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Psychology of Homicide Unit IV
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  1. Psychology of HomicideUnit IV Psychological Theories, psychological profiling and homicide investigation

  2. Defined as-is an approach to understanding the criminal behavior of individuals. It involves the ethical application of psychological knowledge and methods to the practical tasks of predicting and influencing the likelihood of criminal behavior, and the reduction of the human and social costs associated with crime. Psychology of Criminal Behavior

  3. Criminal behavior legally is defined as actions that are prohibited by state and federal laws. • Criminal behavior psychologically defined is actions that may be rewarding to the actor (criminal) but inflicts pain or loss on others, criminal behavior is antisocial behavior. Criminal Behavior

  4. Bad in itself-give examples • Prohibited by law-give examples Male in se and mala prohibita

  5. Lower class origins • Personal distress/psychopathology • Family structure/parent problems • Minor personality variables • Poor parent-child relations • Personal educational/vocational achievement • Temperament/weak self-control/misconduct history • Antisocial attitudes/associates Primary Correlates of Criminal Behavior

  6. Antisocial personality pattern • History of antisocial behavior • Antisocial attitudes • Antisocial associates Big Four Risk/Needs Factors

  7. Children and then adults learn criminal behavior, this may include a lack of behavioral self-control, modeling and learning by observation. Social Learning Theory

  8. This is a framework of the majority of elements of current psychological research on aggression and criminality. Megargee’s Algebra of Aggression

  9. Instigation to aggression (A): The sum of all internal motivators. Some examples of personal gain are money, anger, and jealousy. • Habit strength (H): Behavioral preferences learned through rewarded experience and observation. • Inhibitions against aggression (I): The sum of all internal factors opposing an aggressive act, such as conditioned fear of punishment, learned attitudes and values, and identification with the victim. • Stimulus factors in the immediate environment that may facilitate (S) or inhibit (S) violence. Variable associated with criminal violence are;

  10. Response competition: Other possible responses are subject to their own algebra, and nonaggressive responses may have a more favorable cost-benefit ratio than the aggressive response. (Insert equation below) Megargee’s Algebra of Aggression

  11. Sykes and Matza theory of the cognition of crime. This theory is called “Techniques of Neutraliztion” and here are the ways people neutralize or rationalize illegal actions Techniques of Neutralization

  12. Denial of responsibility-I couldn’t help it. I have a strong sex drive. I couldn’t control myself. • Denial of injury-I didn’t hurt anybody. We just took the car for a ride. • Denial of victim-he had it coming to him. She got what she deserved for being a disobedient wife. • Condemnation of the condemners-criminal blame the system, lawyers are corrupt, judges can be bought, and police are brutal and corrupt too. • Appeal to a higher loyalty-I did this for a friend, not myself. This is what God would want. Neutralization Techniques

  13. Heredity and crime-twin studies, adoption studies and neurological defects • Twin studies and adoption studies indicate there is a genetic component to criminal behavior. It may be more temperamental characteristics that are inherited that actual criminal behavior per se. • Traumatic injuries to the brain, hormonal imbalances and other neurobiological disturbances have been documented as factors in the criminal behavior of some individuals. • Evolutionary explanations have mixed results and highly controversial. Biological Theory of Crime

  14. Personality tries to answer the question, “who am I”? Personality studies deal with studying traits, some traits associated with criminal behavior are; aggressivity, impulsiveness, risk taking, dishonesty, and emotional negativity. Anti-personality pattern

  15. Neuroticism-anxious, angry hostility, impulsive • Extraversion-sociable, positive emotions, excitement seeking • Openness to experience-creative, open-minded, intelligent • Agreeableness-trustworthy, altruistic, compliant • Conscientiousness-competent, orderly, self-disciplined Big Five Factors of Personality

  16. A classification system or taxonomy of mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. This classification system describes behavioral patterns and psychological characteristics that are clustered into diagnostic categories. The personality disorders include; DSM-IV tr

  17. Obsessive-compulsive personality • Paranoid Personality disorder • Narcissistic personality • Antisocial personality disorder (APD) The Personality Disorders Include

  18. DSM-IV Criteria for APD • Disregard for the rights of others. At least 3 of the following: • Behaves in a way this is grounds for arrest • Deceitful and manipulative • Impulsive • Aggressive • Irresponsible • Lack of remorse • Age 18 or more • A history of childhood conduct disorder • Antisocial behavior not a product of schizophrenic/manic episode. Antisocial personality disorder

  19. Psychopaths have all the outward appearances of normality. They do not have hallucinations or delusions. • Psychopaths appear unresponsive to social control. They continue to get in trouble even after punishment. • Criminal behavior is not a necessary requirement for the diagnosis of psychopathy. Three important points about psychopathy;

  20. Manipulative • Superficial charm • Above average intelligence • Absence of psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations) • Absence of anxiety • Lack of remorse • Failure to learn from experience • Egocentric • Lacks emotional depth Key Features of Psychopathy

