Police and Profiling in the United States: Applying Theory to Criminal Investigations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Police and Profiling in the United States

Applying Theory to Criminal Investigations, 1st Edition

By Lauren M. Barrow, Ron A. Rufo, Saul Arambula

CRC Press

212 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2013-07-15
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Traditionally, criminal profiling texts have focused exclusively on the technicalities of conducting an investigation, but recent developments in criminal justice have encouraged greater consideration of the related fields of psychiatry, forensics, and sociology. Highlighting the current paradigm shift in criminology towards a cross-disciplinary understanding of behavior, Police and Profiling in the United States: Applying Theory to Criminal Investigations provides investigators with the insight necessary to view events, data, and evidence in the context of contemporary theory.

Topics include:

  • Classical and determinist views on criminal behavior and social theories on crime
  • Inductive and deductive logic and the dangers of fallacies in logical reasoning
  • Childhood deviant behaviors and research on the historical search for an explanation of criminal behavior
  • Developing typologies based on different criminal characteristics
  • Sexually based offenses, serial and rage killings, and hero complex killers
  • The critical role of crime scenes in investigations and the Locard exchange principle
  • The value of geographic profiling in solving crimes and modern approaches such as COMPSTAT
  • Balancing the role of victims in crime solving with concern for their well-being

The book concludes with scintillating profiles of 13 of the most notorious serial killers. Written in a practical and approachable manner, this book enables investigators to combine theory, instinct, and hunches with contemporary technology to construct a solid criminal profile.


"… empowers investigators to trust their ‘gut feelings’ by providing them with the theoretical knowledge and empirical evidence necessary to merge practical experience with statistically sound practices developing in the field. The profiles are amazing."

—SirReada Lot.org

Table of Contents


Disciplinary Contributions to Criminal Profiling

Leaders in Criminal Profiling

Theoretical Foundations

Historical Evolution





Criminological Theory

Logic and Reasoning Practices


Deductive and Inductive Logic

Logic in Criminal Justice

Childhood Indicators

Historical Factors


Psychological Determinants

Sociological Determinants

Motives and Criminal Typologies


Motive Perspectives



Criminal Typologies

Sociological Factors

Crime Scene Characteristics

Sexually Based Offenses and Motivated Crimes

Child and Sexual Abuse and Its Effects

Sexual Violence

Cycle of Violence or Abuse

Sexual Perversion

Cyber-Crimes and the Internet

Sexual Addiction

Sexually Violent Person

Voyeurism (Peeping Toms)


Love Stalker

Serial and Rage Killers

Types of Murder

Basic Demographic Profile

Past Profile




Hero Complex Killers

Primary Care Providers

Public Service

Crime Scene Indicators and Investigations

Crime Scene

First Officer on the Scene (Preliminary Investigator)

Assessment of the Scene

Collection of Data

Chain of Custody

Locard Principle and Trace Evidence

CSA vs. CST vs. CSP?

Geographic Profiling

Geographic Profiling

Distance Decay Theory

Bayesian Method of Estimation

Predictive Policing


Rational Choice Theory in the 21st Century

Social Disorganization Theory

Environmental Criminology

Broken Windows Theory

Victim Selection Characteristics

Lifestyle Theory

Routine Activities Theory


Research Methodology

Crime Scene-Based Approaches

Psychology-Based Approaches

Appendix: Profiles of Notorious Serial Killers

About the Authors

Lauren M. Barrow, Ph.D.,is an assistant professor of criminal justice at Chestnut Hill College. Dr. Barrow teaches a wide range of criminal justice courses—including drug abuse, organizational behavior, criminal ethics, criminology, victimology, juvenile justice, and homeland security. She was a founding member of the New Jersey Alliance for Crime Victims with Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Barrow has conducted innovative research in the deaf community pertaining to its risk of victimization and authored a book entitled Criminal Victimization of the Deaf. She has instructed undergraduate and graduate students, both in class and online, for over ten years.

Ron Rufo, Ph.D.,is an adjunct professor at Kaplan University and also teaches at the City Colleges of Chicago. He has been a Chicago police officer for the past 18 years and has spent most of his career as a crime prevention speaker in the Preventive Programs Unit where he has given hundreds of presentations on profiling offenders, crime investigation, and street safety. Dr. Rufo has taught classes in crime scene investigation, police procedure, and policies and has been instrumental as a team leader in Chicago Police Department Peer Support Group. He authored the book Sexual Predators amongst Us and contributed to the book Terrorism and Property Management.

Saul Arambula, Ed.D., is a Detective with the Chicago Police Department. Over his 18-year career, Dr. Arambula has investigated hundreds of homicides, shootings, kidnappings, criminal sexual assaults, robberies, and other violent crimes and has amassed more than 120 total departmental awards. He is currently working in the Criminal Registration Unit of the Chicago Police Department. He is tasked with interviewing and registering convicted murderers, sex offenders, and arsonists. Dr. Arambula continues to work on numerous crime related research ventures and has a special interest in teaching.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Forensic Science
MEDICAL / Psychiatry / General