A private blend of science, intuition and hope’: does Brussel’s 1956 method for compiling an offender profile still apply today?

Moss, Cindy (2011) A private blend of science, intuition and hope’: does Brussel’s 1956 method for compiling an offender profile still apply today? MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    In 1956, James Brussel, an American psychiatrist, was asked to help in the investigation of a spate of bombings in New York. His profile of the ‘Mad Bomber’ turned out to be largely accurate when George Metesky was arrested in 1957 (Brussel, 1968, p.69). Brussel, frequently acknowledged as the first modern criminal profiler, is the starting point for this systematic review of the literature on offender profiling, which aims to assess developments in this field since 1956 (Ressler, 1992, p.161, Holmes & Holmes, 1996, p.43, Britton, 1998, p.152, Canter & Youngs, 2009, p.67). Previous reviews criticised those involved in the field for too much discussion and not enough substantive research (Dowden, Bennell & Bloomfield, 2007, Snook, Eastwood, Gendreau, Goggin & Cullen, 2007). Whilst accepting the continued in-balance in the literature as cause for concern, this review attempts to contribute something new by assessing what is left once the discussion pieces are set aside, assessing the developments in offender profiling in terms of the impact in the use of Science, Intuition and Hope. The aim is to provide a more nuanced account of where offender profiling currently stands in relation to its early beginnings with Brussel, and more recent calls for a more pragmatic approach (Alison, Goodwill, Almond, van den Heuvel & Winter, 2010). In contrast to previous reviews this one found a flourishing fledgling discipline that, despite a multitude of complexities and setbacks, is showing encouraging signs of progress.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2011 13:57
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:50
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/5694

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