D.C Sniper Case1 – Coursework Example

Geographical Profiling in the D.C. Sniper Case In geographic profiling, a computer is used to generate predictions that will help locate the residence or operational base of serial offenders. It links to databases that reveal addresses, street locations, crime incidences and timelines. A mathematical model is used to detect criminal trends, patterns and activities. Rigel analysis is utilized together with geographic information systems (GIS).
Geographic profiling method was chosen as an investigation tool during the 2002 DC sniper attacks due to its high reliability. It has the ability to reduce the suspect’s search area by 90% (Canter et al, 2000). It is more reliable in tracking serial criminals. It has been noted that people followed patterns in their movements and criminals stage their operations from a familiar area. According to Paulsen (2006), geographic profiling gives police the area they need to focus on in their investigations through the use of an adaptable map called jeopardy that is easy to read and use. The place of with highest probability of the attacker’s residence is indicated using color-coding in the jeopardy.
The method was of much help to the police and was credited for its ability to strategically prioritize information (Canter, (2003). Though it did not locate he attackers, it helped police to link 13 separate attacks which took place for several weeks and in many states. Finally the snipers, John Muhamed and Lee Malvo were located.
As one of the best serial crime detection tool, more funds should be directed toward the improvement of geographic profiling so as to curb increased serial crime rates.
Canter. D (2003). Mapping murder: Walking in killers footsteps. London: Virgin Books.
Canter. D, Coffey. T, Huntley. M & Missen. C (2000). “Predicting serial killers home base
using a decision support system”. Journal of Quantitative Criminology. (16) pp457–478.
Paulsen, D. (2006). “Connecting the dots: Assessing the accuracy of geographic profiling
software. Policing” An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management. ( 29) pp 306-334.