Profiling serial killers and other crimes in South Africa, by Micki Pistorius
The following text from Micki Pistorius's book on profiling serial killers and other crimes in South Africa is about the development of psychological profiling in his home country.
Prior to 1994 the South African Police Service (SAPS) did not officially make use of profilers. In February 1994 I was appointed by the Behavioural Sciences Unit of SAPS to oversee a project on profiling. My appointment came about because I was the first person in the country to conduct academic research on the subject of serial killers (A psychoanalytical approach to serial killers, DPhil Psychology, University of Pretoria, 1996). On my first day at work I was flown to Cape Town and asked to compile a profile of the serial killer whom the press had dubbed the 'Station Strangled. For the first time a psychologist employed by SAPS participated directly in an investigation and worked hand-in-hand with the detectives assigned to the case. The success of that profile attracted the attention of the then national head of Murder and Robbery Units, Brigadier Suiker Britz. Later that year, on his recommendation, I was transferred to what later became known as the Serious and Violent Crimes division of the detective service where I established the Investigative Psychology Unit (IPU), with the sole aim of providing psychological profiles and psychological crime scene analyses to the detectives. A short while later I attended a course on profiling and crime scene analysis in Dundee, Scotland, conducted by Robert Ressler and Roy Hazelwood, two pioneering FBI profilers. If my first profile of the Station Strangler had not been as accurate as it was, it is doubtful whether an independent unit specialising in profiling would ever have been established under the detective services, which is a line function of the SAPS, as opposed to remaining a project within the Behavioural Sciences Unit, which offers a support service to the SAPS. The element that distinguished my profile of the Station Strangler from all others throughout the world was that my psychological analysis of the motive of offender was based mainly on Freudian theories, the subject of my doctorate. Robert Ressler proclaimed this technique a world first. My work in the IPU soon expanded to include training detectives in serial homicide and related investigations, and research and consultation on other psychologically motivated crimes, such as stalking, serial rape, threatening letters, kidnapping, muti murders, and so on. In 1997 the unit expanded with the appointment of Inspector Elmarie Myburgh, a qualified psychometrist and criminologist, and a few years later we were joined by Captain Lynn Evans, a detective who specialised in serial rape. I identified certain murder and robbery detectives in each province to act as coordinators of such investigations. I compiled a two-week course in Basic Investigative Psychology as well as a two-week Advanced course, which I presented annually to selected murder and robbery and serious violent crimes detectives and crime scene photographers. Between 1994 and my resignation in 2000, we participated in the investigation of thirty-five serial killer cases. I resigned in 2000 with the rank of deputy director, equivalent to the old rank of colonel. The pioneering phase of psychological profiling in South Africa had come to an end. Senior Superintendent Dr Gerard Labuschagne was appointed as the new commander of the IPU about a year after my resignation. He had also achieved his master's degree in psychology on the subject of serial killers (Serial Murder: An Interactional Analysis, University of Pretoria, 1997). The training courses have been integrated into three weeks and renamed 'Psychologically Motivated Crimes'. [...]
This is an excerpt from the book 'Profiling serial killers and other crimes in South Africa', by Micki Pistorius.
Title: Profiling serial killers and other crimes in South Africa
Author: Micki Pistorius
Publisher: The Penguin Group (South Africa)
Cape Town, South Africa 2005
ISBN 9780143024828 / ISBN 978-0-14-302482-8
Softcover, 13 x 20 cm, 438 pages
Pistorius, Micki im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Profiling Serial Killers and other crimes in South Africa contains a comprehensive introduction to the subject.
Catch me a killer tells the true story of Micki Pistorius as a South African profiler solving more than 30 serial murders cases.