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Self Defense/Validity of psychological profiling


Hey. I've been wondering about the concept of criminal profiling.
In theory it sounds good-using the cues left at a crime scene by a criminal to get psychological insight. Sort of like after the fact cold reading. In practice, though, I've never heard of a profile actually leading to a criminal’s arrest. It seems like you can certainty deduce/induce certain personality traits from a crime scene, but the information you get is often pretty obvious ("This serial killer has low empathy"). I'm curious whether you have any views on whether or not criminal profiling is a valid investigation tool, and what it's place is as a investigation tool.
Thanks for writing your excellent books, and your time.

To the best of my limited knowledge, profiling has never been directly responsible for an arrest.

But then again, you arrest people based on evidence and investigation. Investigating, interviewing and collecting evidence is job of the police/detective, not a profiler, medical examiner or a private detective... unlike so much of what TV would have you believe.

Having said that, it can direct investigators to which suspect is more likely. Resulting in increased scrutiny on that person. If the profiler is correct, this is a good thing. If not, not so much.


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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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