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Serial Killers, Part 2: The Birth of Behavioral Analysis in the FBI

When the FBI placed notorious serial killer Theodore “Ted” Bundy on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list following his escape from a Colorado prison in 1977, it also released details on his M.O. That information was pulled from a psychological assessment of Bundy prepared by two agents who were part of a groundbreaking behavioral analysis unit set up five years earlier for precisely this purpose: to study the behavior, experiences, and psychological make-up of criminals and suspects for patterns and insights that could help solve cases and prevent future crimes, especial serial murders and other forms of violence.

Oct 23, 2013 07:00 PM

Serial Killers, Part 2: The Birth of Behavioral Analysis in the FBI


When the FBI placed notorious serial killer Theodore "Ted" Bundy on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list following his escape from a Colorado prison in 1977, it also released details on his M.O. That information was pulled from a psychological assessment of the criminal prepared by two FBI agents—Howard Teten and Robert Ressler—at the Bureau’s Training Academy. The two men were part of a groundbreaking behavioral analysis unit set up five years earlier for precisely this purpose: to study the behavior, experiences, and psychological make-up of criminals and suspects for patterns and insights that could help solve cases and prevent future crimes, especial serial murders and other forms of violence.

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