Forensic Psychology Psych II Mrs. Hart Forensic Psychology Definition Forensic Psychology is the application of the science and profession of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. A forensic psychologist is someone who studies the actions and motives of criminals, and applies this research to other criminals.
Forensic Psychologist A forensic psychologist is asked to perform a very specific duty in each individual case, such as determining if a suspect is mentally competent to face charges. They usually deal with clients who are not there of their own free will. This can make assessment, diagnosis and treatment much more difficult, since some clients willfully resist attempts at help. Duties of a Forensic Psychologist
Some of the functions typically performed within forensic psychology include: Competency evaluations Sentencing recommendations Evaluations of the risk of reoffending Testimony as an expert witness Child custody evaluations Required Skills
Communication-must be able to speak comfortably with people and to be able to write well in order to produce reports. Observational skills- able to read body language Problem solving skills and science proficiency Legal knowledge/background Education Currently there is no single accepted training model for forensic psychologists. In most cases, however, forensic psychologists need a doctoral degree in psychology, usually in clinical or
counseling psychology. In most cases people interested in this field start by earning a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical psychology before earning some type of postdoctoral training and specialization in forensic psychology. Salary Most entry-level positions for those with a doctorate degree start out between $60,000 and $70,000 annually. The average national salary
for forensic psychologists in 2013 was around $75,000, with a low-end range of around $35,000 and a highend range at around $124,000. Salary 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. Benefits of a Career in Forensic Psychology The opportunity to help others Diverse career paths (i.e. criminal courts, consulting, government, education) Can be a challenging and rewarding career
Downsides of a Career in Forensic Psychology Requires a substantial time commitment (5-7 years of graduate study). Pay is usually low in relation to the amount of education and work required. Frustration, stress, and burnout can occur. Criminal Profiling In the last decade the use of criminal profiling as a means to help detect and capture criminals has become more common place during many a criminal investigation. Indeed criminal profiling
has also been recognized as one of the most useful techniques in offender profiling - a technique used to help define the behavior of an offender before they reach the height of their criminal career. Criminal Profiling Criminal profiling works on the principle that each and every criminal - regardless of the level or severity of their crime - will work to a certain set of values. These values - or signatures - are as individual as your own handwritten signature and once identified can be used to help law enforcement make a positive identification.
Profiling also takes in victimology. Victimology Victimology is the study of the victims in a number of crimes perpetrated by the same criminal. The idea of victimology is to identify similarities between each of the victims of a particular crime so that the profiler may be able to identify a definite pattern in the
criminal's approach to his crimes. Victimology Victimology looks at age, lifestyle, similarities in hair color and eye color, whether the victims have met or worked together in the past, or if they share a common interest. All of this information can be used to help the profiler build up an accurate picture of the offender. Predicting a Criminal's Next Move
Profiling is also used as a means of attempting to - and in most cases succeeding - to predict the next move of a criminal who may be on what is commonly referred to as a 'spree'. Offenders who are engaged in crime sprees often devolve from a lucid state of mind into a pathological state of frenzied criminality which can often result in assault or even murder. A profiler will try - where possible with the evidence already in hand - to predict what the offender may attempt to do next and may also try to communicate with them via the media. Predicting a Criminal's Next Move It should be said however that the normal everyday existence of a criminal profiler is nowhere nearly as
exciting as the lives of those portrayed on television. Profilers often spend a lot of their time working in conjunction with companies and large organizations offering psychological evaluations of their staff and this is most apparent among the variety of law enforcement agencies who are required to undergo evaluations on a regular basis. Forensic Evidence The most important element of any case against a suspected criminal is the forensic evidence. In the past, much was made of eye witness accounts of a crime but now as technology evolves the eye witness is the
evidence left at the scene of a crime by the perpetrator before he or she flees: here we look at how that evidence is used to build a case against the criminal that will pass jury muster. Fingerprint Evidence Fingerprints are unique to each and every one of us; they cannot be forged or copied and they cannot be altered to appear as someone elses. Many criminals tend to wear gloves to disguise their fingerprints in an attempt to throw the law
enforcement agencies off the scent as it were. But a great number of crimes that are committed are opportunistic, meaning that they have been committed on a spur of the moment and that fingerprints are often found. Fingerprint Evidence Fingerprint evidence is not only important as a means of identifying a suspect but also as a means of proving the
