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©Knowledge Solutions, LLC 1997
The Impressions of a Man:
An Objective Forensic Guideline to Profiling
Violent Serial Sex Offenders

Brent E. Turvey
March, 1995

Note: Brent E. Turvey, MS is a full partner of Knowledge Solutions, LLC.
He can be reached for comment or consultation by contacting:
Knowledge Solutions; 1271 Washington Ave #274; San Leandro, CA; 94577-3646;
Phone (510) 483-6739; Email:

Author's Note: The following paper is done out of respect for, and in addition to, the important body of work generated by the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Also, the use of the generic term "he" to describe the violent serial sex offender is with the full awareness that a population of female serial offenders has been documented.



To date, no universally accepted typology for violent serial offenders exists. There is no common language that both the law enforcement community and the mental health community use to describe violent criminal behavior, or to discuss motive and means. Even the best classification efforts, produced by such groups of motivated and respected individuals as the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, have yet to be widely accepted. This is largely because everyone associated with the field has their own idea about the criminal mind, and none of the professionals involved like to be told how to think about criminal behavior by someone else.

The progeny of this unhappy relationship between law enforcement and mental health is a lack of mutual understanding and discarded professional respect on both sides of the fence. Not enough Psychologists and Psychiatrists have been to a crime scene, and not enough investigators have studied principles of psychology, psychopathology, and human behavior. Each could greatly benefit from the experiences of the other. More importantly, the successful investigation of a violent serial offender often takes skills from both disciplines.

Even though a straight-forward typology for violent serial offenders can be useful, this work does not presume to present such a typology at this time. This work will discuss some general concepts and guidelines to assist the investigator of violent serial sex crimes in profiling and in mentally navigating the inefficient coexistence between mental health and law enforcement.

The science and art of profiling crime scenes, and subsequently offenders, from physical and psychological evidence is key to the investigation of a violent serial sex crime for which there is no known perpetrator. The profiling method is based on Locard's Principle of Exchange; anyone who enters the scene both takes something of the scene with them and leaves something of themselves behind. However, profiling goes beyond a scientific reconstruction of a crime scene. The unintended psychological ramifications of Locard's Principle are powerful, but often ignored by even the most seasoned investigator. It has been demonstrated that what can be recovered at a crime scene, utilizing basic principles of psychology applied to the physical evidence, is an impression of the man who committed the crime (Burgess, et al.[2] & [3], Douglas, et al [5], & Hazelwood, et al., [10], [11], [12]) . That is the result of profiling. By the trained investigator, an impression can be lifted from a crime scene----residual psychological traces of the individual who created the world of that crime scene and lived in it for a given time. Ultimately, profiling the scene or scenes of a crime can give an investigator a more narrowed pool of suspects, insight into motive, and linkages of a given crime to other similar crimes. The opportunity to profile an unsolved crime is not to be ignored or wasted.



The first thing to consider in working up the profile of a violent serial sex offender is the crime scene. It is a living document of the offender's actions, and it is the basis for much of the objective behavioral interpretation (victimology provides objective and subjective interpretation, but is not less valuable). Therefore, it is critical to first preserve the crime scene and then process it, documenting the physical evidence and being attentive to the smallest detail. Any recovered physical evidence is grist for profiling. Even the smallest item, such as a red fiber from a car rug taken off the victim's body, can provide valuable insight.

Every agency or department has its own crime scene protocol, some better than others. The key concept to remember here is choosing an approach that provides what is needed from a given scene, and then sticking with it. As a result, processing a scene becomes habit, and then eventually it becomes second nature. Planned consistency is a good investigative practice. For specific examples, reference Crime Scene Investigation, by Henry Lee, Ph.D., et al.[16], Physical Evidence, by Henry Lee, PhD.[17], Practical Homicide Investigation, by Vernon Geberth[8], & Criminalistics: an Introduction to Forensic Science, by R. Saferstein[19].

Some suggestions- Always consider whether or not a scene is primary or secondary. If you have a body in an isolated location, conduct a spiral search pattern using the body as a starting point; look for the suspect's path of entrance/path of exit, and look for other bodies. Also, don't release the body until you absolutely have to. Notify the M.E. or Coroner, but give yourself some time to document and collect the evidence. You only get one shot at the pristine body in context, and once it's gone, that opportunity is lost forever. If time of death is a viable consideration, that can be reasonably established without removing the body from the scene. But don't get hung up on it. No M.E. worth their salt would give a time of death that isn't a block between 2-3 hours. Anything much more finite, with rare exceptions, is ego.

