Serial Crime book cover

Serial Crime

Theoretical and Practical Issues in Behavioral Profiling

Serial Crime: Theoretical and Practical Issues in Behavioral Profiling examines serial predatory behavior and is comprised of two main parts. The first section deals with behavioral profiling, and covers a variety of critical issues from profiling’s history and the theoretical schools of thought to its treatment in the mainstream media. The second edition includes new sections on the problems of induction, metacognition in criminal profiling and investigative relevance. Part two deals more specifically with a number of types of serial crime including stalking, rape, murder and arson. Chapters on each of these crimes provide definitions and thresholds, discussion of the offenders, the crime and its dynamics. Considerations for behavioral profiling and investigations and the development of new paradigms in each area are interwoven throughout. Topics are conceptually and practically related since profiling has typically seen most application in serial crimes and similar investigations.

The unique presentation of the book successfully connects the concepts and creates links to criminal behavior across crimes—murder, sexual assault, and arson—something no other title does. The connection of serial behavior to profiling, the most useful tool in discovering behavior patterns, is also new to the body of literature available and serves to examine the ideal manner in which profiling can be used in conjunction with behavioral science to positively affect criminal investigations.

Primary: Upper level undergraduate and graduate students
Secondary: Academic researchers and professional practitioners


Published: July 2009

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-12-374998-7


  • Chapter 1: Criminal Profiling: A Continuing History
    Gareth Norris
    Chapter 2: Induction and Deduction in Criminal Profiling
    Wayne Petherick
    Chapter 3: Behavioral Consistency, the Homology Assumption and the Problems of Induction
    Wayne Petherick and Claire Ferguson
    Chapter 4: Criminal Profiling Methods
    Wayne Petherick
    Chapter 5: The Fallacy of Accuracy in Criminal Profiling
    Wayne Petherick
    Chapter 6: Investigative Relevance
    Claire Ferguson
    Chapter 7: Metacognition in Criminal Profiling
    Barry Woodhouse and Wayne Petherick
    Chapter 8: Profiling as Expert Evidence
    Wayne Petherick, David Field, Andrew Lowe and Elizabeth Fry
    Chapter 9: Where to from Here?
    Wayne Petherick
    Chapter 10: Criminal Profilers and the Media: Profiling the Beltway Snipers
    Brent Turvey and Michael McGrath
    Chapter 11: Serial Stalking: Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places?
    Wayne Petherick
    Chapter 12: Serial Rape: An Investigative Approach
    Terry Goldsworthy
    Chapter 13: Understanding Serial Sexual Murder: A Biopsychosocial Approach
    Robert J. Homant and Daniel B. Kennedy
    Chapter 14: Serial Arson
    Ross Brogan


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