Profiling is a valuable and effective tool of investigating sexual offenders. The process examines the behavior, motive, lifestyle, appearance, personal background information, style of attack, and psychological traits of rapists to come up with a description of the most likely suspects. The method helps law enforcement how to investigate the crime and what kind of data to look for. This narrows down the list of suspects and focus on those individuals who have certain characteristics in relation on how the crime was carried out.
Profiling generally involves details of the suspect’s race, age, sex, employment history, beliefs, marital status, modus operandi, and preference of victims. It serves as a guideline for investigators how to identify would be rapist. Offender profiling may enable managers of serious criminal investigations to deploy available resources in a logical and structured manner which gives the greatest opportunity for a successful conclusion. (Manning, 2003, p. 9). American clinical psychologist Dr. Nicolas Groth conducted a research in 1979 to understand the motivations of sexual offenders for possible treatment.
He studied 500 rapists and the victims. The Groth study concluded with four types of rapists: Power Reassurance Rapist, Power Assertive Rapist, Anger Rapist, and Sadistic Rapist. Dr. Groth also found out that 55% of the offenders were power rapists, 40% anger rapists, and 5% sadistic rapists. A Power Reassurance or Gentleman rapist suffers from lack of self-confidence and only increases his self esteem by controlling others. His motive is sexual and believes that rape is consensual by fantasizing the woman is his girlfriend or date.
He keeps souvenirs from his victims to stimulate his fantasies and records his adventures in a diary. A rapist who is Power Assertive has superiority complex, proud to display his macho image and his competency as a man. He rationalizes that a woman is always attracted to him. He dresses well but physically and verbally abuses his victims. He uses his fists to control the woman, generally of his own race and age. His motive is conquest by dominating women out of depression. An Anger Rapist is unpredictable and employs excessive force to punish and degrade women.
He thinks women cannot be trusted and blames them for all the wrongness in his life. He is dangerous as he attacks spontaneously out of anger. His motive is not sexual but rage. More often he experienced physical and emotional abuse from his parents. He is either adopted or raised in foster care. Finally, a Sadistic Rapist finds erotic pleasure in the suffering and torment of his victims. He combines sex and aggression to fulfill his fantasies. This offender tortures or performs ritualistic sex acts using a knife on the women as their pain becomes his source of excitement.
As his motivation, he uses sex to punish and destroy. Death by asphyxiation. People die when they are deprived of oxygen especially when others intend to kill them through smothering, strangulation, and hanging. Furthermore certain individuals get suffocated while performing sexual self pleasure causing autoerotic death. For investigators, it is important to know the various indicators that may lead them to the evidence that someone died by asphyxiation intentionally or accidentally. A person is smothered when his external airways (nose and mouth) is blocked by a hand or pillow.
As evidence, the individual develops excessive internal bleeding or hemorrhaging in the brain, around the eyeballs, and inside the lungs. The eyeballs could be bulging with excess fluids. In addition, the victim has abrasions and contusions of the mouth, avulsion of teeth, and bite marks on the tongue. (Hendrickson, 2007, p. 29-6). All these show that the person’s body muscles struggle to breath. In manual strangulation, the killer uses his hands to choke the victim by the throat to stop the breathing process and the flow of blood to the brain rendering the individual unconscious causing instant death.
A person strangled has bruises around the neck by the attacker’s finger tips or fingernail scratches. The tongue turns blue with bite marks and locked between the teeth. There is internal bleeding around the eyes and under the skin of the neck. The victim has broken bones or cartilage damaging the larynx specifically the hyoid bone and thyroid cartilage that forms the Adam’s apple. Ligature strangulation has the same effect as manual strangulation. Instead of hands, ropes or cords are used to wrap around the victim’s neck pulled so tight to prevent blood circulation.
The obvious evidence is the mark of the rope or cord used that imprints a pattern and dimension of the ligature. More often the marks are horizontal across the neck just above the Adam’s apple. Scratches are also evident in the skin of the neck as the victim struggles to free himself. There is also internal bleeding in the neck muscles and brain. The cartilage of the windpipe and larynx could be fractured. The mark of bruises often tells about the attacker whether he is left or right handed, tall or short, and the kind of strength used.
Death by hanging is a special kind of ligature strangulation using gravity to tighten the rope or cord around the neck. The damage depends mostly on the height of the drop. If the drop is quick neck muscles are ruptured instantly and the spine dislocated. Evidence of hanging includes compression of the neck, markings of the rope around the neck, damaged larynx, broken hyoid bone, supply of blood is cut off to the brain, and the pupils of the eyes are dilated. Since the blood vessels are closed, the face of the victim is completely pale and swollen.
