Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The True Story of John Raymond "Woody" Woodring

Criminal Profile

In an effort to come up with an accurate profile of Woodring, Lohr contacted criminal profiler Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, an expert criminal profiler who has studied and investigated serial killers for over 20 years. Dr. Schurman-Kauflin, best known for profiling the elusive BTK serial killer, agreed to provide the Crime Library with a profile of Woodring, based upon both published and non-published facts provided to her.

Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin
Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin

"Woodring clearly has an obsession with the most deviant, violent offenders," Dr. Schurman-Kauflin said. "His escalating pattern of violence, coupled with his compelling desire to appear as an expert himself, make him extremely dangerous. From examining his background, it is clear that Woodring desperately wanted to look like he was a nice guy who was in control. At the same time, his life was spiraling downward.

"He likely was drawn to serial killers due to his own dark, internal desires. Simply, he was playing a dangerous game of delving into the minds of the most horrible offenders and then presenting himself as an authority to feel superior. Very often, those who have deviant desires seek out those who are like-minded. This allowed him to be close to that with which he was comfortable. By writing about the killers, he could live vicariously through them and at the same time give out hints of what was truly lurking in his psyche.

"There is a definite duality in him. He wanted others to view him as worthwhile and educated, but inside, it is very likely that he was spinning out of control. Writing public pleas to his estranged love interest was not actually what it appeared to be. This was another way to victimize the female and humiliate her. It was a way to make her respond to him on his terms. You see this pattern in his life; thus it is very likely that you will see this behavior in the future.

"He will not surrender on someone else's terms... He sees himself as special, and he will want others to see him that way as well [but] he will overestimate his abilities, and that will lead to his apprehension."

During the hunt for Woodring, his family members declined to speak with Crime Library. However, a source close to the family described him as a "textbook narcissist" who had no respect for authority. When asked what his intentions could be, the source said the family would not be surprised if Woodring decided to take revenge on those he perceived as wronging him in the past. "He [Woodring] won't commit suicide," the source said. "He thinks too much of himself." When asked where he might be heading, the source speculated, "He's not worried about going into hiding, because he thinks he is smarter then the common criminal and he's not worried about getting caught."

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