Main | Campus | Library | Bookstore | Resources | Consultation | New | Contact | Search
value of an interpretation is judged by how well it accounts for
if contradicted by the facts, it must be abandoned."
Peter Novick, That Noble Dream
This is an archive of criminal profiles and related forensic reports collected from the public record, gathered from the media and publicly available court documents.
A separate archive of criminal profiles and related forensic reports from the case files of Brent E. Turvey is available here: Turvey cases.
No confidential case material has been or will be archived in this section.
|Case||Profiler||Source & Comments|
|Joyce Wishart murder||FDLE||Juarez, A.
"Police release profile of Wishart slaying suspect," Bradenton
Herald, April 30, 2004
|Prince George’s County - serial arsonist profile||BATF||Friess, J.
fire linked to serial arsonist," The Gazette, December
|Green River Killer||John Douglas||Wilson, D.
can't recall why he said letter wasn't from Green River killer,"
Seattle Times, November 26, 2003
|Pack n' Pay Poisoner - Durban, NZ||Micki Pistorious||Williams,
vision of the Pick 'n Pay poisoner," Independent Online, July
|Pack n' Pay Poisoner - Durban, NZ||Raymond van Staden||Singh, A.
African supermarket poisoner could be ex-employee," New Zealand
Herald, July 8, 2003
|Serial Rapist - Miami, FL||FBI BAU||Marrero, D.
intensify hunt for rapist in Miami," Sun Sentinel, June
|Baton Rouge Serial Killer; Derrick Todd Lee||FBI BAU; Maurice Godwin; Brent Turvey||THE FBI
Derrick Todd Lee was arrested on May 27th, 2003; the FBI provided a profile to the task force in this case in the Fall of 2002, and it was amended in January of 2003.
The FBI profile in this case was confusing, internally conflicted, borrowed heavily of concepts from Robert Hare's Without Conscience: Then Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us without reference, and ultimately inaccurate.
It suggested that these killings were the work of a white male, between 25-35, who was a social outcast, "unsophisticated", did not get along well with women, was "awkward" socially around women, "impulsive"/ quick to temper and looking to "retaliate", and would have "bragged" to friends and co-workers about non-existent relationships. If in a relationship, he would be abusive and cold.
Derrick Todd Lee was in fact described as a religious 34 year old black male with an ex-wife and two kids who was also known as smooth, handsome and charming. He was also described as an outgoing "Casanova", who frequented the bars in St. Francisville and Solitude, wearing a cowboy hat, snakeskin boots, and a different girlfriend every night. He lived with a girlfriend while separated from his wife, but did not move from the area.
For more info, see: Naanes, M. "The two sides of Derrick Todd Lee," The Advocate, June 22, 2003
Goudelocke, R. "On the trail of a killer: 'Geographic profiler'
As quoted in the articles above, Maurice Godwin predicted that there was "about a 50 percent probability that the serial killer lives or works in an area centered on South Acadian Thruway and Interstate 10."
However, Derrick Lee was not "anchored" in the "comfort zone" where Godwin predicted. Lee was in fact living in St. Francisville, LA; 30 miles north of Baton Rouge, not along I-10 and not to the south. He worked, lived, and frequented a Chevron station to refuel and drink beer on rural La. 61 near his home in St. Francisville.
Three things evidence the limitations and ultimate failure of Godwin's methodology here: Firstly, this method of predicting anchor points assumes a stationary offender with limited mobility - it does not work with offenders who travel for work or change jobs frequently. Secondly, it assumes that there are no other offenses to be linked in - if there are other unknown offenses it can change the outcome. None of these limitations were expressed to the media by Godwin. In fact he was, and paradoxically remains, quite insistant as to the absolute accuracy of his methods and opinions (Godwin went so far as to accuse the FBI of "dancing around so that when the case is solved they can fit him to the profile." This is a very strong accusation, and very ironic coming from Godwin. When one offers a 50/50 probability for the accuracy of their opinions, as Godwin has, I would agree that they are doing precisely that). Finally, the failure of this methodlogy to accurately predict an anchor point for the offender in this case is evident in the fact that he was all but permanently anchored outside of the wedge in the St. Francisville area. Being on the edge of the wedge or near the wedge is not a success; it is a failure. This because geoprofiling is a tool designed to help law enforcement prioritize suspects. Subsequently, their efforts would necessarily have been confined to the interior of the wedge, not its exterior or edge. Thankfully, others not confined to this type of thinking were involved, or we'd still be looking for the offender with no near hope of finding them.
Behavioral Evidence Analysis
Derrick Lee’s list of known or suspected victims now stands at 10 in the Baton Rouge (including Addis & Zachary) and Lafayette (including Breaux Bridge) areas. All of the attack locations are on or within a few minutes driving distance of I-10.
In the vein of investigative relevance, I suggested back in December, 2002 that the offender appeared to have a history of burglary from his offense behavior, and that investigators should examine past solved and unsolved burglary cases for linkage.