  21. Trivial sex life • Unreliable • Failure to follow a life plan • Untruthful • Suicide attempts rarely genuine • Impulsive • Antisocial behavior Characteristics of Antisocial Personality

  22. The FBI has divided offenders into two distinct profiles based on hundreds of interviews with known and incarcerated murderers and serial criminals. These categories are powerful and sophisticated tools based on years of profiling violent offenders. • Profiling is based on the premise that offender’s personalities and motivations are revealed in the specific nature and characteristics of their criminal behavior. This behavior can be analyzed by the crime scene and victims they leave behind. Psychological Profiling

  23. The Main Two Profiles are:

  24. The weapon used in 51% or more of homicides is the handgun (automatic or revolver), 14% with other type guns (rifle or shotgun), and 13% with knives or other sharp instruments. • ***Most homicides are committed on Saturday. Instruments of Crime

  25. Three basic types of homicide • Excusable homicide-these are accidental or unintentional killings. To be excusable it must be shown the killers did not act with negligence (example-a driver kills a pedestrian that walks out in front of the car, with no negligence on the part of the driver.) Homicide Investigation

  26. Justifiable homicide-these are killings judged to be acceptable because they occurred in defense of life or property, this type of homicide is out of necessity. There are two types; those by officers and those by private citizens in defense primarily of life. Homicide Investigation (continued)

  27. Criminal homicide-these murders are illegal killings and can be classified into different hierarchical categories. • First degree murder-are committed with premeditation and deliberation. Punishment typically is life in prison or the death penalty. • Second degree murder-are committed without premeditation and are typically spur of the moments killings. This type person kill because they exhibit extreme indifference for the life of another and intend serious injury. Punishment is typically prison orlife in prison, sometimes with the possibility of parole. • Felony murder-a killing that occurs during the commission of another felony, such as a robbery. In most jurisdictions the felony must be a violent one. Felony murders are one of the common ways a person is sent to death row. Homicide Investigation (continued)

  28. Homicide Chart

  29. Mass Murder • Spree Murder • Serial Murder Multicide includes:

  30. Mass murder-someone who kills four or more victims in one location in one incident. The killings are all part of the same emotional experience. Mass murderers often kill themselves after they have completed their deadly rampage. Most offenders are white males, middle age, frustrated and very angry. Mass Murder

  31. Mass murder typically takes place in one of three locations; • 1) the home • 2) the workplace and • 3) the school. • Murder is the second leading cause of death in the workplace. Murders in schools are typically committed by students who fell “picked on” by other students “bullying” and these student offenders typically suffer from depression, anger and frustration. Mass Murder (continued)

  32. When someone murders at two or more separate locations, but with no emotional cooling off period between homicides. This is the least common of the 3 types of Multicide; this type of killing is also called a “binge of killing and destruction.” The trigger for spree killers can be fairly minor, but once the spree killer begins the killing typically only stops when they are killed, captured or they commit suicide, an example is Andrew Cunanan Spree Murder

  33. Someone who has murdered on at least 3 occasions, with what can be called a cooling-off period between each incident. This cooling off period can be days, weeks, months or even years. Each event is emotionally distinct and separate. Serial Killer

  34. In serial murder there is no prior relationship between victim and attacker, the motives are normally for dominance and power over the victim. Subsequent murders are sometimes at different times and have no connection to the initial murder. Typically victims are vagrants, prostitutes, homeless people, and migrant workers, homosexuals, missing children, single women (out by themselves), elderly women, college student and hospital patients. Current research suggests that during the year on average around 35 serial killers are active. Most are white men, in their 20-30 years old. Serial Murder (continued)

  35. Research on the commonality of serial killers suggest a homicidal triad which is; bed wetting past an appropriate age, cruelty to animals and fire setting. Many past serial killers have demonstrated at least two of these commonalities. Serial Murder (continued)

  36. Bed Wetting at inappropriate age Serial Murder (continued)Triad of Serial Killers Animal Cruelty Fire setting

  37. Hedonistic lust killer-motive is to obtain sexual pleasure from the killing, while alive or dead, or by mutilating or cutting off sexual organs (Jerry Brudos). • The thrill killer-these killers are also hedonistic but derive sexual satisfaction but require a live victim for sexual satisfaction. These killers receive gratification from torturing, dominating, terrorizing and humiliating their victims while alive (Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono). • The comfort killer-this is the last type hedonistic serial killer, this killer does so for creature comforts, such as financial gain (Fay and Ray Copeland). Typology of serial killers based on motive

  38. The power/control killer-the motive for this killer is domination and total control of the victim, sometimes sex is involved, the primary pleasure is from complete control over the victim (Ted Bundy). • The mission killer-this killer is on a mission to rid the world of this type person or group of persons seen as inferior in some way. This killer restricts his victims to only those in the group (Joel Rifkin). • The visionary killer-this is the least common, this killer has a break with reality. The killer is driven by voices or images that command them to kill, they may have multiple personalities (Joseph Kallinger). Typology (continued)

  39. Homicides by Weapon Type

  40. Thank you! Questions?