PRECINCT 444 Podcast

A Podcast of The National Law Enforcement Museum

Law & Disorder | The Real Mindhunters: A History of Criminal Profiling


When violent crime occurs, both law enforcement and the general public often find themselves asking “what kind of person could do something like this?” The practice of criminal psychology exists to answer this question and in 1972, the FBI developed what is now the Behavioral Analysis Unit to study the motivations of violent offenders and recognize behavioral patterns between violent offenders to connect more cases and close them. The work of the early BAU was dramatized on Netflix’s series Mindhunter (2017) which is based on the memoir of retired FBI Special Agent John E. Douglas.

On today’s episode of Law and Disorder, we will dive into the history and the work of the BAU, and discuss the practice of Criminal Psychology.