Expert to profile Jeffrey Dahmer and other serial killers at Sunderland talk as Netflix series airs

Jeffrey Dahmer is among the notorious serial killers whose behaviour will be put under the spotlight at a Sunderland talk.
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Professor Craig Jackson brings his talk, The Myth Of Serial Killer Profiling, to Sunderland’s The Point in February next year.

Developed by the FBI in the 1970s, Criminal Profiling is used in countless serial murder investigations globally.

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Using information about a crime, crime scenes, and victims, profilers compose behavioural profiles of those wanted in connection with the crime. The general public believes profiling to be a reliable and valid scientific way of investigating serial crimes, but the reality is far from that, says the professor.

Myth of Serial Killer Profiling is  heading to SunderlandMyth of Serial Killer Profiling is  heading to Sunderland
Myth of Serial Killer Profiling is heading to Sunderland

Professor Jackson has contributed to more than 50 documentaries about violent crimes and murder and in the talk he reveals evidence showing profiling has never resulted in the identification, apprehension and conviction of serial murderers.

He has worked to assist investigations into serial rape, murder, and missing people.

As FBI agents develop their criminal profiles, they “embed” themselves in the mind of a killer and think what a murderer’s ‘signature moves’ and motivations might be.

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Focusing on some of the most infamous and perplexing serial murder cases in FBI history, the show will reveal how criminal profilers often got it so wrong.

Cases include the manhunts for The BTK (Bind Torture Kill) serial murderer; The Trailside killer; The Unabomber; The Tylenol poisoner; The Yorkshire ripper; The London nail-bomber; The Grindr killer; the Gay Slayer; The Washington beltway snipers, and most infamously the unsolved case of The Zodiac killer, as well as Jeffrey Dahmer whose crimes have recently hit the headlines following a new Netflix series.

The professor says the way many of these cases were solved will be surprising and the truth about criminal profiling as a pseudo-science will be demonstrated.

He dispels many “FBI myths” about serial murderers; they are not “organised” or “disorganised” personalities; or dysfunctional loners; they do not all take souvenirs from victims, or torture animals, and they were not bed-wettters as children. Very few of them are ‘twisted geniuses’ either, he says.

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It’s said that serial murderers have used knowledge of criminal profiling to misdirect police investigations and continue killing, and the talk will examine how the BTK and Zodiac were not even recognised as a serial murderers by the FBI until both killers claimed responsibility.

The talk will also look at serial murderers who correspond with the police or media, and how these killers provide many clues, but often remain free.

:: The Myth of Serial Killer Profiling is at The Point, Sunderland, on Saturday 18th February 2023. The talk is for over 16s only. Tickets from Skiddle.