Derrick Lee was arrested in November 1992 for burglary, and arrested again in July 1997 for burglary, criminal trespassing and two counts of being a peeping Tom.
|Beltway Sniper - DC||John Baeza, Pat Brown, Bo Dietl, James Fox, Jack Levin, Robert Ressler, Clint Van Zandt, Chris Witcomb||Farhi, P. & Weeks, L.
the Sniper, TV Profilers Missed Their Mark
Washington Post, October 25, 2002
Note: John Baeza made no comments regarding any profile of the DC sniper to the media. He wrote the Post for a retraction and received it.
Not mentioned in the article is the general accuracy of those belonging to the more evidence based/ deductive schools of thought.
Here are some of the inferences and
speculations offered about the DC sniper prior to the arrest of the
|Mailbox Bomber - Des Moines, IW||Gregg McCrary; Clint Van Zandt||Lee, H.K.
"Pitfalls of Profiling: Conjuring up
psyche of suspects more gamble than science - Profiles
can help, but they often are proved wrong," San Francisco
Chronicle, May 12, 2002
Note: Finally, some decent journalism holding profilers accountable for their bogus statements to the press. With the arrest of Lucas John Helder, Van Zandt's profile is shown to be off on key points. Gregg O. McCrary steps in to defend Van Zandt's inaccurate profile, saying that anyone who claims to be 100% right all the time must be "smoking cigarettes without labels." We are remined of McCrary's testimony in the Sheppard case where he states that he's "never been wrong yet." (see: McKnight, K., "Expert's Opinion Challenged," Ohio Beacon Journal, April 1, 2000)
|Mailbox Bomber - Des Moines, IW||Clint Van Zandt||Riha, C.A.
"FBI Gives Mailbox Bomber Profile," Associated Press, May 4, 2002
Note: This article appears inaccurate on two levels - first, Clint Van Zandt gives a profile, not the FBI (yes he is retired FBI, but he longer works for them or represents them), and second, the FBI (and specifically Clint Van Zandt) did not identify Unabomber; his brother turned him in.
|Suburban Bomber||BATF||Staff "Authorities Release New Profile of
Associated Press, December 18, 2001
Note: Again, maybe this is the same guy who is sending the anthrax letters. The profiles are remarkably similar. Really.
|Suburban Bomber||BATF||Chait, M.
& O'Connor, D. "Suburban Bomber Profile Report," ATF News, Press Release,
Press Release by BATF
Note: Maybe this is the same guy who is sending the anthrax letters. The profiles are remarkably similar.
|Anthrax letters||Jim Fitzgerald||Candiotti, S.
& Mears, B. "FBI profiler: We will catch anthrax
mailer," CNN, November 17, 2001
Lichtblau, E. "Loner Likely Sent Anthrax, FBI Says," LA Times, November 10, 2001
Note: The profile is a presentation of the utterly obvious and the utterly rehashed. It's part of the boiler-plate. White male + loner. How many times do we have to read this nonsense before we realize that FBI profilers basically re-release the same few profiles over and over again? This is getting silly and it demeans the work of serious criminal profilers.
See: Ross, B. "He Sees Rapes As 'Dates': E. Side rapist a 'loser' - FBI," New York Daily News, April 27, 1998
|East End Rapist||Jim Fitzgerald||Staff "East End Rape Suspect's Profile
- The Pittsburgh Channel, June 9, 2001
Note: The specific suspect description provided in Mr. Fitzgerald's profile is from victim statements, not his behavioral analysis and inferences. Also, the article credits Fitzgerald with collecting evidence - this would be done by local law enforcement officials, not an FBI profiler. Fitzgerald's specific contribution is that the offender is "most likely a loner who is uncomfortable around women socially, an underachiever who takes little pride in his appearance and usually comes out at night." The first three items appear to be a feature of every single offender profile Mr. Fitzgerald gives (loner + underachiever/ loser + uncomfortable around women), none of which have any investigative relevance or utility at all. The fact that the offender takes little pride in his appearance would come from victim descriptions, and the fact that the offender comes out at night would be a feature of the time of the attacks. Bottom line: detectives don't need a profiler to tell them most of what Mr. Fitzgerald is telling them. Yet there are those who remain amazed and think that this kind of profiling must be helpful. I'd be interested to know what Allegheny County police detectives think at this point....
See: Ross, B. "He Sees Rapes As 'Dates': E. Side rapist a 'loser' - FBI," New York Daily News, April 27, 1998
|Equivocal Death Evaluation||Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU)||Staff "Why the FBI Says This Was
Definitely a Case of Suicide," The East African, May 21, 2001
Note: This appears to be the entire report (Equivocal Death Evaluation) prepared by the FBI's BAU, which consists of Unit Chief Larry G. Ankrom, Christopher Lawlor, Wayne D. Lord, Thomas M. Neer, Mary Ellen OToole, Mark Safarik and Armin A. Showalter. Note that this type of report is no longer referred to as an Equivocal Death Analysis (as was the report prepared in the case of Clayton Hartwig in the USS Iowa Incident which got the FBI in a whole lot of trouble). This reads like a confused psychological evaluation mixed with a crime reconstruction. None of the above are forensic scientists save Wayne Lord (who is a forensic entomologist and not a gunshot wound, bloodstain pattern or DNA expert), which is confusing, as forensic entomology plays no role in this case. This appears to be yet another instance of FBI Agents opining on psychological issues and crime reconstruction issues without any showing of expertise in either of these areas.
|Unsub: Courtney Sconce homicide||Sharon Pagaling-Hagan||Montano, R.
