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Criminal Behavioral Profiling  

Mary Juno, MSc This course will provide a broad overview of the the use of psychological profiling, exploring its methodology, its history (from hunting medieval witches to modern serial offenders), and its scientific underpinnings. Practical application of theory and methods to case studies will teach students to reason logically and draw evidence-based conclusions about offenders. Week 1: History and Context: What is criminal profiling? History of criminal profiling from medieval times to present day, including some famous cases in the modern era. Terminology. Week 2: Methodology: Nomothetic, idiographic, geographic, FBI, forensic psychology and psychiatry. Who are criminal profilers? Mythical archetypes of serial killers & mass killers. Week 3: Scientific Reasoning: Using logic, reason, Occam’s Razor, and the scientific method to generate hypotheses about a crime and a criminal’s behavior. Week 4: Behavioral Evidence Analysis: Interpreting crime scene characteristics, determining modus operandi, signature, intent, motive, and contributing motivational factors. Psychopathy, sociopathy, and psychosis. Week 5: Inferring Offender Characteristics: Threshold assessment: Case study. Week 6: Case study: Zodiac. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: • Articulate nomothetic and idiographic methods used in criminal behavioral profiling. • Use the scientific method to interpret evidence logically and draw evidence-based conclusions about offenders and their behavior. • Apply concepts and methodology to develop criminal profiles in actual cases. Mary Juno earned her MSc in Forensic Science from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, and her BA in Biological Anthropology from San Francisco State University. Juno worked for many years as a CSI at the Oakland Police Department where she processed hundreds of major crime scenes. She has conducted research at the NYPD Latent Fingerprint Lab, and currently teaches forensic science and criminal justice courses at SFSU, SJSU, and CCSF.


This class is not available at this time.