to his aunt; she once woke up to find him placing knives near where she was sleeping (Holtzman, 2011). Such behaviors are very disturbing especially when coming from a young boy. According to a psychiatrist, Dr. Dorothy Lewis, children displaying such characters tend to be traumatized after experiencing or witnessing extreme violence or extraordinary abuse among family members (Mcgrath & Torres, 2012). This explanation could be used to explain Bundy’s disturbing behavior at a young age.
As a child in school, Brandy failed to fit in well with is classmates. According to the accounts given by some of his classmates and teachers, Brandy was not a social child who preferred staying by him. For example, according to one of his former classmates, Brandy was often teased by other children for having speech impairment which often prevent him from keeping up with other boys scouts (Holtzman, 2011). Dr. Dorothy Lewis explains that children displaying such characters tend to be undergoing through some form of psychological challenges after experience some discomfort back home.
Finally, another childhood incident that gives clues as to why Bundy might have ended up becoming a serial killer is that he fell in love while studying at University of Washington to a pretty and wealthy young girl from California. The characteristics of this woman such as influence, class and money fascinated Bundy as it was his perfect description of a woman of his dreams (Williams, 2019). However, this relationship ended up in a breakup, a situation that is said to have devastated the young Bundy very much. As detectives came to find out, most of Bundy’s victims resembled or had the characteristics of his college girlfriends, a factor that also explains why all her victims were young and attractive girls (Williams, 2019).
Criminal Behavior
From a young age, Bundy had already started to display some criminal behaviors. According to one of his fellow boy scouts, Bundy had once tried to hit him from the back with a stick (Holtzman, 2011). Moreover, it also emerged that while In school, brandy had formed a habit of scaring people and he often used o dig small holes in the ground and place sticks and at some point one of the girls in the school feel, hurting her leg (Gray, 2010). These behaviors were indicative of a mischievous and criminal element in the character of Ted Bundy.
According to his close friends, Bundy was a huge fun of detective fiction movies especially those themed around murder and rape (Holtzman, 2011). Moreover, his love for watching violent pornographic materials was also well known and it is believed to have started from a very young age probably in his teenage years by accessing some of his father’s pornographic materials (Gray, 2010). He was often caught on several occasions by some of his classmates masturbating in the school toilets (Holtzman, 2011). These behaviors are indicative of an individual who had the capacity to engage in crime later in life.
Bundy began breaking the law while still in his youth where he occasionally shoplifted ski equipments given the fact that he was a very good skier (Gray, 2010). Moreover, it also documented that young Bundy had formed a habit of forging lift tickets with the aim of accessing the slopes without any pay (Gray, 2010). In his teenage years, Bundy attempted to steal a car with the punishment given for this attempted crème being a warning (Gray, 2010). Finally, Bundy had formed a habit of spying on strangers while still a young man and psychologist argues that such behaviors are indicative of a criminal mind especially bordering of sexual violence (Holtzman, 2011).
Though Bundy’s first recorded victim was in 1974, experts suspected that he had been involved in similar murders at a younger age. For instance, it is suspected that Ann Marie Burr, an eight year old girl living in his neighborhood was among his first victims as she disappeared while sleeping in her bedroom from her parent’s home (Holtzman, 2011). Detectives believe that Bundy must have been spying on her neighbors homes when he spotted the young girl sleeping alone in her bedroom, before he struck through a window. The manner in which the girl disappeared fell in Bundy’s modus operandi and signature of his crimes which convinced detectives that he must have been the person who kidnapped the young girl, though Bundy denied it.
Modus Operandi
Bundy’s modus operandi has been described to demonstrate an example of a very organized killer. According to the nature of crimes committed by Bundy, they appeared to be well calculated and planned where in most cases his victims were often picked in advance (Holtzman, 2011). Moreover, Brandy always remembers to carry with him the necessary tools that would assist him execute his crimes. At the same time, Brandy was able to cover up his tracks using different tactics like impersonation where he often posed a police officer to gain the trust and rue his targets (Holtzman, 2011). In addition, he was known to drag or trick his victims to join him in secluded places where he would later murder them by betraying their trust in him (Holtzman, 2011). The fact that he had very attractive and innocent appearance made it easy for him to lure young females into friendships as they would not suspect him to be a murderer.
Bundy often approached young women in open public places during daytime and to gain their trust, he would fake an injury on his legs or pretend to be a police officer (Gray, 2010). Moreover, the fact that he was handsome and charismatic in nature ensured that he could easily win the trust of his targets, who were purely young women. Once these women fell into his trap, he would lure them into his car where he would hit them at the back of their head with a blunt object, before rapping or killing them immediately (Gray, 2010). On completing his crimes, Bundy would later damp his victims in a secluded or isolated place where it would be difficult to locate them (Gray, 2010). These activities highlight the modus operandi used by Bundy to murder his victims.
Bundy used several signatures to mark his identity in al his victims but there are those that stood out. For instance, some of his victims had his teeth marks on them; a factor that would later lead to him being arrested (Furst, 2017). With some victims, he would place foreign objects on their genitals. In other victims, Bundy would shampoo their hair and also apply make ups on them before disposing the body (Furst, 2017). Finally, Bundy would occasionally break into the home off some of his victims at night and kidnap or murder them while they slept (Furst, 2017). These characteristics describes Bundy’s signature of committing his crimes.