Once the physical evidence has been collected and a scientific reconstruction of the crime has been done, profiling can follow.



Profiling tends to rely heavily on varied offender typologies. Investigators put a series of questions to a crime scene and to an offender's behavior, and then discuss the answers in terms of a psychologically based typology. The major failure of most typologies of violent serial offenders is perspective. The offender is described in terms that express the investigator's understanding of the motivation behind offender's behavior. This can be very subjective and may be misleading to an investigative effort to understand an offender and link him to another crime.

Many investigators take psychology into their own hands and start from possible subjective motives, then pick and choose offender behaviors to explain their motive theories. That is backwards. Profiling does not mean coming up with a theory and then inserting an offender as best he fits.

Profiling means letting the physical evidence tell an investigator what behaviors occurred, then thinking about what was intended by the commission of those behaviors. By reconstructing a sense of motive from offender behavior patterns, the investigator can then reconstruct the offender's fantasy. This may help in the area of predicting patterns of future offender behavior.

Most investigators are chronically unable to overcome their own perspective when faced with one or more disturbing violent crime scenes. This is largely because they are not serial sex offenders. They do not think as offenders think. Marshall [18] puts a very fine point on it when he explains that what distinguishes rapists and non-rapists is the ability to perform the response of hostile aggression and sexual arousal at the same time. The violent serial offender can do this quite easily. Therefore, when we apply our own values and belief systems to the scene of a violent serial crime, we are necessarily at a loss for an explanation of behavior and fall back on easy, trite, and meaningless cliché explanations like, "crazy" and "sick". Offenders have their own intricate set of values. That is part of what defines a psychopath, according to Burgess et al.[3]--the lack of trust and commitment to a world of rules and negotiation. That is the perspective difference, and that is why many investigators are at a loss to explain motive in such cases, and are necessarily frustrated by the thought of attempting behavioral analysis.

In considering these factors, the most useful profile of a violent serial offender should include objective terms that best describe an offender's perspective and behavior towards the scene and towards the victim. Start first by thinking about what it is that they did at the scene. Describe offenders first by their behaviors. Then begin asking what desires those behaviors satisfy. Remember: violent serial sex offenders, in general, do not commit their crimes by accident. They are in possession, however elusive, of their own reasons for the behavior they act out with a victim.



The accepted method for profiling most crimes in law enforcement is prediction of behavior based on a known motive. In violent serial crimes, the motive is unknown to the investigator. It is not about money, and it is not about uncomplex interpersonal revenge. Therefore, conventional methods of behavior prediction fail. Profiling provides a solution by approaching the problem from the opposite direction. The unknown motive is explained in terms of known behavior.

For successful and objective profiling, there are two concepts that must be accepted by the investigator before walking through the door of understanding violent serial sex offender behavior. First, violent serial sex offenders have generally lived out their crime in deliberate fantasy many times before they realize it with an actual victim. Second, most behaviors satisfy a wish, need, or desire. Accepting these two basic concepts, an investigator can deduce what a violent serial offender wishes, needs, or desires from crime scene behavior.



The published research of the NCAVC over the past ten years has established that fantasy occurs well in advance of the crime in the cases of serial sex offenders, serial rapists, and serial sexual killers(i.e. [10],[11], & [12]). For most of society, fantasy is a means of escape or a means of entertainment. It is temporary and generally understood as unreal. For the violent serial sex offender, fantasy evolves into something compelling and complex until it becomes the central behavior of choice, rather than a brief, unrealized mental distraction.

Take for example Edward Wyatt, a convicted serial rapist from the central and western United States. At age 18, he was convicted of criminal trespassing for peeping through a neighbor's window. Several years later, he was convicted of the same offense. He was found to be carrying a buck knife at the time. Over the next several years, while married and starting a family, he moved a number of times and changed jobs with the same frequency. When he began his series of rapes, he used a buck knife as a means of threatening and controlling his victims. He would enter their houses when they were alone. He would use the knife to threaten them, and then tie them up with duct tape. Once they were bound and blindfolded, he would force them to submit to vaginal, anal, and then oral intercourse, in that order. All the while, he would script them, saying repeatedly, "Tell me how good I am," or "Beg me to fuck you in the ass, whore!". When he kidnapped 17 year old Allison Shaw, to his own house, Edward Wyatt escalated to audio-taping and photographing the ordeal. It lasted several hours and took place in the living room in front of the Wyatt family Christmas tree. Allison was let go and later identified Wyatt as her assailant. During an interview while incarcerated for that crime, Edward Wyatt explained that he did not know if he would have eventually started killing his victims. In 1991, after serving 9( years, Edward Wyatt was granted parole. Fourteen months later, he was charged with burglary. After getting a search warrant, police discovered a ski mask, a video camera, and a stool in the trunk of his car. A subsequent search of his home revealed videotapes of Edward committing other crimes such as masturbating over a ten-year old girl while she slept (Flynn, [7]).

