Summary: This is not an article but this time I want to post about criminal psychology, so called 범죄심리학 in Korean, because this is the area that I am interested in when it comes to crime, other than the punishments. Criminal psychology is the study that goes deeply into ‘what makes someone commit a crime’ and also studies how the suspect behaves after the crime, such as in the court. In the court, the criminal psychologists are often called up as witnesses and during investigations they ‘profile’ suspects.
The four roles of criminal psychologist are to clinically assess mental status of individuals, perform a research, use statistics and advice police on the investigation in order to solve the case. However, the major part of criminal psychology is the ‘criminal profiling’. The profiling is familiar to many people as this is the theme of various American dramas such as Criminal Minds. This is defined as a behavioral and investigative tool that is intended to help investigators to accurately predict and profile the characteristics of unknown criminal subjects or offenders. Profilers predict broad aspects such as height, characteristic, living condition, age etc of unknown suspects based on evidences they have.
Famous Korean expert:
Pyo Chang-won (표창원) is the most famous criminal psychologist in South Korea that he sharply analyze the psychology and the reason behind suspects’ actions. He worked as a police officer, professor, broadcaster, author, criminal psychology analyst etc. Although he was an angry and troublesome kid when he was young, he found his interest in reading the detective novels and that became the device which helped him to suppress his anger. And after the graduation of one of the highest university, Korea National Police University, he went to the U.K to study criminal psychology deeper as that area was not prominent in Korea at that time.
Books I have read: In relation to criminal psychology, I have read two books which are all written by Pyo Chang-won.
(1) 한국의 연쇄살인 (Serial Murders in Korea) As this book was published in 2005, this book contains many famous murder cases from 1970s to 2000s. Before reading this book I didn’t know about the definition of serial murder in Korean version. It differs from the U.S and any other countries. Professor Pyo says the definition is: in general, committing murder more than two times without reasonable motives or planning and with the time gap between each murder which can crank down the excitement from the previous murder. I think serial murders can never be justified with any reasons. But reading about the atmosphere of the society at the time of the murders and the childhood of the murderers helped me to understand about cases better.
(2) 한국의 CSI (CSI in Korea) This book explains readers how forensic examination of scenes, fingerprints, DNA, bloodstains etc are carried out in the actual crime scenes with the introduction of actual cases in the past. As this book contained plentiful of pictures and detail explanations I felt like I was watching an episode from a drama.