According to Bundy’s confessions, he had killed approximately 36 women in 1970s but experts believe that this number could be higher (Furst, 2017). Unfortunately, nobody will ever establish the exact number of women who succumbed under his hands. Most of his victims were murdered using Bundy’s signature of murder where they were first raped before killing them. Around 1974, many young women around Seattle and Oregon started being reported as missing persons, with some eye witnesses saying that they had last seen some of the victims with a strong and handsome young man named Ted (Furst, 2017). To date, experts have been unable to establish the exact number of victims that fell in Bundy’s hands with some arguing that it was roughly100 women (Furst, 2017).
Geographical Mobility
Bundy’s recorded geographical mobility began in 1974 after he relocated to Utah to purse law (Miller, 2013). Upon his arrival, young women in the area started having mysterious disappearances. It was not until 1975 when police pulled over his car and found crowbars, burglary tools, handcuffs, ropes, and face masks, among others (Miller, 2013). The discovery of these items in his car led to his arrest and it’s from this point that police started to suspect him for the mysterious disappearances that had been happening in the area.
In 1975, Carol DaRonch alerted the authorities of the ordeal he had gone through under Bundy’s hands after she had survived his attacks (Miller, 2013). This arrest led to him being sentenced for 15 years in prison. Bundy would later escape from prison two times in 1977 with the first escape lasting only eight days while the second lasting several months. It is during the second escape that Bundy relocated to Tallahassee, Florida (Miller, 2013). In 1978, Bundy attacked four women in Florida leading to the death of two of them, and it gave the police a clue of his whereabouts (Miller, 2013). He was later arrested.
The trial of Bundy had gained a lot of media attention in 1979 especially given the manner in which his crimes had been conducted (Miller, 2013). He was convicted for the two murders in Florida where he was sentenced to death. However, he spent the next nine years appealing for his death sentence, where he took his appeal even to the highest court in the United States. By 1989, the court process had been complete with the courts upholding the initial death sentences, which means that he was executed in the same year ( Miller, 2013). This marked the end of Ted Bundy’s murders.
Psychological theories
Bundy’s well calculated and planned crimes has led to many crime experts suggesting that there is need to undertake a psychological background check on him to understand his criminal mind. The fact that Bundy displayed some anti-social tendencies, problem resolution skills, social competences, among others highlight that he had an intelligent but dangerous mind. According to research, organized criminals tend to be higher in their birth order where in most cases they are the oldest in their families (Mane, Jagtap, & Wavhal, 2011). Further studies also show that such criminals tend to have a very intelligent mind and their lives are often in order up to a certain point where they undergo through a series of stressful situations which twists their minds towards criminality (Mcgrath & Torres, 2012).
Looking at Bundy’s educational background, he was an intelligent person who had managed to attain university education and scored very highly to graduate with an honors degree in psychology (Miller, 2013). Moreover, some of his employers described as a very smart and aggressive character with very good problem solving skills (Miller, 2013). These traits support the idea that organized criminals tend to be intelligent individuals who have their lives going on well until a stressful situation triggers their criminality which is often buried in their subconscious mind.
While studying at University of Washington, Bundy fell in love to a pretty and wealthy young girl from California. The characteristics of this woman such as influence, class and money fascinated Bundy as it was his perfect description of a woman of his dreams (Williams, 2019). However, this relationship ended up in a breakup, a situation that is said to have devastated the young Bundy very much. As detectives came to find out, most of Bundy’s victims resembled or had the characteristics of his college girlfriends, a factor that also explains why all her victims were young and attractive girls (Williams, 2019). The stressful situation that Bundy had to endure in this breakup might have triggered an underlying psychological problem from his childhood which gave him the urge or desire to commit his crimes.
From the foregoing, psychologist believe that an individual’s behavior is a reflection of their personality, which implies that a criminal’s motivation or behavior to commit crime is a reflection of the offender’s psychological and personal characteristics. In this case, the fact that Bundy displayed some anti-social tendencies, problem resolution skills, social competences, among others skills highlight that he had an intelligent but drift towards criminality. The organized nature of Bundy’s crime is a demonstration of his intelligence and he was probably living a normal life until a stressful situation triggered an underlying mental condition picked up during his troubled childhood.

Aken, C. V. (2015). The Use of Criminal Profilers in the Prosecution of Serial Killers. Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science, 3(7), 127–149.
Devery, C. (2010). Criminal Profiling and Criminal Investigation. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 26(4), 393–409. doi: 10.1177/1043986210377108
Furst, G. (2017). Bundy, Ted. The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America: An Encylopedia. doi: 10.4135/9781452218427.n77
Gray, R. M. (2010). Psychopathy and the Will to Power: Ted Bundy and Dennis Rader. In S. Waller (Ed.), Serial Killers and Philosophy, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing
Holtzman, N. (2011). The Ted Bundy effect: Body symmetry and aversive personality traits. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi: 10.1037/e634112013-821
Mane, M., , Jagtap, P., & Wavhal, D. S. D. (2011). The Common Traits Among the Serial Killers From Criminal Profiling. Indian Journal of Applied Research, 4(2), 42–43. doi: 10.15373/2249555x/feb2014/66
Mcgrath, M., & Torres, A. (2012). Forensic Psychology, Forensic Psychiatry, and Criminal Profiling. Criminal Profiling, 101–120. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-385243-4.00004-6
Miller, W. (2013). 1977: Primary Document: FBI Internal Communications on Fugitive Ted Bundy. The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America: An Encylopedia. doi: 10.4135/9781452218427.n885
Turvey, B. (2019). Criminal Profiling: an introduction to behavioral evidence analysis. Place of publication not identified: ELSEVIER ACADEMIC Press.
Williams, D. J. (2019). Is Serial Sexual Homicide a Compulsion, Deviant Leisure, or Both? Revisiting the Case of Ted Bundy. Leisure Sciences, 1–19. doi: 10.1080/01490400.2019.1571967

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