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Profiling Violent Crimes

Profiling Violent Crimes
An Investigative Tool

Fourth Edition

December 2008 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"Excellent book, I have used this for my Criminal Behavior course for a number of years. Very authoritative."
—Harry Cramer, Quincy University

The Fourth Edition of this best-selling text provides students with the most up-to-date information on the increasingly popular field of psychological profiling. Well-known authors Ronald M. Holmes and Stephen T. Holmes build upon their continued research and involvement in field investigation as a source of relevant and often high-profile case studies to illustrate theory and application of the methods discussed. The text is particularly readable and engaging, making frequent use of illustrative tables and figures and presenting occasional photos.

New to the Fourth Edition

  • Offers a new chapter on Lizzie Borden (Chapter 14), analyzing this historic murder case with fresh insight and a unique analysis while retaining the chapter on Jack the Ripper, a classic unresolved serial murderer
  • Covers more recent events such as the killings at Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech
  • Provides a new section on Santeria and the occult to understand the dogma and icons of these teachings and investigates reasons behind crimes committed by some followers
  • Offers guidance to students for online graduate programs, seminars, and degrees in criminal profiling
  • Includes updated tables and crime statistics throughout the text
  • Presents new photos to offer authentic representations of violent crimes and offenders

Intended Audience
This best-seller has long been a successful supplemental text for undergraduate criminology and criminal justice courses, including Criminal Investigation, Criminal Profiling, Violent Crimes, Criminal Behavior, Field Investigation, and Forensic Psychology.

1. Psychological Profiling: An Introduction
Inductive Versus Deductive Profiling

Goals in Profiling

Profiling: An Art, Not a Science


2. Profiling in Fantasy and Fact

Sherlock Holmes: The Master Detective

Will Graham and The Red Dragon

Clarice Starling and The Silence of the Lambs

Zoe Koehler: A Female Serial Murderess

Alex Cross

Dr. Laszlo Kreizler: The Alienist and Angel of Darkness

Other Works of Fiction and Psychological Profiling

Profililng in Fact

Profile of a Rape Case

Case Profile: Mrs. Charlene L. Miller


3. The Rationale for Psychological Profiling
Personality and Crime




Common Experiences

Unique Experiences

New Ways of Viewing the Personality

Assumptions of the Profiling Process


4. Criminal Theories and Psychological Profiling
Theories of Crime and Criminality

Inidividual Theories of Crime

Social/Ecological Theories of Crime

Combining the Disciplines

5. The Analysis of the Crime Scene
Beyond the Physical Evidence

Psychological Profiling Typology

Crime Scene Differences


6. Arson and Psychological Profiling
What Is Arson?

Statistics on Arson

A View of the Firesetter

Typologies of Firesetters

Firesetting Experience

Organized Versus Disorganized Personality


7. Profiling Serial Murderers
Typology of Serial Murderers

Spatial Mobility of Serial Killers

Serial Murderers: General Characteristics

Profiling A Serial Murder Case


8. Psychological Profiling and Rape
Definitions of Rape

Statistics on Rape

Selected Characteristics of Rapists

Psychology and Rape

Typology of Rapists


9. Pedophilia and Psychological Profiling
Definition of Terms: Child Molester or Pedophile

Types of Pedophiles

Profiling Child Molester Types

Common Threads Among Child Molesters


10. Autoeroticism
What Is Autoerotic Sexual Behavior?

Traits and Characteristics fo Autoeroticism Practitioners

Autoerotic Scene Indicators


11. Profiling Satanic and Cult-Related Murders
Roots of Satanism

Satanism in the United States

The Satanic Bible

Types of Personal Involvement in Satanism

General Beliefs in Satansim

Satanic Masses

Satanic Ceremonies

Crime Scene Elements

Santeria and Occult Crimes


12. Geography, Profiling and Predatory Criminals
The Elements of Geographic Profiling

The Nature of Geographic Profiling

Computerized Geographic Analysis


13. Jack the Ripper

Victim: Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols

Victim: Annie Chapman

Victim: Elizabeth Stride

Victim: Catharine Eddowes

Victim: Mary Kelly

Who Was Jack the Ripper?


14. Lizzie Borden
Key People in the Lizzie Borden Case

The Murders

The Crime Scene

Additional Thoughts


15. The Victim in Criminal Profiling
Elements in the Victim Profiling Process


16. The Future of Criminal Profiling
Additional Uses for Profiling

Education and Training for Profiling

Computerized Monitoring

Computerized Profiling

Online Graduate Programs, Seminars, and Degrees



"Excellent book, I have used this for my Criminal Behavior course for a number of years. Very authoritative."

Harry Cramer
Quincy University

Looking at a range of crimes and historical profiling and how this is carried out and to what ends, a great book to aid psychology a,d personalty profiling.

Miss Sam Ford
Psychology, Southend Adult Community College
July 18, 2019

This is a really interesting book written by authors with clear expertise in the area. Although I enjoyed the book, the approach is not quite suitable for my undergraduate audience who would have to try to apply the theoretical frameworks they are being taught to the content. It does provide some really useful case studies though which will be useful for students who want a better understanding of core topics. I will add this to their supplementary reading list though as I think students will find the book very accessible.

Dr Amy Burrell
Psychology , Birmingham City University
March 16, 2015

This book was found to be very practical and applicable to the subject field. This book is easy to read and understand and will most definitely add value to students registering for all investigation of crime modules and forensic investigation modules. This book will most definitely be recommended to the University of South Africa Library as well as the library of the South African Police Services.

Dr Juanida Horne
Police Practice, University of South Africa
February 2, 2015

This book is a phenomenal read. i found it very interesting and the information was clear and easy to read for all levels of learners. specifically the psychological theories for profiling criminals was very usual and has been adopted. Also it has been placed on the essential reading list.

Miss Amy Capper
access, Warrington Collegiate
January 26, 2015

An interesting read with some high profile cases

Dr Maria Ioannou
School of Human and Health Sciences, Huddersfield University
January 2, 2015

Text is right on topic for the class I am developing. Easy to read, easy to follow and extremely informative.

Dr Jeremy Olson
Criminal Justice, Seton Hill University
January 22, 2012

An engaging book, with some high profile case studies make this an interesting read.

Miss Frances Jackson
Public Services, Peterborough Regional College
October 8, 2011

The "science" of profiling crimes is examined in a US context that is both historical and contemporaneous context. There are very good examples and insightful observations upon the subject matter.

Mr Robert Bird
Life Sciences, Coventry University
November 18, 2010

A help for violent crime understanding

Mrs Colleen Moore
Dept of Humanities and Social Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University
November 10, 2010

Sage College Publishing

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