What Criminal Minds Tells Us About Criminals

What kind of person becomes a criminal according to the tv show Criminal Minds? If there is one profile for all the criminals on the show, it would be this. Some of these though can be dangerous stereotypes that can legitimize discrimination against certain groups:

1.) Blamers

Individuals who ruin their own lives, but blame another person for the wreck that they are in, are the ones who set out to kill surrogates (people who have similar attributes with the individual they hate: a parent who neglected them, a lover who rejected them, and the like), before they go to finish off their main target. It is inconceivable for them to move on or become advocates against the violence that they experienced. It is true that another person contributed to their misery, but it is through their own choice that they decided to murder other people, and those murders have created more misery.

2.) Victims

They were victims of a crime, and instead of going to the police, filing a case in court, or appealing the case to a higher court, they commit crimes to feel a sense of vengeance. There is room for sympathy for the criminals, and the show’s FBI profilers feel for them, at times even expressing how unjust it was that these criminals have been driven by the experience of abuse to become abusers themselves. Yet, their past experiences do not give them the right to harm other people.

Not all victims of crimes become criminals, and this was emphasized when one of the investigators on the show revealed that he was once a victim of a crime, and this pushed him to work for justice.

3.) Vigilantes

They work in the criminal justice system and are frustrated by the ineffectiveness of the system, so they take the law into their own hands. Being an activist myself, I understand these feelings, but again these emotions do not justify breaking the law.

4.) Sexual Dysfunction

Most have experienced sexual assault and this screws them up. Of course not all victims of sexual assault become like this, and the show should emphasize this in case it demonizes victims of abuse. I noticed though that if the suspect is a woman, they always ask if there was sexual assault, but if it’s a man, they don’t ask if he was sexually assaulted.

People who are impotent have a tendency to become criminals according to Criminal Minds, which is again kinda an unfair thing if we generalize all impotent people as such.

5.) No Sense of Control

These criminals are caged by their own psyche, and thus they cannot control their actions.

6.) Smart

They are very cunning. They leave fake evidence to mislead the profilers. They play with the profilers’ investigations. If they’re so smart, how I wish they just used that intelligence for something good.

7.) Stressor

They recently went through something stressful: someone died, gone through a divorce or break up, someone close to them fell really ill, and the like.

8.) Poor

There might be an unconscious class bias that the writers are not aware of. The profilers are often looking for individuals who are unemployed, recently got fired, holds a menial job that drives them insane. The show should make sure that they are not sending the wrong message that poor people are more likely to be criminals. Rich people can also commit crimes.

9.) Loner

They live alone, work in a job where they don’t meet other people, and they don’t know how to interact with other people. Hope this doesn’t demonize introverts. Autistic people also avoid social situations, but that doesn’t mean that all autistic people have committed a crime.

10.) Past Criminal Record

The profilers say that serial killers cannot develop sophistication in killing if they did not start with previous crimes. Recidivism is also tackled in the show. I understand that this can happen, however, I wish that the show doesn’t inculcate the wrong notion that previous criminals will always be criminals.

11.) Psychological disease

They’re clinically insane or they just got released from a mental facility. I hope the show doesn’t subconsciously make people think that all mentally challenged individuals can become criminals.

12.) Secret Basement

They have barns and basements or they know a lot about the woods. These areas are soundproof so that no one can hear the victim’s cries. No one knows where these places are.

13.) Ruse

They use a ruse to lure the victim. Once the victim is in their hands, that’s when they attack.

14.) Stalkers

They are really obsessed about someone, and they have had restraining orders issued against them.

Watch out for more Pop Culture Activism.

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