White Paper–Splash305

Content Descriptions:

  • Understanding how to separate work life and social life
  • Getting inside the mind of the criminal
  • Different kinds of killers that are dealt with
  • How to deal with the horrific things you see mentally
  1.  Working Hypothesis 1

With the knowedge and the experiences you have being an FBI profiler you can either use it to your advantage, or you can let the horrific things you see negatively impact you.

Working Hypothesis 2

When it comes to the different kinds of killers, you have to know them as well as they know themselves in order to crack them.

2. Topics For Smaller Papers

Definition/Classification Argument 

 When in the mind set of an FBI profiler or someone working in the criminal intent unit, we need to understand how to speparate our work life from our social life. To do this you cannot be like a seasoned homicide detective who builds a wall of what they call `isolation of affect’ between themselves and the horrors that they see. To do this job effectively you must be able to laugh and joke around with some child-killer or look at the horrors of some case of what happened to a victim. You try to visualize, imagine what the victim experienced and try to figure out why the subject did these things to this victim. 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 some questions he would ask the prisoners he would visit just to better his knowlege and skills. He would ask questions like: Why did you select this victim over that one? And how did you get that child out of that shopping center? Did you follow the press (reports)?

To know the killer we have to know the victim, we have to know the crime scene. When it comes to the victim we must know everything there is to know. We must know how and where the crime took place, what happened verbally, physically, and sexually because without these aspects we don’t really know who he is; to know the artist you must look at the artwork as John stated. Then John goes into detail about his process prior to the interigation with the killer: Before the interview, I have to know the scene. I have to look at the crime scene, the crime scene photographs. You also have to look at the preliminary police reports, autopsy photographs, read the autopsy protocol. I have to do an analysis of the victim, called victimology, where you try to ask the question, `Why was this victim the victim of this particular crime?’ Then, armed with all that information, I’ll go in there.

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 tell us about how most serial killers are male. People will say that it’s 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’s the white male, and when he does kill it’s much more bizarre, like decapitation. Women kill people close to them. Serial killing is really a male thing, a testosterone kind of a thing.

 Cause/Effect Argument

Dealing With Being an  FBI Profiler

Criminal investigators undergo a lot of pressure and stress during different cases. With each different case comes a different way of coping with what has been seen. For example when it comes to murder cases as Dr. Laurence Miller states the sheer magnitude and shock effect of many mass-murder scenes and the violence, mutilation and sadistic brutality associated with many serial killings – especially those involving children – often exceed the defense mechanisms and coping abilities of even the most jaded investigator.

In addition to that he also goes on to explaining how problems with other cases can be very emotionally damaging. As the investigation drags on, the inability to solve the crime and close the case further frustrates and demoralizes the assigned officers and seems to jeeringly proclaim the hollowness of society’s notions of fairness and justice.

As noted above, all the more disturbing are situations where the killer is known but the existing evidence is insufficient to support an arrest or conviction. Stress and self-recrimination are further magnified when the failure to apprehend the perpetrator is caused by human error, as when an officer’s misguided actions or breach of protocol leads to loss or damage of evidence or suppression of testimony, allowing the perpetrator to walk.

With that being said it is a very exhausting effort in trying to solve these murder cases and having a perpetrator walk free can be really damaging to your work quality and cause you to start making sloppy errors and increases your vulnerability to more stress and failure with cases.

Dr. Miller explains in rare cases when it comes to no-arrest cases, and particularly those involving children, some homicide or sex crime investigators may become emotionally involved with the victims’ families and remain in contact with them for many years. Some detectives become obsessed with a particular case and continue to work on it at every available moment, sometimes to the point of compromising their work on other cases and leading to a deterioration of health and family life.

When it comes to cases related to sex crime investigations there is more of a frustration or sadness when it comes to those who were more vulnerable like children or the elderly.

Most cases are hard to get through on a normal basis and it takes a lot of mental strength and coping skills to finish certain assignments. Criminal investigators need to use coping skills regularly when doing their assignments to be able to finish them effectively. Dr. Miller has stated some strategies that criminal investigators use to cope and has gone into detail about each of them.

First we have the defense mechanism and mental toughening, this is used as the most familiar way of blocking up unpleasant material who are used to taking a tough, suck-it-up attitude toward unpleasant aspects of the job.

Next there is a strategy called compartmentalization or isolation, this affect is where negative emotions are separated out and put in a “mental file cabinet” in order to allow the rest of the officer’s cognitive faculties to keep functioning. Individuals differ in their ability to make this mental separation without undue emotional leakage into other areas of work and family life.

another strategy is intellectualization is another strategy used to describe the process of detoxifying an emotionally wrenching task or experience by adopting the stance of detached, objective, intellectual curiosity: for example, the emotional revulsion and horror of encountering the remains of a sexually mutilated corpse is diffused and diluted by immersion in the technical scientific minutiae of crime-scene investigation and offender-profiling.

Then we have the strategy of sublimation which refers to the process of turning a “bad” impulse into a socially acceptable, or even admirable “good” activity or vocation. For this strategy you can easily take the impulses that many people would consider bad or not natural and channel them into something acceptable while still getting that release.

Humor is a strategy that plays a big role in coping when it comes to this job field. Being able to laugh about the horrors you seem and the insane serial killers that walk this earth really helps with being able to play off that those things actually exist.

Peer support and healthy humor from the people and investigative team around you also play a big part in helping you stay sane in this line of work.

With professionalism begins with a certain attitude that says the investigator will do his or her best because of a general service orientation and specifically because the work provides professional satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.

Confidentiality is an essential part of professionalism. As Dr. Miller talks about, Victims and their families must be certain that their sensitive material – testimony transcripts, crime scene photographs, videotapes, property used for evidence – will be seen only by those directly involved in solving and prosecuting the case.

