Read Malcolm Gladwell’s piece in The New Yorker, Criminal profiling made easy

My response:

Dear Malcolm:

Read your piece in the New Yorker. Thank you for writing it. I am just finishing a Masters Degree in Justice Administration and Public Policy(in the last 3 years I have studied a fair bit on deviant behavior).

And because I blog about unsolved crimes I see more than my fair share of intimate details about crimes, and far too many wack-job emails from pseudo sleuths – with good intentions – who should really find something else to do with their voyeur energy.

I am so glad you wrote what you wrote. From all that I’ve seen most of these crimes are solved by good policing and a fair bit of chance /luck. I have worked quite closely with Dr. Kim Rossmo over the last 5 years who specializes in geographic profiling; sure, he gets most press from Pickton and the Washington Sniper, but his methods are much more alligned with British crime solving practices, which to my mind are far more practical and based on common sense (I love where your guy talked about all the reasons a woman’s blouse may be pulled up.)FYI: I contributed a chapter to a book edited by Rossmo on Criminal Investigative Failures. I’m told it will be coming out in early 08. That’s not to blow my own horn as a writer (I am far from it), but to let you know that I think there were many people hoping someone would write a piece like you did to topple psychological profiling. Far too often I get emails from people wanting to help with my sister’s murder that start with a phrase like, “And I have read all of Douglas and Ressler’s books”.

I’m going to close by leaving you the email I received below from a British Psychic some time ago (just to prove to you that I haven’tlost my sense of humor). Oh yeah, she got it all wrong.

One last thing: Now that you are famous, what are people like me supposed to say when you come up in conversation? Last week in class there was a long winded discussion about your book Blink. It was unbearable, people attributing things to you that were unrecognizable from the man you are, and the book you wrote (all positive, but plain wrong), And I had to sit through it and say nothing, stating that I went to college with you would only make the situation worse.

So Malcolm, what are are people like me supposed to do in these situation?


John Allore
Theresa mentioned snow boarding which was her first love and how the first time she did it, her brothers had taken her. She said shef rightened you to death because she took off and was so fearless right from the start. She said you were exasperated and shouted at her because your father wasn’t there and you were supposed to be responsible for her. She snow-boarded down a particularly steep slope and actually left the ground and just wouldn’t stop. She said she carried on the way she began. Her nose, by the way, always tended togo quite red when she was snow-boarding, just the tip of it.

I gather it was something she excelled at beyond normal comparison because of her balance and sense of timing. Her balance was most acuteand she could do tricks on it too.

She said you have 2 children – 2 boys. And Andre has 3 – 1 boy and 2 girls.

She said that you moved her to the shared accommodation when she went to the college, in your car.

She said she hadn’t been there that long.

There were some situations in her childhood when she would do some extraordinary things. She would hide a lot, and when she was verysmall the family found her in various different places they wouldnever have imagined; even under the house.

She was always a live wire. She liked to play games with/on others in the family, and this hiding was part of this. She would hide under the bed, under almost anything, particularly to avoid something she didn’twant to do, but it was just a little game.

She talked about school and that she liked it, but the best part was not being there and being outdoors.

She said she’d had some soft toys, bears mainly.

Must have been some other Theresa


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