Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Profiling, Serial Killer
David R. Champion
In Water bury, Connecticut, in 1957, police arrested the “Mad Bomber” George Metesky in connection with a string of bombings in New York City that had plagued the city over a 16-year period. Upon his arrest, Metesky donned a double-breasted suit—just one of many details about the suspect that had been predicted by Dr. William Brussel, a psychiatrist who had constructed a profile of the bomber. Brussel's profile also matched Metesky in several other key details: His predictions about Metesky's ethnicity, age, paranoia level, and other personal characteristics were all validated. The Mad Bomber case has been recognized as the first use of psychological profiling by authorities to detect and apprehend criminal offenders. Serial murder is distinguished from other multiple-homicide classifications in that the repetitive slayings are part of discrete events, separated by time. This differentiates serial killing from spree killings (in which several slayings are committed within a short ...