The Cops are Profiling Child Abuse Victims

Seanchaidh

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Based on what I've heard profiling is charitably educated guesswork based on the law of averages within the confines of the case they're on. So a step up from pure quackery like phrenology but more in line with throwing darts at the idea board.
The absolute best it can possibly do in an ideal situation will only ever be as good as insurance actuaries predicting which clients will suffer losses and make claims. This is dubious enough on its own.
 

Gergar12

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That's why we need to defund the police, DEA, FBI, CIA, and DOD.

Edit: Oh, and Fred Hampton was a national hero.
 
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Dirty Hipsters

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Based on what I've heard profiling is charitably educated guesswork based on the law of averages within the confines of the case they're on. So a step up from pure quackery like phrenology but more in line with throwing darts at the idea board.
FBI profiling of serial killers can be scary accurate sometimes. For example their profile of The Gainesville Ripper (Danny Rolling) was absolutely perfect. The problem is, any profile is still ultimately not going to be accurate enough to point to a specific person, and will apply to a not insignificant number of the population. I don't think that profiling actually helps catch criminals very often, it's more like they get caught and then it turns out that the profile was highly accurate.

It also doesn't help that cops often ignore criminal profiles in favor of their gut feeling, or because they already fingered someone for the crime and want to close the case quickly regardless of the fact they don't fit the profile at all (which also happened in the Gainesville Ripper case).
 

Agema

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FBI profiling of serial killers can be scary accurate sometimes. For example their profile of The Gainesville Ripper (Danny Rolling) was absolutely perfect. The problem is, any profile is still ultimately not going to be accurate enough to point to a specific person, and will apply to a not insignificant number of the population. I don't think that profiling actually helps catch criminals very often, it's more like they get caught and then it turns out that the profile was highly accurate.
It's tricky. It's thought that there might be something of a disconnect between the claims and actuality of criminal profilers. I think you're right, that some profiles have been very accurate. However, it's also true that they haven't actually turned out particularly useful at helping the police catch criminals.

It also doesn't help that cops often ignore criminal profiles in favor of their gut feeling, or because they already fingered someone for the crime and want to close the case quickly regardless of the fact they don't fit the profile at all (which also happened in the Gainesville Ripper case).
I also recall some incidents in the UK (sort of 80s - 90s) when I think this sort of psychological profiling was at its height: it was more like a "fad" with undue weight placed on it, and it caused some major investigation errors. Certainly, the police deciding they've got the right guy and going at them full steam with tunnel vision has ended in plenty of injustice: largely that the police just liked finding the local weirdo and trying to make the case fit.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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largely that the police just liked finding the local weirdo and trying to make the case fit.
It's profoundly sad how often this happens.