Criminal Profiling: Part 1 History and Method
The Anthrax Terrorist
Then after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and the anthrax scare that followed, a profile was developed of what that perpetrator might be like. When they failed to make an arrest, Lawrence Sellin wrote a scathing report arguing that the profile has not yet helped to catch this person and offered a dramatically different alternative. Since its not yet known whether his alternative is correct, its also not yet known whether the FBI profilers were wrong, but the anger evident at the FBIs imperfections is evident throughout the piece. If it turns out that they truly had tunnel vision (or worse, a bumbling rush to judgment), then the anger is justified.
In fact, as in the past, profiling is not just the province of the FBI. Psychologists with a specialty in criminal behavior, and some criminologists, are developing their own ideas on the subject, and even their own methods.