Profiling Terrorists: Lessons from the Unabomber Case

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Can offender profiling be used effectively to aid terrorist investigations? Certainly, profiling has been used in such cases, and this article will examine one case where several separate attempts were made to profile a terrorist offender, but many authors have claimed that profiling is not a suitable tool for all criminal investigations. In general, profiles have usually been most efficient in cases where an unknown offender has displayed indications of psychopathology. According to Holmes and Holmes (1996) the types of crimes most appropriate for psychological profiling are sexually motivated crimes and crimes with satanic or ritualistic aspects. Generally, offenders involved in such crimes tend to have distinctive personality characteristics and these distinctive characteristics tend to result in distinctive behaviours
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalForensic Update
Issue number61
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • offender profiling
  • psychological profiling
  • terrorists
  • Unabomber
  • Theodore Kaczynski
  • lone actor terrorism

Cite this