Taking A Look Into The Criminal Mind


Penalizing a criminal is critical to generate and sustain the fear of law, but the rate of multiplication of criminals in recent times is taking a huge toll on a nation’s judicial resources and capacities leading to delayed conviction especially in developing nations. Lack of evidences and witnesses further handicaps the judiciary in bringing the offenders to justice. An observance of judicial economy in conjunction with superior investigative analysis will facilitate the expedition of pending court cases. Effective investigation is about being able to align with the criminal’s thought process. It will involve taking a look into the criminal’s mind and a technique rooted in behavioural sciences.

Criminal profiling is one of the investigative tools being widely used by police agencies in narrowing the suspect pools. On effective application, it divulges information regarding the physical, emotional, psychological, habitual and vocational characteristics of the criminal. In other words, it is a scientific approach to deciphering the criminal mind. The criminal profiler must possess a scientific temper with an education in behavioural sciences.

It involves a detailed examination of the crime scene, the victims and the witnesses concerned by way of photographs, autopsy reports, witness statements and investigator’s reports. The modus operandi would reveal the habits, techniques and typical behavioural aspects of the perpetrator, while signature behaviour would provide insight to his psychological or emotional needs . Detailed information of the victim as the age, sex, race, family background, interests etc is equally pertinent to generating the criminal profile. The final inputs would include a visualization of the criminal act basis the witness statement; the current arrangement and layout of the crime scene Vis a Vis the original one; any evidence suggesting a behavioural characteristic of the offender. The output in the form of profile characteristics of the offender would largely be determined by the quality and quantity of the information gathered.

Despite being regarded as a scientific method devoid of any assumptions, the lack of empirical evidence has led the validity of its results to remain questionable. It can therefore be concluded that offenders committing a similar crime may have different motives altogether. It could be a personal gain or a gain for the respective race or community. A criminal mind is one which gravitates towards destructive means to achieve the goal which is a result of the individual’s conditioning right from childhood.