The lips and tongue turn blue with the tongue more often protrudes through the lips. An autoerotic death occurs during autoerotic behavior in which a device, apparatus, props, chemical or behavior that is engaged to enhance sexual stimulation causes death. (Cooley, 2005, Working Definition). Generally this happens to people particularly men who masturbates and in the process of excitement or orgasm loss the ability to breath and gasping for air. Sometimes the individual mixes fantasy, danger, and oxygen deprivation to enhance sexual satisfaction.
Common methods include sexual suffocation by covering the mouth and nose with cloth or plastic bag, neck compression by strangulation, and chest compression to stimulate sex. Usually a victim of autoerotic death is found in a secluded place alone near a mirror, naked or wearing a woman’s clothing, and has performed masturbation showed by the presence of semen in the scene. There are pornographic magazines and photos as well as x-rated videos and other sexual fantasy aids like artificial vaginas. Mistaken for suicide but there is no apparent suicide note.
Then there is the mechanical device that heightens sexual arousal. The machine is equipped with protective padding so that no bruises or abrasions will mark the person’s neck to avoid suspicion. Forcible Entry by Burglars. Burglary is one of the most common crimes that targets residential and commercial areas. These criminals practically employ a uniform method of entry to gain access to buildings and other structures. Most studies show that burglars’ first entry preference was the back door and the method crude. If the burglar encountered difficulties with the door, a nearby window served as a backup attack point.
The tools of choice to force open a door were screwdriver or crowbar. (O’Shea, 2004, p. 16, ¶2). Breaking doors (cutting door panels or destroying locks) is the number method of entry used by burglars because it is convenient to pass through compared to windows and other openings. They can easily move and transport stolen goods faster. They would feel lucky if the door is unlocked. Second, burglars would gain entry under false pretense like pretending to use the phone for emergency or looking for someone or disguising as a delivery man.
This technique erases suspicion that a theft or robbery is in progress and no one would notice. Third, burglars have master keys or expert in opening locks and doors using varied tools. This is done by professional burglars who have already experienced in the crime. The manner of entry is clean and smooth. People would not know if their houses have been forced opened since the door remains locked after the crime is committed. Fourth, burglars would simply knock at the door and pushed the person opening the door away. This approach uses some form of violence and could be dangerous.
More often these burglars are armed with a weapon. Fifth, if the doors are not safe for them burglars would go inside through the windows by destroying the lock. Passing through the windows is more difficult than the doors but determined burglars would do anything to get what they want. Sixth, if the house or building has no occupants burglars would break or cut the glass to unlock windows. Sometimes during stormy nights these criminals would use the method and take advantage of the bad weather to conceal their operations.
Knowing the methods of entry used by burglars and their modus operandi, investigators would be able to formulate effective crime prevention measures. Familiarization with the techniques of forcible entry, investigators would know what kind of evidence to look for and detect its origin or recreate the crime scene during investigation. Information about how the crime is committed is essential to solving the case and improved police response. Most burglary cases go undetected. The effective use of evidence is the key to catch burglars. The burglary scene proved to be the richest source of evidence.
It provided over 70% of the information used in burglary investigations. The more items uncovered, the greater the chances that a case undergoing investigation was successfully solved. (Coupe & Griffiths, 1996, p. 24). To be able to detect burglary and apprehend suspects, investigators must think and act like a burglar too by studying the characteristics of the crime. Knowing the criminal mind of a burglar would perhaps help investigators to predict, detect, and prevent farther occurrences of burglary, which causes victims financial and emotional losses.
References Manning, J. (2003). Serial Rape: Offender Profiling. New Zealand Police Liaison Officer, Sydney. Australian Institute of Criminology. Retrieved March 8, 207, from http://www. aic. gov. au/conferences/outlook97/manning. pdf Hendrickson, R. (2007). Forensic Emergency Medicine. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Retrieved March 8, 2007, from http://www. lww. com/static/docs/product/samplechapters/0-7817-4586-1_Chapter%2029. pdf Cooley, C. M. (2005). Autoerotic Deaths: Historical Perspectives and Investigative Considerations. Law Forensic.
Retrieved March 8, 2007, from http://www. law-forensic. com/autoerotic. htm O’Shea, T. C. PhD. (2004). Burglary in Unincorporated Mobile County, Alabama: A Problem Assessment. Center for Public Policy University of South Alabama. Retrieved March 8, 207, from http://www. southalabama. edu/cpp/Rural_Burglary. pdf Coupe, T. & Griffiths, M. (1996). Solving Residential Burglary. Crime Detection and Prevention Series Paper 77. Police Research Group: Crime Detection and Prevention Series. Retrieved March 8, 2007, from http://www. homeoffice. gov. uk/rds/prgpdfs/fcdps77. pdf