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Psychology of Homicide Unit IV

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1 Psychology of Homicide Unit IV
Psychological Theories, psychological profiling and homicide investigation

2 Psychology of Criminal Behavior
Defined as-is an approach to understanding the criminal behavior of individuals. It involves the ethical application of psychological knowledge and methods to the practical tasks of predicting and influencing the likelihood of criminal behavior, and the reduction of the human and social costs associated with crime.

3 Criminal Behavior Criminal behavior legally is defined as actions that are prohibited by state and federal laws. Criminal behavior psychologically defined is actions that may be rewarding to the actor (criminal) but inflicts pain or loss on others, criminal behavior is antisocial behavior.

4 Male in se and mala prohibita
Bad in itself-give examples Prohibited by law-give examples

5 Primary Correlates of Criminal Behavior
Lower class origins Personal distress/psychopathology Family structure/parent problems Minor personality variables Poor parent-child relations Personal educational/vocational achievement Temperament/weak self-control/misconduct history Antisocial attitudes/associates

6 Big Four Risk/Needs Factors
Antisocial personality pattern History of antisocial behavior Antisocial attitudes Antisocial associates

7 Social Learning Theory
Children and then adults learn criminal behavior, this may include a lack of behavioral self-control, modeling and learning by observation.

8 Megargee’s Algebra of Aggression
This is a framework of the majority of elements of current psychological research on aggression and criminality.

9 Variable associated with criminal violence are;
Instigation to aggression (A): The sum of all internal motivators. Some examples of personal gain are money, anger, and jealousy. Habit strength (H): Behavioral preferences learned through rewarded experience and observation. Inhibitions against aggression (I): The sum of all internal factors opposing an aggressive act, such as conditioned fear of punishment, learned attitudes and values, and identification with the victim. Stimulus factors in the immediate environment that may facilitate (S) or inhibit (S) violence.

10 Megargee’s Algebra of Aggression
Response competition: Other possible responses are subject to their own algebra, and nonaggressive responses may have a more favorable cost-benefit ratio than the aggressive response. (Insert equation below)

11 Techniques of Neutralization
Sykes and Matza theory of the cognition of crime. This theory is called “Techniques of Neutraliztion” and here are the ways people neutralize or rationalize illegal actions

12 Neutralization Techniques
Denial of responsibility-I couldn’t help it. I have a strong sex drive. I couldn’t control myself. Denial of injury-I didn’t hurt anybody. We just took the car for a ride. Denial of victim-he had it coming to him. She got what she deserved for being a disobedient wife. Condemnation of the condemners-criminal blame the system, lawyers are corrupt, judges can be bought, and police are brutal and corrupt too. Appeal to a higher loyalty-I did this for a friend, not myself. This is what God would want.

13 Biological Theory of Crime
Heredity and crime-twin studies, adoption studies and neurological defects Twin studies and adoption studies indicate there is a genetic component to criminal behavior. It may be more temperamental characteristics that are inherited that actual criminal behavior per se. Traumatic injuries to the brain, hormonal imbalances and other neurobiological disturbances have been documented as factors in the criminal behavior of some individuals. Evolutionary explanations have mixed results and highly controversial.

14 Anti-personality pattern
Personality tries to answer the question, “who am I”? Personality studies deal with studying traits, some traits associated with criminal behavior are; aggressivity, impulsiveness, risk taking, dishonesty, and emotional negativity.

15 Big Five Factors of Personality
Neuroticism-anxious, angry hostility, impulsive Extraversion-sociable, positive emotions, excitement seeking Openness to experience-creative, open-minded, intelligent Agreeableness-trustworthy, altruistic, compliant Conscientiousness-competent, orderly, self- disciplined

16 DSM-IV tr A classification system or taxonomy of mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. This classification system describes behavioral patterns and psychological characteristics that are clustered into diagnostic categories. The personality disorders include;

17 The Personality Disorders Include
Obsessive-compulsive personality Paranoid Personality disorder Narcissistic personality Antisocial personality disorder (APD)

18 Antisocial personality disorder
DSM-IV Criteria for APD Disregard for the rights of others. At least 3 of the following: Behaves in a way this is grounds for arrest Deceitful and manipulative Impulsive Aggressive Irresponsible Lack of remorse Age 18 or more A history of childhood conduct disorder Antisocial behavior not a product of schizophrenic/manic episode.

19 Three important points about psychopathy;
Psychopaths have all the outward appearances of normality. They do not have hallucinations or delusions. Psychopaths appear unresponsive to social control. They continue to get in trouble even after punishment. Criminal behavior is not a necessary requirement for the diagnosis of psychopathy.

20 Key Features of Psychopathy
Manipulative Superficial charm Above average intelligence Absence of psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations) Absence of anxiety Lack of remorse Failure to learn from experience Egocentric Lacks emotional depth

21 Characteristics of Antisocial Personality
Trivial sex life Unreliable Failure to follow a life plan Untruthful Suicide attempts rarely genuine Impulsive Antisocial behavior

22 Psychological Profiling
The FBI has divided offenders into two distinct profiles based on hundreds of interviews with known and incarcerated murderers and serial criminals. These categories are powerful and sophisticated tools based on years of profiling violent offenders. Profiling is based on the premise that offender’s personalities and motivations are revealed in the specific nature and characteristics of their criminal behavior. This behavior can be analyzed by the crime scene and victims they leave behind.