As Dr. Miller discussed these strategies as stated above, there are far more that play different roles in keeping calm and level headed while working on hard stressful and emotionally draining work. But aside from all of those things it really means so much when you get through those hard cases without damaging or losing evidence so the criminal doesn’t walk free.

   Rebuttal Argument

Suicide Among Cops and FBI Agents

Many people who work in this kind of field deal with many mental stressers. Many of police officers and FBI agents get so overwhelmed with the things going on in and out of the work place, they can’t seem to find healthy ways to deal with them. In most cases when cops feel the need to commit suicide because of whatever they having going on they can’t deal with, they often do it in directly. They will have another cop shoot and kill them. As explained by Elizabeth A. Arias she gives us a specifice case study where this took place. A 36-year-old Caucasian male (A.A.) drove into a local convenience store to obtain gas for his car. He put $11.75 worth of gasoline in his vehicle and drove off without paying. A civilian followed A.A. and persuaded him to return to pay for the stolen gas. Police officers had already been called to the scene and upon A.A.’s return to the store, they approached him while he was still in his car. He refused to speak to the officers, backed his vehicle up, nearly striking two other officers, and began what turned into a high speed chase. During the chase, A.A. drove recklessly, reaching speeds up to 100 mph, and several times turned off his headlights and turned on a blue strobe light. Deputies attempted to block the vehicle several times, but A.A. managed to elude the roadblocks. The chase ended after about 10 min. When the officer’s approached A.A.’s car, he exited his vehicle with a thermos in one hand and a 0.45 caliber semi-automatic handgun in the other. After he pointed his weapon at an officer, he was fatally shot. It was later determined that A.A.’s gun was not loaded. Inside the thermos were several bags of cocaine which police believed were stolen from the police evidence room.

A.A. had previously served as a sheriff’s deputy for 13 years, but at the time of the incident—and for the prior 5 years—he was an identification and evidence technician for the local police department. On the day of the incident, he was off-duty and was driving a police department van with the police decals removed. It is not clear whether he was the one who removed the decals. The van and A.A.’s use of the blue strobe light led officers to believe that the suspect they were chasing was indeed a police officer. Of importance is that all local police officers were allowed to get free gas directly across the street from where A.A. stole it, which suggests his motivation for creating the incident.

In the months preceding the deadly encounter, A.A. spoke with his supervisor about his financial hardships: mounting bills, growing debt that was covered with borrowed money, maxed out credit cards, and a re-mortgaged home. Approximately 2 weeks prior to the incident, A.A. told his supervisor that his wife had incurred even more debt and he felt increasingly depressed over the situation. Other police officers who were in contact with A.A. on the day before the shooting did not observe anything remarkable. He had no psychiatric history and had always been in good standing with the police department. Although a toxicology report was positive for cocaine and amphetamines at the time of his death, A.A. had never failed a drug test with the department.

3. Current State of My Research Paper

My research paper is going alright. I enjoy my topic very much and I think it has a lot of potential to be something thrilling. But it seems I have some trouble wording everything I need to say correctly to make sense as to what point I am trying to get across. There are many different aspects of things to write about when it comes to this topic, and I feel as though I am trying to put them all into one essay. Other than that I think I have all the information I need to continue.

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3 Responses to White Paper–Splash305

  1. davidbdale says:

    This is an exciting topic, Splash, but I’m not certain I understand your thesis yet. You say “use it to your advantage,” but a section of your Content suggests that profilers have difficulty separating their professional and work lives. So my question: Do profilers use to their advantage in their personal lives what they learn on the job? (I apologize if I appear to be pressuring you in this direction. I admit to being very intrigued by the possibility that profilers feel invulnerable to deceit.)

    I doubt you have your heart in your “fallback hypothesis.” It feels invented to fulfill the assignment. Is it a real alternative?

    Two things about your Definition Argument. First, as you describe it here, it doesn’t appear to define any term or categorize any sort of behavior. Do you have an answer for that? Second, there is no better time to start enforcing the ban against the 2nd person than NOW. Eliminate all use of you/your/yours/yourself/yourselves from your language, even in assignments like these, as good practice.

    You might very well be correct about the difficulty profilers have talking about their work (talking about the horrors they witness, I imagine). But that’s just the first step of a cause/effect chain, isn’t it? Their inability to express what they know to be true must weigh on them terribly. That sort of trauma, repressed, would be hard to escape, wouldn’t it? Do profilers act out with anti-social behavior, depression, substance abuse, suicide? Similar observations are made about war veterans who cannot talk about their combat experiences. The prognosis for their mental health is pretty grim.

    That Rebuttal doesn’t seem like much of a challenge to your own hypothesis, Splash. Is this the best a smart opponent could offer to your own conclusions?

    I hope I’ve been some help in providing models of language use for you, Splash. Maybe that’s the wrong approach. Is there something I should do besides modeling arguments for you?

    I’d appreciate your reply.


  2. splash305 says:

    I do enjoy the feedback you give me, I did not mention anything about behavior but I can always add that in. I will start to take the use of 2nd person out of my writing, and try to find different ways to word it. I think I want to write about a lot of the different aspects in this field of work but am having trouble getting my words out. Can I write about all of these aspects? Like flowing each aspect nicely in each different paragraph when it comes to actually writing my paper. Or am I not fully understanding the requirements for the paper I am going to be writing?


  3. davidbdale says:

    Share your source links in the White Paper above, please, Splash, so I can review them and get a better idea what you’re using for material.

    Meanwhile, if you need a model of a Rebuttal Argument, I wrote one after class Wednesday:


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