Crime Assessment
Crime assessment is a method of criminal investigation that utilizes key structures within the criminological continuum to examine the presence and/or absence of evidence found at the crime scene. Within this framework, there are four major classifications, referred to as the sub-types hereafter, which will be introduced and explained. These subtypes span across the criminal spectrum and manifest in the expression of pathological behaviors that can be recognized. Predicated upon these primary factors and coupled with additional principles, understanding the crime scene through the crime continuum provides a critical understanding for the motives, methods, and opportunities of the crime.

Historically, the work associated with profiling has utilized the psychological continuum to project clinical diagnosis and treatment to advise investigators on the inference/meaning of the evidence at the crime scene. Due to a lack of understanding of crime patterns, the traditional profiler may err by translating individual clinical data into the analysis of the crime patterns and meaning. By incorporating a projective psychological mythology into the crime continuum, the results will vary from minor errors to major contradictory flaws of evidence that may misdirect the investigation and/or judicial testimony.

In contrast to the risks associated with traditional profiling efforts, crime assessment measures the crime by known major subtype crime patterns (Power-Assertive type; Power-Reassurance type; Anger Retaliatory type; and Anger -Excitation type). These sub-types provide a structural foundation from which to analyze crimes, in effect becoming the DNA of crime. That is, criminal research has identified key elements of the crime which can shape the investigation and provide critical knowledge regarding the various elements of the crime, including, but certainly not limited to, providing recommended methods of apprehension, interviewing strategies and prosecutorial considerations. Most importantly, inasmuch as crime assessment is reflective in its process, the investigators and experts can explain the process of the investigation without the perils of projection.

This will impact the forensics community through the understanding that, although the human experience is variable, crime patterns can be coded to reveal interlocking and separate vectors. By doing so, recurrent elements and themes are developed to group common factors for various desires, intentions and plans. Depending upon the intended outcome, the crimes can reveal differentiated power and anger issues, levels of intimacy and necessary idiosyncrasies that must be avoided. Accordingly, while acting out a crime, the criminal many times inadvertently leaves these pre-crime, crime, and post-crime clues for investigators to find and analyze.

Although crime assessment was originally created to identify sub-types in sexual assault cases, and further developed to identify offenders in sexual and non-sexual homicides, we have found that crime assessment applies to all criminal activity. An offender’s sub-type crime pattern can be identified in all crimes.