Definition Argument– Splash305

When in the mind set of an FBI profiler or someone working in the criminal intent unit, there is a need to understand how to separate work life from social life. The person doing this cannot be like a seasoned homicide detective who builds a wall of what they call the `isolation of affect’ between themselves and the horrors they see. To do this job effectively one must be able to laugh and joke around with some child-killer or look at the horrors of some case and casually discuss what had happened to a victim. By trying to visualize and imagine what the victim experienced and try to figure out why the subject did these things to this victim. To be able to do that it really becomes emotionally and physically draining says John Douglas, but it is what has to be done in order to stay sane. As John shared more of his experience with us, he told us about some questions he would ask the prisoners he would visit just to better his knowledge and skills. He would ask questions like: Why did this killer select this victim over that one? And how did they get that child out of that shopping center? Did this suspect follow the press (reports)? Asking these questions helps give a better idea of what was going through the killer’s mind when he chose that specific victim or chose to commit that crime in this specific area.

To know the killer, one must know the victim and the crime scene. When it comes to the victim one must know everything there is to know. For example, how and where the crime took place, what happened verbally, physically, and sexually because without these aspects it is hard to really know who he is; to know the artist you must look at the artwork as John stated. John then goes into detail about his process prior to the interrogation with the killer: Before the interview he has to know the scene, he must look at the crime scene and the crime scene photographs. He also has to look at the preliminary police reports, autopsy photographs and read the autopsy protocol. John has to do an analysis of the victim called victimology, where he tries to ask the question, `Why was this victim the victim of this particular crime?’ Then, armed with all that information, he’ll go in there. Talking with the criminal is a crucial part of investigations, especially when there are multiple suspects. Talking with each one will help narrow down the options. Also with the more verbal communication the more John Douglas can watch the suspect and get a feel for his body language and the answers the suspect gives to the questions he is asked. Body language speaks very loudly to the types of people who study human behavior and criminology.

With different kinds of murderers comes different amounts of victims and different kinds of kills. There are three main categories murderers fall under and what makes each one different. For example, as John puts it in to perspective, a serial killer is a killer who kills three or more victims and there is a cooling-off period in between each of the killings. And the crimes are relatively sophisticated. They’re premeditated to the point the fantasy is there and they are looking to act out the fantasy. The mass murderer is generally one event. All these post office cases and school shootings are mass murders. We say it’s four or more victims are involved in the slaughter. Generally, it ends in suicide by the subject or suicide by cop, where the subject puts himself in the position. The spree killer–Andrew Cunanan, Angel Maturino Resendiz–is generally known to law enforcement and is in a fugitive status and is killing, killing, killing. He continues to talk about how most serial killers are male. People will sometimes say that it is unusual to have black serial killers. That was true up until 1981 with Wayne Williams (child murders in Atlanta). But we’ve had cases since then. Proportionately, by population generally it is the white male, and when he does kill it is much more bizarre, like decapitation. Women usually will kill people close to them. Serial killing is really a male thing, a testosterone kind of a thing. Which is something I found to be really interesting because in a lot of crime shows I have watched, there is a good number of women killing people they don’t know or abducting children and making them their own.

Work Cited

 Anonymous. INSIDE THE MIND OF THE MIND HUNTER: An Interview with Legendary FBI Agent John Douglas. 2017, Spring.


4 thoughts on “Definition Argument– Splash305”

  1. This has a chance to be thrilling once you solve your serious pronoun problems and select a single point-of-view from the several you’re working now, Splash.
    You shift from we to you to I and back again randomly. That’s got to stop. You also go with We much too early, as if you and I and all your readers are profilers who all have to establish some protocols. The solution is very easy.

    Put your first paragraph “in the voice” of your profiler. Introduce him first and establish his credentials. Then, when you use “we,” readers will understand it’s Douglas speaking for himself and all profilers.

    I could demonstrate this more specifically if you ask.

    Then, since you’ve already embarked on the trope familiar to all viewers of serial killer movies and series, you need to embrace the notion that you’re identifying (defining) two personality types that are locked in a duality by their nature and their occupations. They meet at the crime scene. It’s holy ground for both of them. Both are intimately concerned with the suffering of the victim but for entirely different reasons.

    The more I think about it, you should start your essay at the crime scene. Two men both deeply concerned with the victim. One establishing a relationship that ends very badly. The other trying to plumb the depth of that relationship. Neither of them there to do the victim any good. The victim a means to an end for both of them. Creepy but really compelling.

    What do you think?


  2. I think it would benefit me if you did demonstrate it more specifically. Also I do like this feedback and the way you think I should go about this essay. Would I have to re write this whole thing? How do I fix it with what I have to make it better? Or do I just begin again?


  3. Here’s my demonstration.

    John Douglas knows how to joke around with child-killers. As an FBI profiler, he spends his work life looking without flinching at the details of horrific killings. To figure out why the killer wanted to inflict the horror on his victims, he cannot avert his gaze from the grisly scenes or shrink in the presence of the suspects. The work is emotionally and physically draining, but narrowing down the pool of likely perpetrators means looking hard at their motivations and processes, not dispassionately but with empathy for the victims and an intimate understanding of the perpetrator. Douglas shared with us some questions he has put to convicts he visited to sharpen his understanding. “Why did you select this victim over that one?” he has asked, and “How did you get that child out of the shopping center?” “Did you follow the press reports of your case before you were arrested?”

    That material about homicide detectives and their isolation of affect should wait for another paragraph, Splash. It’s too distracting here. This first paragraph is not too soon to begin to hint that the relationship profilers develop with their prey can be or at least seem unsavory. The person whose professional life depends on a fascination or an obsession with the revolting details of child abduction, torture, murder, and the satisfying of reprehensible urges is an indispensable part of the criminal justice system. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to be one. I don’t think I’d want to be married to one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In this sample first paragraph, your subject, John Douglas, is “getting to know” the murderers in face-to-face meetings. But you shift in Paragraph 2 to the equally informative crime scene investigation work, where our profiler “gets a feel for” his killer by placing himself at the scene of the horrific acts. He needs to feel what the victim felt, surmise what the killer was feeling, why he made the choices he made, what gratification he received from the location, the timing, the aspects of the killing, the treatment of the body after death. It’s hard to imagine that someone who deliberately chooses to spend his days in such investigations isn’t getting a little gratification himself from pondering the horror. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

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