This case demonstrates a clear escalation from fantasy to behavior. Note that the escalation of behavior keeps true to the flavor of the original fantasy. Edward Wyatt carried the knife with him from the beginning of his criminal career. The buck knife represented a wish, or fantasy, that was already present before the commission of the crimes, as the nature of his later crimes indicates. In the beginning, the knife was the link to an unrealized fantasy waiting in his mind for an opportunity. Later on, it was the means. It's consistent presence clearly suggests a deliberate escalation.

The crime itself is the fantasy planned and played out by the offender. The victim is subsequently cast and scripted. The victim is inserted into a role that the offender needs occupied for his fantasy to come true. The victim, then, is a reinforcing element. The victim serves as fortification to the fantasy. The escalation of fantasy and behavior requires constant reinforcement, and consequently a succession of victims. This kind of escalation has a great deal of momentum, and ultimately the burgeoning fantasy is the behavior of acting out the escalated fantasy. The fantasy becomes the motive and establishes the offender's signature [5].

Tandem escalation of fantasy and behavior itself serves a number of complex ends for the offender. The most basic values of the escalable fantasy to the offender are 1) provision of control 2) disassociation from the victim/crime to support the superficial personality veneer & 3) provision for later reenactment and fantasy fueling. This is where in the fantasy the trained investigator finds motive.

CONTROL--The fantasy provides an offender with a means of controlling a situation. As long as he can keep the world he creates with the victim true to his fantasy, he is in control.. Levin & Fox, [6], put it this way: "Domination unmitigated by guilt is a crucial element in serial crimes with a sexual theme. Not only does sadistic sex-- consensual or forcible --express the power of one person over another, but in serial homicides, murder enhances the killers sense of control over his victims." The offenders engage in behavior that establishes that they are unquestionably in control.

One such way to establish control is a fantasy theme of extended periods of victim degradation and devaluation. With a live victim, offenders can use scripting (i.e.-- repeating severe epithets to the victim, or simply getting them say how powerful the offender is, etc..), sex (i.e.-- forcing the victim to engage in painful anal sex then immediately fellate the offender), and torture (i.e.-- biting and ripping away nipples, or pre-mortem cutting). Some offenders do not feel that they have control until the victim is dead, so they kill the victim relatively early on. Once the victim is dead and under control, they proceed to freely master the corpse by such means as postmortem mutilation (such as numerous curiosity incisions made throughout the body, or removal of an appendage), defeminization (which includes severe damage or removal to the sexual areas of a female), and ritual displaying of the corpse (leaving the body in a purposeful, humiliating position, unclothed, in a place where it is certain to be discovered, perhaps by loved ones). In both cases, the behavior clearly establishes the offender's control over the victim. To the offender, the fantasy that is played out, which elicits fear and humiliation from the victim, establishes the dominance of the offender over the world he creates; the world of a victim in a crime scene.

Consider the case of Dayton Leroy Rogers of Portland, Oregon. By the late 1980s, Rogers is known to have killed eight women, all prostitutes. He had just married his first wife, when after an attack on a 15 year old girl with a knife, he was put into a sex offenders program. There, his fantasies grew and became more violent. He used narcotics, he drank heavily, he masturbated chronically, and he admits to having violent sexual bondage fantasies while engaging in intercourse with his second wife. He claims this heightened his sexual arousal. He would pick up prostitutes late at night and drive them to a remote location in Molalla forest. Once there, he would coerce them into letting him tie them up, but the nature of the bondage would be extreme and methodical. At some point he would engage in masturbatory acts with their feet. He would also torture them intermittently by slicing their feet, and biting or cutting their nipples. This would last until the early hours of the morning. According to some of the victims who escaped, he would regularly pause his assaults, leaving them in his truck to urinate outside, as he was consuming alcohol during the entire ordeal. Rogers would also script his victims by calling one of them "Maureen" after Maureen Ann Hodges, a favorite prostitute and eventual victim. Moreover, while Rogers had them tied up, tightly and painfully, he would threaten to strangle them, over and over, if they didn't verbally submit to his requests. Unless his victim could escape, he would kill them and dump their bodies in the forest. The decomposed bodies would not be found for some time, generally by hunters (King, [15]). Rogers would seek out his victims, take them to a location where he could gain control, and force them to play the object role in his fantasy.