23 The Main Two Profiles are:
Organized Killers Disorganized Killers Average to above intelligence Below average intelligence Socially competent Socially inadequate Skilled work preferred Unskilled work Sexually competent Sexually incompetent High birth order status Low birth order status Father’s work stable Father’s work unstable Inconsistent childhood discipline Harsh discipline as a child Controlled mood during crime Anxious mood during crime Use of alcohol with crime Minimal use of alcohol with crime Precipitating situational stress Minimal situational stress Living with partner Living alone Mobility with car in good condition Lives/works near crime scenes Follows crime in the media Minimal interest in the media May change jobs or leave area Significant behavioral change (drug or alcohol use)

24 Instruments of Crime The weapon used in 51% or more of homicides is the handgun (automatic or revolver), 14% with other type guns (rifle or shotgun), and 13% with knives or other sharp instruments. ***Most homicides are committed on Saturday.

25 Homicide Investigation
Three basic types of homicide Excusable homicide-these are accidental or unintentional killings. To be excusable it must be shown the killers did not act with negligence (example-a driver kills a pedestrian that walks out in front of the car, with no negligence on the part of the driver.)

26 Homicide Investigation (continued)
Justifiable homicide-these are killings judged to be acceptable because they occurred in defense of life or property, this type of homicide is out of necessity. There are two types; those by officers and those by private citizens in defense primarily of life.

27 Homicide Investigation (continued)
Criminal homicide-these murders are illegal killings and can be classified into different hierarchical categories. First degree murder-are committed with premeditation and deliberation. Punishment typically is life in prison or the death penalty. Second degree murder-are committed without premeditation and are typically spur of the moments killings. This type person kill because they exhibit extreme indifference for the life of another and intend serious injury. Punishment is typically prison orlife in prison, sometimes with the possibility of parole. Felony murder-a killing that occurs during the commission of another felony, such as a robbery. In most jurisdictions the felony must be a violent one. Felony murders are one of the common ways a person is sent to death row.

28 Homicide Chart

29 Multicide includes: Mass Murder Spree Murder Serial Murder

30 Mass Murder Mass murder-someone who kills four or more victims in one location in one incident. The killings are all part of the same emotional experience. Mass murderers often kill themselves after they have completed their deadly rampage. Most offenders are white males, middle age, frustrated and very angry.

31 Mass Murder (continued)
Mass murder typically takes place in one of three locations; 1) the home 2) the workplace and 3) the school. Murder is the second leading cause of death in the workplace. Murders in schools are typically committed by students who fell “picked on” by other students “bullying” and these student offenders typically suffer from depression, anger and frustration.

32 Spree Murder When someone murders at two or more separate locations, but with no emotional cooling off period between homicides. This is the least common of the 3 types of Multicide; this type of killing is also called a “binge of killing and destruction.” The trigger for spree killers can be fairly minor, but once the spree killer begins the killing typically only stops when they are killed, captured or they commit suicide, an example is Andrew Cunanan

33 Serial Killer Someone who has murdered on at least 3 occasions, with what can be called a cooling-off period between each incident. This cooling off period can be days, weeks, months or even years. Each event is emotionally distinct and separate.

34 Serial Murder (continued)
In serial murder there is no prior relationship between victim and attacker, the motives are normally for dominance and power over the victim. Subsequent murders are sometimes at different times and have no connection to the initial murder. Typically victims are vagrants, prostitutes, homeless people, and migrant workers, homosexuals, missing children, single women (out by themselves), elderly women, college student and hospital patients. Current research suggests that during the year on average around 35 serial killers are active. Most are white men, in their years old.

35 Serial Murder (continued)
Research on the commonality of serial killers suggest a homicidal triad which is; bed wetting past an appropriate age, cruelty to animals and fire setting. Many past serial killers have demonstrated at least two of these commonalities.

36 Serial Murder (continued) Triad of Serial Killers
Bed Wetting at inappropriate age Animal Cruelty Fire setting

37 Typology of serial killers based on motive
Hedonistic lust killer-motive is to obtain sexual pleasure from the killing, while alive or dead, or by mutilating or cutting off sexual organs (Jerry Brudos). The thrill killer-these killers are also hedonistic but derive sexual satisfaction but require a live victim for sexual satisfaction. These killers receive gratification from torturing, dominating, terrorizing and humiliating their victims while alive (Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono). The comfort killer-this is the last type hedonistic serial killer, this killer does so for creature comforts, such as financial gain (Fay and Ray Copeland).

38 Typology (continued) The power/control killer-the motive for this killer is domination and total control of the victim, sometimes sex is involved, the primary pleasure is from complete control over the victim (Ted Bundy). The mission killer-this killer is on a mission to rid the world of this type person or group of persons seen as inferior in some way. This killer restricts his victims to only those in the group (Joel Rifkin). The visionary killer-this is the least common, this killer has a break with reality. The killer is driven by voices or images that command them to kill, they may have multiple personalities (Joseph Kallinger).

39 Homicides by Weapon Type

40 Questions? Thank you!

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