The nature of the beast: A critical discussion of profiling

  • Irma Labuschagne
Keywords: serial killer, criminology, crime, profiling


The criminologist’s inquiry into the causes of crime is complex and multifaceted. The process by which individuals become criminals must be identified; social behaviour in general, and the specific context in which the crime was committed, should receive attention. The study of all crimes involves not only investigations into the motivation of offenders, but also into the roles of victims and bystanders, as well as the physical and social context within which crime takes place. It is with all of these factors in mind that criminologists embark on the arduous task of developing a profile for society’s most feared – the serial killer.

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Research articles