Gilgun[9] finds the theme of control in sex offender fantasy so pertinent, she uses the classification "Controllers" in her typology continuum of child sex offenders. She cites one such offender as saying "I liked...the actual sex...Then the controlling, being in control of her life completely was a thrill for me. I thought about it more than I thought about my wife." Gilgun also found a recurrent theme of bargaining with "controllers," for example such statements to victims as "Do this[masturbate me] or you're not going out again!".

Behavior fuels the fantasy. Part of the fantasy is offender control or dominance, by any or all of the means mentioned above. The behavior of violent serial sex offenders clearly seeks to establish that control or dominance. It can be prescribed, among many other offender behaviors, by the location choice of the assault, by the script he uses with the victim, by weapons he may use or bring with him, by the mutilation he may inflict upon the victim, and so on. The offender does what he feels will keep him in control, and thereby fuels and reinforces his fantasy. Ultimate manifestation of the fantasy is offender behavior, which in turn reinforces the fantasy, which is again manifested in later behavior, which further reinforces the fantasy. This is an important concept to be mindful of in the development of a profile.

DISASSOCIATION-- To successfully blend in with society, many violent serial sex offenders develop a thick superficial veneer of personality that is entirely disassociated from their violent criminal behavior.

Disassociation is not an aberrant human characteristic. It is something that we all do to some extent, like the careful superficial behavior many individuals exhibit with their co-workers vs. their emotional transparency with close family. Violent serial sex offenders merely carry a human self-protective behavior to an unhealthy extreme.

Violent serial sex offenders are successful criminals. They are intelligent enough to avoid detection and persist in the repeated commission of their crimes. They live in our society with little or no leakage as to their true nature. Many are married or in a relationship. But it is disassociated.

Fantasy enables the disassociation. The more intricate the fantasy, the more objectified the victim, the more distance that is mentally created between the violent criminal behavior and the superficial veneer of personality. Mutilation of the victim and scripting of the victim that is dehumanizing also further the distance.

The true behavior of choice is successfully suppressed in social contexts by the offender's practiced superficiality. This may sound like indications of paraphilic fugue episodes or a second personality, but this is not the case. The behavior of the serial sex offender deliberately avoids detection, indicating that the offender knows full well that the behavior is not acceptable to society. The practiced superficiality of the violent serial offender in social contexts is deliberate, because it is practiced, and it does prevent leakage of the behavior of choice. Without that veneer of superficiality, provided for by the fantasy and the ritual, the violent serial offender would not be able to live in society and avoid detection for prolonged periods. There must be a disassociation from the crimes while in a social context.

Take for example Jerry Brudos of Salem, Oregon. Brudos began fantasizing about dressing up in women's clothes and kidnapping women for sexual purposes as an adolescent. He escalated to kidnapping a 15-year old girl at knife point when he was in his late teens. When he was married and starting a family, he procured his victims through various cons but also used a revolver for intimidation. He had a large collection of women's shoes and some women's lingerie. Brudos would get his victims to his garage, by force or con. There, he would force them to take off their clothes, put on some of the shoes and lingerie from his collection, and then tie them up. Jerry would masturbate while photographing them and himself, sometimes using mirrors rigged to his garage ceiling. Jerry would then strangle his victims. He tied them to heavy engine parts so that they would sink when he dropped them into the Willamette river. He is suspected of at least five similar murders including Jan Whitney, a college student who's car broke down, 19-year old Karen Ann Sprinkler, a freshman at Oregon State University, and Linda Dawn Salee. Police were issued a warrant and finally searched his home. Even though Jerry knew that they were coming to search home and garage and had several days notice, the police were still able to find evidence linking him directly to several of the murders. Among those possessions that Jerry chose not to remove from his garage were; his collection of photographs of the victims depicting their unwilling nudity and bondage in his garage, his collection of stolen footwear, the clothes of several of his victims, his collection of stolen lingerie, a molded paperweight made from the cast of one of the victims breasts. Also of note is that nude pictures of Ralphene Brudos, his wife, were found as well. All of this material facilitated his reenactment of the fantasy and subsequent offense in the absence of a victim. His wife Ralphene testified that he spent hours out in the garage, and got upset with her if she ever went in and violated his privacy. But to this day, as Jerry Brudos sits in the State Penitentiary in Salem, Oregon, he denies any and all knowledge of the crimes for which he was convicted. Despite his initial confession, claiming innocent by reason of insanity, then his recantation of that confession once the insanity plea was denied, he will not admit that he committed the crimes. Despite photos, despite eyewitness accounts, despite engine parts and rags found roped around the bodies of dead victims linked to his possession, despite a large amount of damning physical evidence, Jerry claims to be innocent.

