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Forensic Psychology – Offender Profiling

4. Geographic Profiling

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about geographic profiling, focusing in particular on: (i) understanding geographic profiling as using crime scene locations to estimate offender residence location; (ii) the origin of geographic profiling with Dr John Snow and his study of the London cholera outbreak; (iii) circle theory as a feature of investigative psychology, formulated by Brantingham and Brantingham in 1981; (iv) the categories of serial criminals as either commuters or marauders, each with a ‘buffer zone’ around their home within which they do not commit crimes; (v) the usefulness of geographic profiling in locating serial criminals’ homes, workplaces, and recreational spaces.


In this course, Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe (Buckinghamshire New University) explores offender profiling. In the first lecture, we think about the top down and bottom up approaches to profiling, and review a range of definitions of offender profiling. In the second lecture, we think about the FBI’s organised and disorganised crime scene and criminal typologies. Next, we think about the investigative psychology approach as an alternative to the ‘FBI approach’. In the fourth and final lecture, we think about geographic profiling and its origins in John Snow’s ‘cholera map’ of London.


Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe is associate professor of education and research and head of the School of Human and Social Sciences at Buckinghamshire New University. Professor O’Keeffe’s research interests include investigative psychology and parapsychology, and has made numerous television and radio appearances alongside an array of celebrities. Some of Professor O’Keeffe’s recent publications include 'Things That Go Bump In The Literature: An Environmental Appraisal of 'Haunted Houses'' (2020) and 'Restorative Justice and Recidivism: Investigating the impact of victim-preference for level of engagement' (2014).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

O'Keeffe, C. (2022, March 29). Forensic Psychology – Offender Profiling - Geographic Profiling [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

O'Keeffe, C. "Forensic Psychology – Offender Profiling – Geographic Profiling." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 29 Mar 2022,

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