Forensic Psychology - Mrs. Clark: Henry Clay High School

Forensic Psychology
What is forensic psychology?
• Forensic psychology is the intersection
between psychology and the justice system.
• It involves understanding fundamental legal
principles, particularly with regard to
Expert witness testimony
Competence to stand trial
Child custody and visitation
Workplace discrimination
Determining insanity
Malingering determinations
Creating a criminal profile
Careers in Forensic Psychology
Requires a PhD or a PsyD in clinical or counseling psychology.
Few colleges offer joint Law/Psychology degrees in graduate school.
(UVA and UAZ)
Salaries within forensic psychology can range greatly depending
on the sector of employment
– Entry-level positions for those with a doctorate degree start
out between $60,000 and $70,000
– Average national salary for forensic psychologists in 2013 was
around $75,000 with a low-end range of around $35,000 and
a high-end range at around $124,000
• Individuals with a bachelor's or master's degree generally hold
the title of psychological assistant or psychological associate.
Starting level salaries for these positions generally start around
$35,000 or $40,000. Those in private practice who offer
consulting services typically earn more, often in the $85,000 to
$95,000 range
Criminal Profiling
• Profiling—one of the tasks often associated with
investigative psychology—requires sketching the
significant psychological and demographic features
of a person or persons.
• Broadly defined, investigative psychology includes
research and practice involving:
-Police Line-ups
-Risk Assessment
Criminal Profiling
• Criminal profiling is the process of identifying
personality traits, behavioral tendencies,
geographical location, and demographic or
biographical descriptors of an offender (or
offenders) based on crime scene
Criminal Profiling
• The primary goal of profiling is to narrow the
field of possible suspects.
• Profiling is also a form of prediction -- the
profiler tries to “predict” who the offender or
offenders might be and where and how the
next crime may occur.
Criminal Profiling
• Crime scene reflects the personality of the
• M.O. remains similar.
– Modus operandi/Mode of Operation
– Criminal’s patterns
• Signature will remain the same.
• Offender’s personality will not change.
Types of Murderers
• Serial Killers
– A minimum of three to four victims, with a "cooling off" period in
– The killer is usually a stranger to the victim — the murders appear
unconnected or random
• Mass Murderers
– The FBI defines mass murder as murdering four or more persons
during an event with no "cooling-off period" between the murders.
• A mass murder typically occurs in a single location where one
or more people kill several others. Many acts of mass murder
end with the perpetrator(s) dying by suicide or suicide by cop
Serial Killer Stats
The US has 76% of the world's Serial Killers
Europe, in second, has 17%
84% of American killers are Caucasian
16% are Black
Men make up at least 90%
65% of victims are female
89% of victims are Caucasian
44% of all killers start in their 20's
26% in their teens
24% in their 30's
Out of all the killers, 86% are heterosexual
The Organized Crime Scene
• Offense planned
• Victim a targeted
• Victim personalized
• Controlled conversation
• Crime scene reflects
overall control
• Demands submissive
• Restraints used
• Aggressive acts prior to
• Body hidden
• Weapon/evidence
• Victim or body
transported from scene
• Associated with
The Disorganized Crime Scene
Spontaneous offense
Victim or location known
Depersonalizes victim
Minimal conversation
Crime scene random and
• Sudden violence to victim
Minimal use of restraints
Sexual acts after death
Body left in view
Evidence/weapon often
• Body left at death scene
• Associated with Psychosis
Infamous Serial Killers
David Berkowitz AKA Son of Sam
• Known as the Son of Sam or the .44 Caliber Killer, David Berkowitz carried
out a series of shootings in the summer of 1976. Using a .44 caliber
Bulldog revolver, he shot 6 people dead and wounded 7 others. Berkowitz
sent a series of taunting letters to police and the press promising further
shootings, terrorizing the people of New York City. Eventually captured in
August 1977, Berkowitz confessed to all of the killings and was sentenced
to 25 years to life in prison for each murder, to be served consecutively and
is unlikely ever to be released.
Infamous Serial Killers
Dennis Rader AKA the BTK Killer
• Dennis Raider murdered 10 people in Sedgwick County, Wichita, Kansas
between 1974 and 1991. Obsessed with notoriety, Raider sent taunting
letters to police under the name BTK which stood for ‘Bind, Torture, Kill’.
Rader stalked his victims before breaking into their homes, then binded
their limbs before strangling them. Having disappeared in 1988, BTK
remerged 2005 when he sent a floppy disc to the press which was to be his
downfall. Tracing him via the floppy disc, Rader was arrested and charged
upon which he immediately confessed. He is serving 10 consecutive life
sentences with an earliest possible release date of February 26, 2180.
Infamous Serial Killers
Jeffery Dahmer
• Known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial
killer and sex offender who raped, murdered and dismembered 17 men
and boys between 1978 and 1991. He also committed necrophilia and ate
parts of his later victims, dismembering and cooking parts of their bodies
within his home. Dahmer was eventually caught after a would-be victim
managed to overpower him and alert police. In 1992 Dahmer was
convicted of 15 of the murders and sentenced to 15 terms of life
imprisonment. However just two years into his sentence he was beaten to
death by a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution.
Infamous Serial Killers
Ted Bundy
• One of the most widely known murderers of the 20th century, Ted Bundy
was an American serial killer and rapist who kidnapped or overpowered
numerous young women and girls during the 1970s. Bundy typically
approached his female victims in a public place and led them to secluded
areas where he would sexually assault and kill them. He decapitated at
least 12 victims and kept the severed heads in his apartment as trophies.
Repeatedly captured, he twice managed to escape from police and court
houses before going onto commit three further killings. Convicted of
multiple murders he sentenced to death. He was executed by the electric
chair in 1989.
Infamous Serial Killers
John Wayne Gacy AKA The Killer Clown
• John Wayne Gacy sexual assaulted and murdered 33 teenage boys and
young men in a series of killings between 1972 and 1978 in Chicago,
Illinois. He lured victims to his home with the promise of work or money
before murdering them by strangulation with a tourniquet . Gacy buried 26
of his victims in the crawl space under his home, before disposing of later
victims in the Des Plaines River. Convicted of 33 murders, Gacy was
sentenced to death. He spent 14 years on death row before he was
executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994.
Mass Murderers
•They give little thought or concern to inevitable
capture or death
•Commit crime in public places
•Motive is retaliatory; based in rejection, failure, and
loss of autonomy and ALWAYS EMOTIONAL
•Offense is an effort to regain a degree of control over
their lives
The research of Fox and Levin (2005) found that most mass murderers
have the following characteristics:
•Male (94.4 %)
•20 to 29 years of age (43.3 %)
•White (62.9 %)
•Have a relationship with the victim of some kind (family 39.4 %;
other 38.2 %)
Infamous Mass Murderers
Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold (Columbine HS)
• In 49 minutes on April 20th 1999, they killed 13 and injured 24
people inside their Colorado high school.
– Motive: Revenge killing
– Ended with double suicide
– Felt marginalized by their peers
Infamous Mass Murderers
• Charles Whitman
– August 1st, 1966
– Former marine climbed into the Tower on University of Texas, Austin
campus and killed 14 people at random, injured 31, shortly after killing
his wife and mother at home.
– Later discovered he had a tumor pushing onto his amygdala