This author found Jerry Brudos quite polite and engaging during interviews (Turvey, [20]). He bought me a Coke and eventually showed me some of his prison scars. He was generally soft spoken, and although he wouldn't discuss his crimes, we did discuss the O.J. Simpson case.

His social veneer is so practiced, so polished and so believable, that he has become a trusted inmate at the Oregon State Pen. He has been allowed to work on state criminal computer records, and he installed the penitentiary's cable system (he is an electrician by trade). He is also in charge of restocking and repairing the penitentiary vending machines. The Penitentiary staff have only good things to say about Jerry as an inmate, and clearly had an amount of trust for him. In fact Jerry's largest complaint to this author, regarding the conditions of his incarceration, was the fact that he was denied his technical journals. All despite the fact that he is a convicted serial killer. This is not to say that his conditions should have been more miserable given the severe nature of the crimes he committed. However, clearly there did not exist an atmosphere surrounding Jerry Brudos that he was dangerous whatsoever during my visits to the state pen. We met in an open room with many other inmates and visitors, sat across from each other at short knee-high tables, and the only supervision was one guard and some video-cameras.

Because of the terms of his incarceration, Jerry Brudos comes up for parole every two years. He has been in the Oregon State Penitentiary for twenty-five years.

The use of a practiced social veneer provided for Jerry's existence in marriage, and continues to provide for him in prison. It is so believable that the prison staff have very little fear of him and give him their trust. This deliberate, protective social veneer, provided for by an intense ritualistic fantasy life, which is easily disassociated from because of it's complexity, may yet serve to free Jerry Brudos.

REENACTMENT-- Each offense, each victim experience, is a part of the offender's collective fantasy. Both are, if only in part, relived before, during and after subsequent offenses. The behavioral aspect of the fantasy is cumulative in that respect.

Reenactment serves two very important purposes for offenders that investigators must not forget; 1) it feeds back into the fantasy which reinforces the behavior to escalate, and 2) it gives sexual pleasure.

Reenactment is largely a mental exercise for the offender, often physically facilitated by periods of ritually orchestrated masturbation with various victim related props. It reinforces the control aspect of itself, because the fantasy can be engaged at the whim of the offender. It is also in itself stimulating for the offender while being preparatory for future offenses.

Each of the violent serial sex offenders mentioned in this work provided for the later reenactment of their crimes in fantasy. Edward Wyatt progressed to the point where he photographed and audio-taped his deliberately scripted rape of Allison Shaw. He then videotaped his later offenses. Dayton Leroy Rogers kept some of his victims' clothing. He also committed his crimes in the same remote areas, so that with each progressive victim he could revisit the associative feelings elicited from previous victims; location type was an important part of his ritual. Jerry Brudos took photographs, and kept bags of his victim's clothes and shoes. Jerry also removed body parts, particularly a victim's foot which he kept in the freezer in his garage and a breast from which he cast a paperweight.

To mentally and sexually re-experience the emotional flavor from past episodes of victim degradation and dehumanization is the purpose of reenactment. It is also the time when offenders plan and "rehearse" escalatory behaviors. Offenders of violent serial sex crimes behave in a way that provides for reenactment. Investigators may gain insight into the elements of the crime that are the most stimulating to the offender by examining those providing behaviors closely. I.E.--examine still photographs taken by the offender for a reoccurrent body position, props such as shoes, or point of view.

It is not to be ignored that a great deal of fantasy behavior can be sexually motivated, because much of the fantasy behavior is sexual in nature. As will be discussed shortly, increased sexual arousal and offender satisfaction has been shown to be correlated with offender domination, victim resistance and victim degradation. The sexual stimulus of the behavior is intensified for the violent serial sex offender when coupled with those sadistic acts of brutality that elicit a fear/humiliation response from a victim.

The balance of fantasy behavior is rehearsed and deliberate. Reenactment is self-reinforcing for the violent serial offender. It can have both mental and physical expression. Disassociation and control also feed into the relationship between the offender and his crimes. As integral parts of the fantasy behavior, all three are a part of the central behavior of choice for violent serial sex offenders.