suspects presence at the scene of a crime especially if the scene of the crime is somewhere he or she may not have had any reason to be. Hair and Fibers Hairs are something that is unique to each of us and the presence of our hair at the scene of a crime can be a great source of evidence. Our hair also contains strands of our DNA (the unique genetic code that identifies each of us individually) and this DNA just like fingerprints
is something that cannot be duplicated or forged so the presence of such can only seek to prove that the individual in question was present. Fibers also are useful as a means of identification especially if the offender has been wearing a particular kind of shirt, jumper, coat etc which may have woven fibers or fabric that are unique to a particular brand or style. Computer Evidence Many crimes are now committed using computers, the Internet and computer technology much of which creates its own set of logs and transcripts that are hidden away for only the most expert to find. Those who commit computer crime such as online
banking fraud etc often find it difficult to dispose of their cyber trail even though for the most part they think that they have. Specialist computer experts forensic computer technicians can reconstitute wiped hard drives and reassemble erased files in order to build up a detailed picture of the suspects online activities. This is also useful if the suspect is considered to be involved in the production or distribution of child pornography. DNA Evidence DNA is a specific kind of evidence that cannot be altered, manipulated or forged in any way. Within each of us we have specific
DNA that when collected from a crime scene and that tested against a sample taken from the individual later nearly always matches. This genetic fingerprint is now widely recognized as one of the most accurate ways in which to identify a suspect after he or she has fled the scene of a crime. A serial killer is a person who murders three or more people over a period of more than 30 days, with a cooling off period between each murder, and whose
motivation for killing is largely based on psychological gratification. Often, a sexual element is involved with the killings. The murders may have been attempted or completed in a similar fashion and the victims may have had something in common; for example, occupation, race, appearance, sex or age group. Characteristics
Single, white males Intelligent Employment difficulties Unstable family history Often abandoned by their fathers and raised by their mothers Criminal, psychiatric and alcoholic histories Characteristics Abuse histories
High rates of suicide attempts Interested in voyeurism, fetishism and sadomasochistic pornography Have a history of inappropriate bed wetting Fascinated with fires Sadistic activity/torturing small animals Characteristics Psychosis is rarely noted among serial killers; the diagnosis usually is psychopath. They suffer from traits within a specific cluster of dysfunctional personality characteristics, those most commonly associated with Antisocial Personality Disorder or Dissocial Personality Disorder.
Psychopaths lack empathy and guilt, are egocentric and impulsive, and do not conform to social, moral and legal norms. They often follow a distinct set of rules which they have created for themselves. They appear to be normal and often quite charming - the mask of sanity. Types Of Serial Killers: Organized Above average intelligence Methodological
Lure victims Maintain control over the crime scene They follow their crimes in the media Usually socially adequate Types Of Serial Killers: Disorganized
Low intelligence Impulsive Murder when the opportunity arises They rarely dispose of the body, usually leaving the body where they found it. Introverted Prevalence of Serial Killers Approximately 400 serial killers in the U.S. in the past century with anywhere from 2,526 - 3,860 victims. 50-300 serial killers are
active at any point in time. Serial murders have increase over the past 30 years. 80% of the 400 of the past century have emerged since 1950 Motives VISIONARY MOTIVE TYPE: insane or psychotic, compelled to murder by entities such as the devil (devil mandated) or God
(God mandated). MISSION-ORIENTATED TYPE: displays no psychosis. They believe that they need to rid the world of what they consider immoral or unworthy. Often the victims are prostitutes, young women, gay men etc. Motives HEDONISTIC: derives pleasure from killing. Subtypes: lust, thrill and comfort
POWER/CONTROL TYPE: objective is to gain power/control over the victim. Often these killers are abused as children, which results in them feeling powerless and inadequate as adults. Many of these killers sexually abuse their victims to gain control over them, not for sexual gratification. MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS: these killers are often referred to as angels of death. They are often involved in fraud. Motives
LUST SERIAL KILLER: sex is the primary motive and fantasy plays a large role in their killings. Sexual gratification depends on the amount of torture and mutilation they perform on the victims. They tend to use weapons that require close contact with victim. THRILL KILLER: primary goal is to inflict pain or create terror in the victims. The victims often are strangers, who the killer may have stalked for a period of time. These killers can go long periods of time without killing. COMFORT (PROFIT): material gain and extravagant lifestyle are primary motives. The victims are usually close acquaintances or family members. Female serial killers are often this type. Jeffrey Dahmer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg-_wmXds_Q
(43 minutes) NATIONALITY: American NUMBER OF VICTIMS:17 REIGN OF TERROR: 1978-1991 MOTIVE: Necrophilia + Cannibalism FAVORED METHOD OF KILLING: Drugging +
Strangulation SENTENCE: 937 Years SCALE OF EVIL: 22 Jeffrey Dahmer Began dissecting animals as a child. Killed one man and then waited 10 years before he killed again . Was on probation for a year for exposing himself and masturbating publicly in front of two 12 year old boys. Spent time in gay bars, would strike up a conversation with men and then drug their drinks.
