PSY 476 Discussion: Behavioral Evidence Analysis

PSY 476 Discussion: Behavioral Evidence Analysis

PSY 476 Discussion: Behavioral Evidence Analysis


A powerpoint regarding case linkage, modus operandi, and signature is posted for reference. Feel free to make use of it.

Woodhams, J., Hollin, C. R., & Bull, R. (2007). The psychology of linking crimes: A review of the evidence. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 12(2), 233-249.

Hazelwood, R. R., & Warren, J. I. (2004). Linkage analysis: Modus operandi, ritual, and signature in serial sexual crime. , 9(3), 307-318. (pages 117 to 133).

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Woodhams, J., Bull, R., & Hollin, C. R. (2007). Case Linkage. In Criminal Profiling (pp. 117-133). Humana Press.

In the past, one technique of investigating serial offenses was psychological profiling. Psychological profiling, however, has fallen out of favor with the courts as lacking any scientific, empirical, evidence-based merit; and thus, was deemed scientifically specious in regard to its admissibility as evidence in court. Psychological profiling was often based on assumptions and speculations which were not in any way data-driven, and lacked any degree of objective, empirical, scientific utility.

In more recent years psychological profiling has evolved into (or been replaced by) Behavioral Evidence Analysis (BEA), which focuses on case linkage rather than speculation. BEA is not synonymous with psychological profiling, although they share a common goal; to serve as an investigative tool in solving serial offenses with an unknown subject. The purpose of this assignment is to clarify what BEA and case linkage are, as opposed to psychological profiling.

Select and read ONE of the readings in the Assignment Thirteen Readings folder.

If necessary or helpful, feel free to use multiple articles if you need clarification regarding any of the above questions. Also use the power point.

Then, respond to the following:

1. Present an article review. What is the focus of the article? What does it review? What are its conclusions, findings, discussion, etc.?

2. Using the article, explain what Case Linkage is. Be certain to use to explain Case Linkage. Understanding how Case Linkage works is essential to understanding the difference between psychological profiling and BEA.

3. Using the article, explain what modus operandi is. There are three purposes (functions) of modus operandi behavior; what are they? What are the three influences on modus operandi? See the Power Point for these.

4. Using the article, explain what signature behaviors are. What are they? What purpose do signature behaviors serve? How are they similar to MO? How do they differ from MO?

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