DSM-IV and the general population of the mental health community have accepted a fairly helpful definition of a psychopath or sociopath (these terms are interchangeable). Mostly it consists of a Chinese menu; fulfillment of 7 behaviors from a list of 10 known psychopathic behaviors equals a diagnosis of psychopathy. This is indeed a helpful laundry list of behaviors. However, many such lists are problematic and tend to be riddled with judgment and morale evaluation, often avoiding objectivity. For example, at a professional lecture on serial child molester/murderers, the author notes that respected Portland, Oregon psychologist Stanley Abrams used the phrase "evil" several times to describe offender behavior (Abrams, [1]).

The trained investigator should be able to understand that value judgments do not help, and can distract, a successful offender profile and subsequent investigation. Trained investigators and mental health should not harness an investigation to personal morals or belief systems. It will not solve the crime.

A golden calf of psychopathy check-lists and the DSM-III & IV is the idea that not only are psychopaths morally bereft, they are not capable of intimacy, and they are not capable of empathy, being entirely egocentric. The phrase "cold and calculating" is used over and over to describe violent serial sex offenders in court, many considered psychopaths, because this is what the mental health expert sees during a pretrial examination and then later in the courtroom. A cool, practiced disassociation from behavior.

This final section will discuss some of that untouchable reasoning.

Part of psychopathy is antisocial behavior, which means behavior against society. Everyone agrees that these offenders do not reason in a way acceptable to society. What must be established is how their alternative reasoning works. That is the only doorway to explaining fantasy and subsequently motive. Making a morale judgment may make investigators feel better, but it will not get investigators closer to an unknown perpetrator of a series of violent offenses.

The NCAVC has generated some impressive work on the characteristics of violent serial sex offenders. Of note is Burgess et al.,[2] which discusses organized and disorganized crime scenes left by sexual killers. Also, they showed evidence of the frequency of certain offender behaviors over time in Burgess et al., [3]. Burgess and her colleagues showed evidence from their population of violent sexual offenders that several characteristic offender behaviors were quite frequent, and most notably consistent at a high rate of frequency were (reported in over 80% of the sex offender population in the study);

1) Compulsive, chronic masturbation.

2) Constant daydreaming.

3) Social isolation.

4) More likely to force fellatio and anal intercourse upon their victims. Decrease in the frequency of vaginal intercourse over time.

5) Average to superior intelligence with 15% in the very superior range.

The first three behaviors were reported to be consistent from childhood to adulthood. All provide for and are conducive to a rich and intense fantasy life.

Also, the NCAVC has generated serial sex offender research[12] supporting the theory that the increase of force and sadism at each progressive crime scene is correlated positively with offenders who have more victims over a shorter period of time. Earlier research[11] on the same population of offenders indicated from offender reports that increased offender sexual pleasure and satisfaction were positively correlated with victim resistance and an increased duration of the crime. That data shows that the mean average duration of an offense increased from 36 minutes to 94 minutes when the victim resisted. The bottom line here for the investigator of violent serial sex offenders is this-- violent serial sex offenders have the most number of victims, over the shortest periods of time, and victim resistance evokes offender sexual arousal and subsequently offense duration is increased. Again, violent serial offenders commit more offenses in less time, and spend more time at the scene with the victim when the victim resists, because sexual arousal is increased. In such cases of victim resistance and increased arousal, it is noted that intercourse was delayed significantly by the offender.

EMPATHY-- The author had a very interesting experience in a parenting seminar during his final term as a psych major. At a round table discussion of the behavioral development of deviant children, the professor stated that we (the mental health community) can determine that a new stage in moral development has been reached by a child when he or she first begins to tease. Teasing requires perspective taking and empathy. The teaser must first assume the role of the teasee and understand what bothers them. Once they know what hurts, they can use it against them. Teasing behavior requires basic empathic skills and is a definite, measurable marker for a new stage of moral development.

Extending that logic; to receive any kind of sexual pleasure from a victim response such as humiliation, pain and submission, the offender must first understand what humiliates, frightens, and subordinates the victim. The violent serial offender does just that. He understands what is humiliating, what is degrading, and what is painful to the victim. He has already taken the viewpoint of the victim into full consideration, and understands it well. In fact he is dependent upon it. That is often how he is able to achieve and maintain control. That is often where he derives his pleasure and satisfaction. That is generally the only way he can fulfill the fantasy; he knows how to behave to get what he wants, needs, and desire from his victims.

