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Killer Profile

Killer Profile is one of the newest nonfiction series on television. Each episode takes viewers on an hour-long journey into the life of a notorious serial killer. Viewers experience firsthand accounts from witnesses to the crime, detectives assigned to the case, and sometimes even the killers. With one season under its belt, this highly-rated series is ready for a new season on the Lifetime television network.

Several notable criminal profilers are featured in this show including James R. Fitzgerald, a former supervisory special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Fitzgerald also serves as executive producer and co-host for Killer Profile. Other profilers include Fitzgerald’s former colleague Jim Clemente, who serves as a writer and consultant on the hit television series Criminal Minds, and former head of the homicide prevention unit at New Scotland Yard, Laura Richards.

james r fitzgerald, killer profile
James on the Set of Killer Profile

Criminals featured during the first season of Killer Profile include Bobby Joe Long, who murdered ten women in just seven months, and childhood friends and partners in crime Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermantine, who considered murder a sport. Viewers also received a glimpse into the mind of Gary Heidnik, the notorious killer with a cellar of torture that included electrocution, crucifixion, and forced cannibalism.

Some of the profiled individuals were not caught until decades after committing their crimes. Timothy Krajcir is one example: Krajcir’s five-year murdering spree was not revealed until 20 years later through DNA evidence. Israel Keyes is known as one of the most elusive serious killers and the episode profiling him revealed how far-reaching his crimes were. Keyes’ violent crime spree began in 1996 and lasted until his capture in 2012. Keyes committed suicide later that year, taking secrets regarding additional victims to his grave.

It is difficult to understand why people commit a crime as violent as murder. Learning the motivations of these killers requires thinking like them. This is the work of a profiler. One popular method of profiling, used by the FBI, involves analyzing the crime to detect and classify major behavioral and personality characteristics of the criminal. Every detail regarding the victim, crime scene, and witnesses is examined and then integrated into a framework used to classify the characteristics of the criminal.

Once the criminal has been classified, the profiler reconstructs the sequence of the crime and how it was committed. This, along with the “signature “ relevant to satisfaction of psychological needs and staging of the crime, are used to generate a profile of the criminal that helps profilers track down the individual. Killer Profile illustrates just how accurate these profiles can be.

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