"PROFILER:KILLER IS NOT WHO HE SEEMS YOUNG MAN
LIKELY HIDES VIOLENT SIDE," Sacramento Bee, March 2, 2001
Note: The author of this profile gives detailed physical characteristics such as age, height and hair color. This information could only legitimately come from an eyewitness or physical evidence. If not... then there are problems (and those who know nothing of profiling might think that profilers can infer this kind of information from behavior or experience alone). Let's hope that's where this info is from, otherwise it could seriously jeopardize the investigation by over-narrowing investigative efforts (as many profiles have done in the past, to the detriment of cases like Zodiac in NY).
The author also provides the boilerplate personality characteristics of a psychopath (taken almost word for word from a copy of "Without Conscience" by Dr. Robert Hare, i.e...: egocentric, quick temper, parasitic lifestyle, articulate with good social skills). But without the supporting behavioral evidence from the crime. In any case, we did not need a profiler to provide this information, or, rather, no special knowledge, insight, or training is required here. Just a copy of Bob Hare's paperback. See www.hare.org for more sources.
I think it is legitimate to hope for, and strive for, more informed methodology in the future.
|The Estate of Samuel H. Sheppard v. State of Ohio||Gregg McCrary||The
Estate of Samuel H. Sheppard v. The State of Ohio
Date: December 1st, 1999
Criminal Investigative Analysis: Opinions relating to victim risk, crime reconstruction, motive, and the precise identity of the offender.
Affidavit: Affidavit prepared by Brent E. Turvey for the Estate of Sam Sheppard. Admissibility of profiling evidence for identification; review of Criminal Investigative Analysis composed by Gregg O. McCrary. Entered into evidence on Wednesday, March 29, 2000.
|Central Florida - Serial Rapist||Tom Davis, FDLE||Staff "'He may stop but I would say not
until he's caught.' -- Tom Davis FDLE agent" Associated Press, March 20th, 1999
|Andrew Cunanan||Bill Tafoya||"Cunanan
fits the FBI definition of a serial killer" by: William L. Tafoya, Ph.D, No Date Given
|Unsub: Dr. Barnett Slepian||Gregg McCrary||Robinson, M.
"Profile of killer of abortion
October 28th, 1998
Note: This profile states in part that "..the suspect is 'probably employed, may have family, may have sort of a typical lifestyle, but those around him will know that he has this passion about the abortion movement.'" What is probably the case and may be the case are not very helpful to an investigation. And apparently this profiler has ruled out all other motives and suspects beyond those related to the victim's profession. In these cases it is very common to skip over the time consuming process of investigating the victim's family, friends, and co-workers. Too often this has resulted in a denial of justice.
|Upper East Side Rapist||Jim Fitzgerald||Ross, B. "He
Sees Rapes As 'Dates': E. Side rapist a 'loser' - FBI," New York Daily News, April 27, 1998
Note: This profile is essentailly the same as profiles given by Mr. Fitzgerald on numerous other case in this archive.
|Unabomber||Mary O'Toole; Bill Tafoya||Witkin, G.
"Did the FBI ignore the `Tafoya profile'?," US
News, November 17, 1997
|Unsub: Jonbenet Ramsey||John Douglas||Robinson, M.
own probe" Denver Post, July 24, 1997
|Unsub: Kristin & Kati Lisk||FBI||Published May 8, 1997, in the Free Lance-Star, of
|Jonbenet Ramsey case||John Douglas||Cabell, B.
"Criticism abounds for report
CNN, January 31, 1997
Response to Douglas profile
|Unabomber||Michael Rustigan||Howard, J.
"Unabomber Suspect Matches FBI Profile in Most
Respects," Associated Press, April 5, 1996
|Unsub: 'Five Points rapist'||FBI||Shearer, L.
"'Five Points rapist' search going beyond A-C area,"
Georgia, November 1, 1996
|Unabomber||John Douglas||Cole, R.
"Unabomber will strike again, says FBI profiler,"
Associated Press, October 28, 1995
|Cradle Robbers||Larry Ankrom||Ankrom, L.
& Lent, C. "Cradle Robbers: A
Study of Infant Abductors," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, September, 1995
|Unsub: League City, Texas||SA David
points to serial killer in 4 cases," Associated
Press, September 30, 1993
|Unabomber||Bill Tafoya||FBI Profile
of the Unabomber by SA William L. Tafoya, PhD (ret.), August 5, 1993
|Paul Bernardo &
|Gregg McCrary; James Wright||FBI Profile
of the Scarborough Rapist
November 17, 1988
Provided in an official report by Justice Archie Campbell; Full Profile
|Unsub: Ginger Hayden homicide||FBI||Gordon, P.
"FW Police Release Profile of Killer," Dallas
Morning News, October 4, 1985
This site is
designed and produced by Forensic
© 2004 Forensic Solutions LLC; All rights reserved.
Last update: 11/22/04
Return to the Archives]