Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods


Recent Work

You're currently involved now in something called the Academy Group. Can you tell us what that is?

It's a group of retired people from the FBI, secret service, and state police. We have one secret service, one state police, and six FBI agents. All of us were once in the Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI academy. We had the idea of forming a company that would do what we had done in the BSUbut get paid for it! So we formed the company and it's now extremely well known throughout Canada and the U. S., and overseas in some foreign countries. We're available to perform three basic tasks: consulting, lectures, and research. For example, our study of the wives and girlfriends of sadistic sex offenders.

Can you describe a case that you've worked on as part of the Academy Group?

There are some fantastic cases in premises liability lawsuits. Every case I work on involves violent crime. We had a serial murder case where I was brought in to testify for the plaintiff. Their contention was that, had there been adequate security at the front gate, this abduction-murder would not have occurred.

This is a very sad case. It just tears your heart out. This young girl was learning-disabled. She was about 21. She had just gotten her driver's license, had graduated from high school, and was about to have her first date. So we have three positive things at a delayed time in her life. She had a craving for chocolate before her menstrual periods, and on this night, there was no chocolate in the house. So she asked her mother, with whom she lived, if she could go to the local strip mall and get some ice cream. Her mother said, of course, and she left to go to her Wednesday night Bible study. The young girl goes off in her car to the yogurt shop.

At the same time, this serial killer, who worked for a carpet laying company and who had already killed several girls, was driving home from work. What he liked to do was pull up with what looked like a real nine-millimeter gun, point it out the window at pedestrians or women in their cars, and just frighten them. So he drives through this shopping center on that night and he sees the girl. He decides that she's the one. But she gets to her car before he can pull up and frighten her, so he decides to follow her and scare her at the first stoplight. But there are no stoplights on the way to her apartment complex. So when she gets there, she goes to the gate. They had a gate guard and card access, but on this night, the guard had gone to the bathroom for about a minute. So the girl puts her card in and the gate goes up. It stays up long enough for two cars to get through, so he follows her. She pulls into her parking spot and he pulls up behind her. He points the toy gun at her, but doesn't say a word.

She puts down her purse and her yogurt cup and says, "Please don't hurt me." He says, "Get in the van." She goes around the van to the side door and gets in. He goes into the back and ties her up. He then murders her with a screwdriver and dumps the body. All of these things just came together in that way.

My job on this case was to talk about the type of killer he was and to say what would or would not have stopped him. I knew from police reports that on previous occasions when this guy was confronted, he would leave. If you as a woman were walking down the street and he started following you, and you turned around and said, "What are you doing? Get the hell out of here!" he would leave. That convinced me that had a gate guard been present and challenged him for not having a sticker on his car, he would have backed off and left.

The mother won her case and gave all the money away to various charities.

Weren't you a consultant a few years ago on the Fox television show "Millennium"?

The members of the Academy Group were consultants, yes. The producer, Chris Carter, based his Millennium Group on the Academy Group. He tried to make contact with the Academy Group, but was unable to do so, so he started thinking about it and thought it was spooky. Then myself, Pete Smerick, and Dick Ault flew out and met with Lance Henriksen, Chris Carter, and sixteen writers. Carter spent two full days with us. For a full day, we lectured them, and we saw the scripts beforehand. But it really had nothing to do with what we did.

You have recently published a new book, Dark Dreams, what is it about?

I wrote this one by myself. I've always wanted to teach the public about sexual crimes. There are no outer limits. The mind is constantly coming up with new ideas. So when you're dealing with sexual offenders, there are no outer limits, and I want the public to understand that there is no simple answer to this stuff. This is an attempt on my part to educate the lay public about how complex this subject is. It's much more complex than an hour-long talk show can explore. I talk about sexual sadists and give some cases that I've worked on over the years that no one's ever heard of. We also get into profiling in this book, but essentially, I want people to understand that when you deal with the human mind, there are no absolutes. They can think up almost anything.

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