Dr. James A. Brussel is known as the first person to create a systematic offender profile for a criminal investigation. The profile was to help find the person who was responsible for a series of bombing attacks that took place in New York over a period of 16 years. It might be helpful to understand a bit about the history of the incidents.


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The first bomb, which didn’t detonate was found near the Con Edison building in New York in 1940 along with a note that read: Con Edison Crooks, this is for you. A year later, a similar device was found, and the investigators believed it was created by the same person. Three months after that, a letter arrived at the police department reading: “I will make no more bomb units for the duration of the war – my patriotic feelings have made me decide this – later I will bring Con Edison to justice – they will pay for their dastardly deeds.” It was nine years before another bomb showed up, and then over a period of six more years, there were 30 more bombs.

Although no one died, it was a very frightening time. Brussel set about creating a criminal profile. Keep in mind that this was the first attempt at a profile. Here’s the profile: Male, former employee of Con Edison, injured while working and seeking revenge, paranoid, 50 years old, neat and meticulous, foreign, some formal education, unmarried and living with female relatives, but not a mother who probably died when he was young, upon capture will be wearing a buttoned up double-breasted jacket.

As the investigation proceeded, the employees at Con Edison went through their files to find former, injured employees. They located the file of George Metesky, who had an accident at the workplace, filed a disability claim that was denied, and wrote a number of letters to the company that included the phrase dastardly deeds. When he was arrested, he confessed to the crimes. And guess what! When arrested, he was wearing a double-breasted jacket!

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