Questions for Discussion

  • 1 What do you see as fundamental characteristics of a criminal investigator?
  • 2 What should be the mindset of the intelligence analyst when assisting in a criminal investigation?

Important Terms

Circumstantial evidence: Evidence from which inferences can be drawn; it may include physical evidence, such as weapons, blood, fingerprints, tool marks, documents, and dust, dirt, or other traces.

Corpus delicti: Evidence that will help to substantiate the elements of the crime.

Criminal profiling: Developing a psychological portrait of an unknown offender.

Direct evidence: Evidence from the testimony by eyewitnesses who have information to offer about the crime through one of their five senses.

Fusion center. Name for some police department intelligence units; they may also go by other names, such as intelligence unit or realtime crime center.

Geographic profiling: Developing a probabilistic map of the area in which the offenders residence is located.

Intelligence: Data available to, collected by, or disseminated through the intelligence analyst or the tactical crime analyst.

Intelligence analysis: Continually evaluating and analyzing data in order to provide the most useful possible information to police officers.

Link analysis: Analyzing relationships among people or organizations; used to find matches in data for patterns of interest in investigations.

Modus operandi: Particular method or manner in which an offender carries out crimes.

Real-time crime center (RTCC): Room in which the intelligence analyst or tactical crime analyst has at his or her disposal a bank of computers and extensive websites and data banks that allow access to and analysis of intelligence in order to provide practical and useful on-the-spot information to police officers in the field. May also be called a fusion center or intelligence unit.

Time-event chart: Graphic depiction of the chronology' of an individual’s or a group’s activities.

Study Guide Questions

For questions 1—4, indicate whether the statement is true or false.

  • 1 The intelligence analysts raw material is data.
  • 2 It could be argued that the lifeblood of criminal investigation is information.
  • 3 It is unimportant for intelligence analysts and tactical crime analysts to have an understanding of how a criminal investigation proceeds.
  • 4 The first police officer on the crime scene is usually the intelligence analyst.
  • 5 A successful criminal investigator often possesses the following qualities except for

a Strong degree of self-discipline

b Ethics and integrity

c Lack of concern for winning the confidence of others

d Never acting out of malice or bias

6 One of the duties of the patrol officer when he or she is the first officer on the crime scene is to

a Interview the victim

b Order a cup of coffee

c Call for backup

d Arrest any unwilling witnesses

7 Associative evidence is any evidence that

a Discovers all of the known associates of the suspect

b Connects a suspect to the crime scene or the victim

c Has valid fingerprints

d Leads to the arrest of other suspects

8 There are many databases available to the intelligence analyst, and these databases can help to

a Pinpoint the identity of the perpetrator

b Encourage some lines of inquiry

c Zero in on the actual residence of the offender

d Create an infallible portrait of the offenders personality

9 Criminal profiling is

a As much an art as a science

b Always right on the mark

c A technique that has been perfected through rigorous research

d Useful in many criminal investigations


Abumere, I. (2015). Criminal profiling. Available at: Effectiveness_of_Criminal_Profiling

Bruce, C.W. (2008). Fundamentals of crime analysis. In S.L. Gwinn, C.W. Bruce, J.P. Cooper, and S. Hicks (eds.), Exploring Crime Analysis: Readings on Essential Skills. Overland Park, KS: International Association of Crime Analysts, pp. 7—32.

European Association of Psychology’and the Law. (2011). Fact sheet: Criminal profiling.

Retrieved from:—criminal-profiling

Paulsen, DJ. (2006). Connecting the dots: Assessing the accuracy of geographic profiling software. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 29f2. 306-334.

Swanson, C.R., Chamelin, N.C., Territo, L., and Taylor, R.W. (2012). Criminal Investigation. 11th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Weston, P.B., and Lushbaugh, C.A. (2006). Criminal Investigation. 10th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall.

Winerman, L. (2004). Criminal profiling: The reality behind the myth. Monitor on Psychology, 35(7): 66—69.

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