Sean Patrick Varano


A primary goal of policing is ensuring public safety and thus, law enforcement agencies use a plethora of tools in their efforts to apprehend offenders. Criminal profiling, a concept largely promoted by the media, is one of the contemporary techniques used by police when approaching a difficult and high-profile case. Typically applied to homicides, investigators seek the aid of a profiler, who uses either a geographic or psychologically based strategy. Through the applicaton of geographic and psychological typologies within geographic profiling, investigative psychology, criminal investigative analysis, and behavioral evidence analysis, a profile is created that isolates offender characteristics. Upon examination, these typologies are flawed, as are their practical application processes, and have implications in training, accessibility and utility. Existing approaches then do not currently yield a product that is both useful and accurate, while affordable for law enforcement. Additional examination of the potential of criminal profiling is necessary, as is a revision to the media's view of the technique, to establish the most accurate and reliable approach, while considering the cost effectiveness of a contracted service as opposed to investigator training.

Date Accepted


Publication Date



criminal profiling, police work, profiling

Degree Grantor

Northeastern University


Law Enforcement and Corrections

Rights Holder

Theresa M. Young

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