This is further evidence that violent serial sex offenders have a very clear understanding of the consequences of their behavior towards the victim. They understand that the victim is humiliated and in pain, and in fact that is part of why they are doing it. They feel aroused and powerful when they are assured by victim responses denoting a state of submission and painful humiliation. To be aroused by the pain and domination of the victim, the offender first must understand that the victim is in pain and is dominated, and to successfully elicit those victim responses the offender must understand what behavior on their own causes it. Their behavior is ultimately self serving, but not born of a single perspective. Their behavior cannot, therefore, be described as purely egocentric. The violent serial sex offender uses non-egocentric, perspective taking thought processes to arrive at his egocentric pleasure.

Violent serial offenders do not lack empathy. They often depend upon it for successful engagement of their fantasy. It makes them feel good to know that they have made their victims feel bad. That is the essence of the violent serial offender's point of view. Egocentric entitlement coupled with a necessary empathy.

INTIMACY-- Intimacy is a great concern for most violent serial sex offenders. As Marshall[18] points out, sex offenders probably desire intimacy but lack the skills to achieve it in a healthy form.

What offender behavior suggests is a sort of one way intimacy where the victim is physically revealed to the offender, and completely under his control. Through this forced opening of physical intimacy, the offender may perceive an emotional and spiritual intimacy as well. Yet the offender takes pleasure in either the notion that intimacy is being forced from the victim, or the fantasy that the victim really has a desire for him to experience her intimately. He has revealed the victim in a private, intimate and violent way, devouring the victim's own sense of personal security and control. Though incredibly unhealthy and destructive, this is how the violent serial offender achieves intimacy. That is how he understands it; through his violent criminally sexual behavior.

Consider a stanza of poetry written from that perspective, which was downloaded from the Internet, address: (Al Billings), by "Hakim Bey" ---

"Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemal mss. Later they will become to realize that for a few moments they believed in something extraordinary, & will perhaps be driven as a result to seek out some more intense mode of existence.

Bolt up a brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private), where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc.

Go naked for a sign."

The brilliant psychopath who wrote this passage believes in creation by control via sexual domination. In the act of controlling something, dominating it and forcing it (a kidnapped victim) to submit, something spiritual will happen. Something will become. The fantasy being that sexual domination equals the re-creation of the victim, and the enlightenment will follow that amounts to the offender giving life to something that was before lifeless. The offender sees himself as a god (the author is a member of the LOKI Society), making from every victim a new source of energy. In fact, from this individual's perspective, the offender is doing the victim a large favor. Each victim would then reinforce this fantasy. Again, the victim is the object for offender, selected here in generally non-random ways for scripting into a complex fantasy of spiritual and artistic metamorphosis.

Some might theorize that the inclusion of the victim in the fantasy of the offender suggests a desire to express intimate feelings on the offender's part. He is, after all, sharing with the victim his most private desires and personal feelings. However, the investigator must be aware that the victim remains an object to the fantasy. Not an equal partner.

The offender forces an unwilling victim into a role as the object of his fantasy. The offender gets what he wants from his object, and then disposes of it. Disposal can mean dumping the victim on the side of the road, badly in need of medical attention, or it can mean ligature strangulation of the victim's throat to the point of death and ritual display of the broken body on the front lawn.



Only when the crime scene is documented thoroughly and then the evidence collected properly can an objective profile of the violent serial sex offender begin. This means all scenes and relationships to scenes can be established or dismissed, and that all behavioral avenues can be explored by the trained investigator without barrier. The physical, scientific reconstruction should be the starting point of the offender profile, and all elements of the profile should match the realities of the physical evidence. This grounding of the profile in physical evidence is essential for objectivity.

Most investigators do not bother to or do not have the training to overcome their own perspective towards violent serial sex crimes. Subsequently, crime scene and behavioral analysis can be misleading and destructive to the investigation, yielding few clues from sparse evidence and providing little true insight into the genuine nature of the crime and the criminal mind responsible for it. Therefore, investigators should be trained to profile the offender and the crime scene in terms that are objective to the offender's perspective. Deduce motivation from behavior, rather than the other way around. Do not marry into one person's idea about the crime; investigate the nature of the offender's behavior in relation to all physical elements of the crime.

Violent serial sex offenders have an alternative morality. It is by definition antisocial. The question for the investigator is not whether or not behavior is right or wrong, or even good or bad. Once a victim or series of victims has been confirmed, morality ceases to be the most important issue. The only important issue at this point is how do we capture or neutralize the individual responsible.

