Crime scene investigation has more value beyond determining the events or victims of a crime. Much of the evidence that is collected from a crime scene, or the actual crime scene itself, can be used in order to develop a criminal profile of the perpetrator of the crime being investigated. Criminal profiling is the application of psychological data gathered from crime scene investigation used to define who a potential perpetrator of crime may be.
Criminal profilers are experts in psychology, psychiatry or criminology that are able to see beyond the clues left at crime scenes and develop a personality profile based on common types of criminals and criminal acts. The criminal profile helps narrow down the search for suspects based upon age, gender, race and sometimes specific details, such as background, education and physical features. Simply stated, a criminal may be labeled as organized, disorganized, or mixed (a combination of organized and disorganized) and from those labels, the criminal profiler can begin to define the type of person who committed the crime, and if a series of crimes have been committed, the profile can connect evidence or habits between the crimes.Education and experience are both important when seeking a career as a Criminal Profiler. Law enforcement experience and an education in psychology and/or criminology are all helpful, as are studies in crime scene investigation, sociology, victimology and crisis intervention. Criminal profilers are able to take evidence and crime scene findings and put them together in order to form a realistic picture of the person, or people, who have committed the crime in question. From this profile, law enforcement officers can better track down the criminal and help bring her or him to justice before more crimes are committed.