When a serial killer strikes, it’s up to law enforcement officials to catch the perpetrator. But what happens when the perpetrator proves to be an elusive predator? That’s where FBI profilers come into the mix. They lend a hand when requested by law enforcement agencies, in narrowing down the search for the unknown suspect.
So what do FBI profilers do? It’s fairly obvious that they, given their title, create a profile, a profile of the suspect in a case. The profile is then used by law enforcement officials to catch the perpetrator.
What Does an FBI Profiler Do?
So how does this process work? Well, sometimes law enforcement officials will work on a case, a case in which a suspect has committed a series of heinous crimes. The suspect remains at large, and law enforcement officers have exhausted all means of identifying the suspect. In such a case, law enforcement officials will request help from the FBI, more specifically its profilers. They’ll meet with FBI agents at Quantico, talk with them, and provide them with the details of the case. Case material like photos and reports are all handed over to the FBI profilers.
FBI profilers will then spend hours upon hours going over the details of the case. This is not a one agent one case assignment. Though one case agent is assigned to the case, multiple agents will work on it. They’ll use the evidence provided to build a profile listing the most probable characteristics of the suspect. Such characteristics include height and dominant hand. They’ll also use past behavior to predict future actions, determine what motivates the perpetrator, and determine how the perpetrator is evading capture.
When complete, the profile is typically 60%-80% accurate. It’s then handed over to law enforcement officials because, well, they’re the one who will actually solve the case. From there, it’s up to them to apprehend the suspect.
The duties of an FBI profiler are much more than profiling. The Behavioral Analysis Unit spends a great deal of effort understanding what motivates a serial killer or serial rapist to do what he does. It’s the cornerstone of their work. Profiling an unknown suspect relies on the knowledge gained through research, research into the minds of criminals. The research is, most times than not, carried out by an FBI profiler. Those profilers review past cases of heinous crimes and sometimes even interview offenders to understand why they do what they do.
How Much Do FBI Profilers Make?
The work of an FBI profiler requires a high level of expertise on the behaviour of criminals. Their expertise is compensated with an annual salary of $79,870, and though the profession provides a valuable service for society the employment growth for FBI profilers is predicted to grow by only 4% by 2024.