Psychopathy and sadism: interpreting psychopathic and sadistic behavior in the crime scene

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Book Chapter

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Turvey, B. E. (2011). Psychopathy and sadism: Interpreting psychopathic and sadistic behavior in the crime scene. In B. E. Turvey (Ed.), Criminal profiling: An introduction to behavioural evidence analysis (447-479). Oxford, United Kingdom: Academic Press, Elsevier.

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2011 HERDC submission. FoR code: 160201

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Many criminal profilers are not concerned with, and often not qualified to perform, the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of criminal offenders. Why, then, should they concern themselves with the diagnostic constructs of psychopathy and sadism? The answer is that these two particular offender classifications are behaviorally determined. That is to say, the diagnosis of psychopathy or sadism is largely dependent on behavioral evidence. The criminal profiler, in some cases, will address behavioral patterns and crime scene characteristics that may incidentally be a part of a particular clinical diagnosis. An analogy would be that while criminal profilers may not be allowed to bake the forensic psychologist’s cake, they might show up in the kitchen with a few ingredients that the forensic psychologist can use (or at the very least should not ignore).

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