Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods


The Profile

What the police had considered as scant-evidence was a wellspring for Dr. Brussel. After pouring through the case file, he came up with the following conclusions.

The bomber was male. With a few exceptions, historically bombers have always been male.

The bomber had a grudge against Con Edison and was likely a former employee. He believed himself to have been permanently injured by the company and was seeking revenge. This conclusion was obvious from the letters.

The bomber was a textbook paranoid. The bomber believed that Con Edison and the public at large conspired against him.

The bomber was middle-aged probably around 50. Paranoia generally peaks around age 35 and the bomber had been active for 16 years.

The bomber was neat, meticulous and skilled at his work. Everything from the carefully constructed bombs, to the neat lettering, to the careful planning of the bombs indicated his neatness. Also, paranoids tend to set high standards for themselves so as not open themselves to unwanted criticism.

The bomber was overly sensitive to criticism. This is a classic symptom of paranoia.

The bomber was foreign or spent the majority of his time with foreign people. The bomber wrote in stilted, formal language bereft of any contemporary slang. He utilized phrases like "dastardly deeds" that sounded as if out of Victorian fiction. He referred to Con Edison as "the Con Edison" when New Yorkers had referred to the utility giant without the article "the" for years.

The bomber had at least a high school education but probably no college. The stilted language of the letters and skilled construction of the bombs spoke of self-education. The excellent handwriting indicated at least some formal schooling.

The bomber was a Slav and probably Roman Catholic. Culturally speaking, Eastern and Central Europeans most often employ bombs as weapons. Most Slavs are Catholic.

The bomber lived in Connecticut, not New York. Some of the letters had been mailed from Westchester Country (a location in between Connecticut and New York) and Connecticut was home to large communities of Eastern and Central Europeans.

The bomber suffered from an Oedipal Complex. Like most Oedipal sufferers he was likely unmarried and lived with a single female relative or relatives that were not his mother. He probably lost his mother young. Dr. Brussel made these conclusions based on the phallic construction of the bombs; the strange (and breast-like) W's in the bomber's otherwise perfect handwriting and the strange slashing and penetration of the movie theatres seats. As far as Finney and his detectives were concerned, these were Dr. Brussel's most farfetched and dubious conclusions, but Dr. Brussel was most confident in them.


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