Criminal profiling methods

Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Citation only.

Petherick, W. (2009). Criminal profiling methods. In W. Petherick (Ed.), Serial Crime: Theoretical and practical issues in behavioral profiling (pp. 67-108). Burlington, MA: Elsevier Academic Press.

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1st edition: 2006 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1602

© Copyright 2009, Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




As an investigative aid, criminal profiling has received a great deal of attention from academic audiences and popular culture (Petherick, 2003), and significant advances have been made in both practical and theoretical terms. Even though our collective knowledge about this area has grown, there is still much about the process that remains a mystery. For example, there is little acknowledgment or understanding of the logic or reasoning employed within the profiling process (see Chapter 2), or that there are indeed different methods employed within the profiling community. Of more concern is the fact that many practitioners continue to confuse these issues even in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence. Just as serious is when they practice one method but pass it off as another, or when they cannot distinguish between methods. This may not necessarily be a conscious act, but either way, it suggests a problem.

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