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LES ECHOS

The Psychology Of The Most Heinous Crimes

Behavior psychology, first introduced in the U.S. during the 1960s, is now a widely accepted part of criminal investigation tactics. A French special unit handles some 40 extreme cases a year.

Over the line
Over the line
Soren Seelow

PARIS — A man found dead, a bottle of whiskey stuck in his body. A 70-year-old man murdered in the southwest of France, his tongue and heart ripped out. A night watchman stabbed a dozen times for no apparent reason. These are the sort of cases that seven specially trained police officers handle from their headquarters just outside of Paris.

When an especially bizarre murder is discovered, three of them rush to the crime scene as soon as possible. They work quickly and in silence to avoid being influenced by investigators. Their mission is to place themselves in the mind of the murderer. They are “profilers.”

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