He did not kill these men, he was experimenting. He killed his second victim after having sex with him at a hotel. Dahmer was intoxicated and didnt remember killing him. Sex, companionship, and death were linked together in Dahmers head. Dahmer was arrested and charged with sexual assault and enticing a minor for immoral purposes. He served a week in jail and 5 years of probation. Jeffrey Dahmer Dahmer would drug his victims, strangle them and then have sex with their corpses.
Dahmer kept the body parts of his victims as souvenirs and would often cook and eat his victims. Dahmer began to use acid as a means of disposing of his victims bodies. He then used a refrigerator to preserve human meat, a freezer for human heads, a filing cabinet to store grotesque pictures and used pots to remove his victims flesh from their bones. One other victims escaped from Dahmers apartment. He was able to contact police which lead to the capture of Dahmer. Dahmer was convicted and was murdered by
a mentally disordered offender while in prison. David Ray Parker NATIONALITY: American NUMBER OF VICTIMS:14-60 REIGN OF TERROR: 1950s-1999 MOTIVE: Sadism, sex slavery
and murder FAVORED METHOD OF KILLING: Strangulation SENTENCE: 224 Years SCALE OF EVIL: 22 David Ray Parker David Ray Parker tortured and killed his victims in a homemade $100,000 torture chamber which he called his toy box which contained whips, chains, pulleys, straps, clamps, leg spreader bars, and surgical blades and saws. There were also numerous sex toys, torture implements, detailed diagrams showing different methods of inflicting pain, and an electronic generating device that was used in
torture, and a 12-volt motorized breast stretcher. His daughter was convicted of kidnapping one of his victims and his live-in girlfriend was known to the victims as mistress. Parker was caught when one of his victims escaped after being kidnapped and tortured for three days. He died 8 months after sentencing. Richard Chase NATIONALITY: American NUMBER OF VICTIMS:6 REIGN OF TERROR: One month in 1977 MOTIVE: Cannibalism,
drinking the victims blood and necrophilia. FAVORED METHOD OF KILLING: Shooting SENTENCE: Death SCALE OF EVIL: 17 Richard Chase Chase was a victim of abuse at the hands of his mother. He exhibited symptoms of the McDonald Triad (sociopathic behavior --animal cruelty, fire setting and persistent bedwetting). Chase captured, killed, and disemboweled various animals,
which he would then devour raw, and would also mix raw organs with Coca-Cola in a blender and consume it. Chase believed that by ingesting the animals it would prevent his heart from shrinking. Richard Chase He was involuntarily committed to a mental institution after being taken to the hospital for blood poisoning, which he contracted from injecting rabbits blood in to his veins. Chase was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was treated with psychotropic drugs. He was deemed to no longer be a threat to society and was released in 1967. After killing his second victim, who was pregnant, Chase had sex with her corpse, mutilated it, and bathed in the womens blood.
Chase engaged in necrophilia and cannibalism with all of his female victims. At his last crime scene, he kidnapped a 6 year old girl and later killed her, drank her blood and ate her organs before disposing her body at a local church. Richard Chase Chase was found guilty on 6 counts of first degree murder. The jury rejected the argument of not guilty by reason of insanity and was sentenced to death Chases fellow inmates apparently feared him after finding out the graphic and bizarre details of his crimes. They often tried to convince Chase to commit suicide. On December 26, 1980 Chase was found dead in his cell. He committed
suicide from ingesting a large amount of antidepressants, which he hoarded in his cell.
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