Offender profiling can trace it's roots to the early research into the criminal and his difference to the law abiding population back to Lombrosso. But it was not until quite recently that Dr. James Brussel, perhaps the true father of profiling, pioneered the idea of using psychological, crime scene and victim details to solve a crime, that profiling has been taken seriously.
The Mind Hunters of the FBI's Behaviuoral Sciences unit have now carried Brussel's work a stage further, and are able to give a detailed profile of an offender just by looking at a crime scene photograph.
But where does the future lie for profiling? Should we follow the example of Robbie Coltrain as "Cracker", or should we listen to professor David Canter of Liverpool university who believers the way forward to be with data analysis?
This work looks at the history of both psychological and sociological explanations of crime, and attempts to see if profiling, as science or art, can fit into a neat framework.