The question for the trained investigator is what insight does the offender's behavior provide into his own morality, and how does that lend itself to motive and signature. What does the behavior say about what the offender has done in the past, is doing in the present, and will do in the future.

Violent serial sex offenders fantasize about their crime well before committing them. The fantasy has value to the offender because it provides for the control he needs/wants/desires, it supports the superficial nature of the offender's social personality, and it provides for later reenactment of the offense while fueling and rebuilding onto the original fantasy. From the behavioral elements of fantasy, motive can be deduced, and signature can be identified. The pool of suspects will necessarily shrink, and elements of behavior may become more predictable.

Clearly, the investigators who must undertake the task of solving such cases cannot be from either of the traditional schools of thought. Investigators cannot be strictly from law enforcement because they lack the psychological and sociological training regarding human behavior. Investigators cannot be strictly from the mental health community because those lack insight into the true nature of these type of crime scenes and advanced training in the forensic sciences. Also, professional jealousy and territoriality tend to keep both sides from consulting with, or truly communicating with each other. An investigator must be devoid of any weighty investment in the ends of either discipline to keep objective. An investigator has but one duty, and that is to the victim. Solve the crime. Apprehend the offender. Any other social, political or organizational consideration must take a far second.

The successful investigation of a violent serial sex offender, due to the lack of obvious suspects and the extreme nature of fantasy behavior displayed by the offender, involves extensive behavioral profiling. Profiling takes strong skills from both the mental health and law enforcement community. In light of the rising number of serial crimes and the intense human suffering involved, the need for more objective profiling guidelines, cooperation and communication between both fields is evident.



1)Abrams, Stanley, PhD., "Anatomy of Apprehending a Murderer," Issues in Public Safety lecture series, Portland State University campus, March 28, 1994

2)Burgess, A. & Douglas, J. & D'Agostino, R. & Hartman, C., & Ressler, R., "Sexual Killers and Their Victims: Identifying Patterns Through Crime Scene Analysis," Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 1, No.3, Sept. 1986, pp.288-308

3)Burgess, A. & Douglas, J. & Hartman, C., & McCormack, A. & Ressler, R., "Sexual Homicide: A Motivational Model," Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 1, No.3, Sept. 1986, pp.251-272

4)De Burger, J., & Holmes, R., Serial Murder, Sage Publications, 1988

5)Douglas, J. & Munn, C., "Violent Crime Scene Analysis: Modus Operandi, Signature, and Staging," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, February 1992, pp. 1-10

6)Fox, Jr. & Levin, J., Mass Murder: America's Growing Menace, Plenum Press, 1985

7)Flynn, Kevin, The Unmasking: Married to a Rapist, The Free Press, 1993

8)Geberth, Vernon J., Practical Homicide Investigation, 2nd Edition, CRC Press, 1993

9)Gilgun, Prof. Jane, "Avengers, Conquerors, Playmates & Lovers: A Continuum of Roles Played by Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse," Unpublished Article, Author's collection, 1993

10)Hazelwood, R. & Warren, J., "The Criminal Behavior of the Serial Rapist," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, February 1990, pp. 11-16

11)Hazelwood, R. & Reboussin, R. & Warren, J., "Serial Rape: Correlates of Increased Aggression and the Relationship of Offender Pleasure to Victim Resistance," Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol.4, No.1, March 1989, pp. 65-78

12)Hazelwood, R. & Reboussin, R. & Warren, J. & Wright, J., "Prediction of Rapist Type and Violence from Verbal, Physical, and sexual scales," Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 6, No.1, March, 1991, pp.55-67

13)Hickey, Eric W., Serial Murderers and Their Victims, Brooks/Cole Publishing Co., 1991

14)Holmes, Ronald M., Sex Crimes, Sage Publications, 1991

15)King, Gary C., Blood Lust: Portrait of a Serial Sex Killer, Penguin Books Ltd., 1992

16)Lee, Dr. Henry C., Ed., Crime Scene Investigation, Central Police University Press, Taoyuan, Taiwan, R.O.C., 1994

17)Lee, Dr. Henry C., Ed., Physical Evidence, Magnani & McCormick, Inc., Enfield, CT, 1995

18)Marshall, William L., "Intimacy, Loneliness and Sexual Offenders", Behavior Research Theory, Vol. 27, No.5, 1989, pp.491-503

19)Safertstein, Richard, Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, 4th ed., Prentice Hall, 1990

20)Turvey, Brent E., [Interview with Jerome H. Brudos] Author's Notes, Unpublished, Oregon State Penitentiary, June 7, 1994

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