8 - صحبت های قاتل یک اشکال خواهد داشت

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8 - صحبت های قاتل یک اشکال خواهد داشت

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Chapter 8

The Killer Will Have a Speech Impediment

Sometime in 1980 I saw an article in my local paper about an elderly woman who was sexually assaulted and severely beaten by an unknown intruder and left for dead, along with her two dogs, which had been stabbed to death. It looked to the police as though the offender had spent a fair amount of time at the scene. The community was stunned and outraged.

A couple of months later, coming back from a road trip, I happened to ask Pam if there had been any news on that case. She told me there hadn’t been, and that there were no strong suspects. I commented that that was too bad, because from what I’d read and heard, it sounded like a solvable case. It wasn’t a federal jurisdiction, and we hadn’t been asked in, but just as a local resident, I decided to see if there was anything I could do.

I went down to the police station, introduced myself, told the chief what I did, and asked if I could talk to the detectives working the case. He accepted my offer graciously.

The lead detective’s name was Dean Martin. I can’t remember if I refrained from any Jerry Lewis jokes, but I probably didn’t. He showed me the case files, including the crime-scene photos. This woman had really been pummeled. And as I studied the materials, I started getting a clear mental picture of the offender and the dynamics of the crime.

“Okay,” I said to the detectives, who were politely, if somewhat skeptically, listening to me, “here’s what I think.” It’s a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old high school kid. Whenever we see an old victim of a sexual assault, we look for a young offender, someone unsure of himself, without much or any experience. A victim any younger, stronger, or more challenging would be too intimidating to him. He’ll be disheveled-looking, he’ll have scruffy hair, generally poorly groomed. Now what happened on this particular night was his mother or father kicked him out of the house and he had no place to go. He’s not going to go too far in this situation. Instead, he’s going to look for the closest and easiest shelter he can find. He doesn’t have the kind of relationship with any girl or other guys that he can just crash at their house until the storm at home blows over. But as he’s out wandering, feeling miserable, powerless, and angry about it, he comes to this lady’s house. He knows she lives alone, he’s worked there in the past or done some odd jobs for her. He knows she isn’t much of a threat.

So he breaks in, maybe she protests, maybe she starts yelling at him, maybe she’s just terrified. Whatever her reaction, that both inflames and empowers him. He wants to show himself and the world what a man he is. He attempts sex with her, but he can’t penetrate. So he beats the hell out of her, at a certain point deciding he’d better go all the way because she can identify him. He isn’t wearing a mask; this has been an impulse crime, not a planned one. But she’s so traumatized that even though she lives, she can’t give the police any description.

After the attack, he’s still got no place to go, and she certainly isn’t threatening him, he knows she won’t get any visitors at night, so he stays and eats and drinks, because by this point he’s hungry.

I pause in my narrative and tell them there’s someone who meets this description out there. If they can find him, they’ve got their offender.

One detective looks at another. One of them starts to smile. “Are you a psychic, Douglas?”

“No,” I say, “but my job would be a lot easier if I were.”

“Because we had a psychic, Beverly Newton, in here a couple of weeks ago, and she said just about the same things.”

What’s more, my description did fit someone who lived nearby, whom they’d briefly considered. After our meeting, they interviewed him again. There wasn’t enough evidence to hold him, and they couldn’t get a confession. Shortly after that, he left the area.

The chief and detectives wanted to know how, if I wasn’t a psychic, I could come up with such a specific scenario. Part of the answer is that, by that time, I had seen enough cases of violent crime against all types of people, had correlated enough details with each one, and had interviewed enough violent offenders that I had a pattern in my mind of what sort of crime is committed by what sort of person. But, of course, if it were that straightforward, we could teach profiling from a manual or offer the police a computer program that could come up with a list of suspect characteristics for any set of inputs. And the fact of the matter is that while we use computers a lot in our work and they are capable of some impressive things, some other more complex things they simply can’t do and may never be able to do. Profiling is like writing. You can give a computer all the rules of grammar and syntax and style, but it still can’t write the book.

What I try to do with a case is to take in all the evidence I have to work with—the case reports, the crime-scene photos and descriptions, the victim statements or autopsy protocols—and then put myself mentally and emotionally in the head of the offender. I try to think as he does. Exactly how this happens, I’m not sure, any more than the novelists such as Tom Harris who’ve consulted me over the years can say exactly how their characters come to life. If there is a psychic component to this, I won’t run away from it, though I regard it more in the realm of creative thinking.

Psychics can, on occasion, be helpful to a criminal investigation. I’ve seen it work. Some of them have the ability to focus subconsciously on particular subtle details at a scene and draw logical conclusions from them, just as I try to do and train my people to do. But I always advise investigators that a psychic should be a last resort as an investigative tool, and if you’re going to use one, don’t expose him or her to officers or detectives who know the details of the case. Because good psychics are proficient at picking up small, nonverbal clues, and the psychic could amaze you and establish credibility by giving back to you facts of the case you already know without necessarily having any particular insight into what you don’t know but want to find out. In the Atlanta child murders, hundreds of psychics showed up in the city and offered their services to the police. They came up with all sorts of descriptions of killers and methods. As it turned out, none was even close.

Around the same time that I met with the local police, departments from around the San Francisco Bay area called me in on a series of murders in heavily wooded areas along hiking paths they had linked together and attributed to an UNSUB the press had dubbed the “Trailside Killer.”

It had started in August of 1979 when Edda Kane, an athletic, forty-four-year-old bank executive, disappeared while on a solitary hike up the east peak of Mount Tamalpais, a beautiful mountain overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay, which was known by the nickname the “Sleeping Lady.” When Kane wasn’t home by dark, her worried husband called the police. Her body was found by a search-team dog the next afternoon, naked except for one sock, facedown, in a kneeling position as if begging for her life. The medical examiner determined cause of death to be a single bullet to the back of the head. There was no evidence of sexual assault. The killer took three credit cards and $10 in cash, but left her wedding ring and other jewelry.

The following March, the body of twenty-three-year-old Barbara Schwartz was found in Mount Tamalpais Park. She had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest, also apparently while kneeling. In October, twenty-six-year-old Anne Alderson didn’t return from her jog around the fringes of the park. Her body was found the next afternoon with a bullet wound in the right side of her head. Unlike previous victims, Alderson was fully clothed, faceup, propped against a rock with only her right gold earring missing. The live-in caretaker on Mount Tamalpais, John Henry, said he had seen her sitting alone in the park’s amphitheater on what was to be the last morning of her life, watching the sun come up. Two other witnesses had seen her less than half a mile from where Edda Kane’s body had been found.

A promising suspect was Mark McDermand, whose invalid mother and schizophrenic brother had been found shot to death in their cabin on Mount Tamalpais. After eleven days as a fugitive, McDermand surrendered to Marin County detective Capt. Robert Gaddini. Detectives were able to link him to the murders of his own family, but while he was heavily armed, none of his guns matched the .44- or .38-caliber weapons used in the Trailside cases. And then the killings resumed.

In November, Shauna May, twenty-five, failed to meet up with two hiking companions in Point Reyes Park, a few miles north of San Francisco. Two days later, searchers found her body in a shallow grave near the decomposing corpse of another hiker, twenty-two-year-old Diana O’Connell, a New Yorker who had disappeared in the park a month before. Both women had been shot in the head. The same day, two other bodies were discovered in the park, identified as belonging to nineteen-year-old Richard Stowers and his eighteen-year-old fiancée, Cynthia Moreland, both of whom had been missing since mid-October. Investigators determined they had been killed the same long Columbus Day weekend as Anne Alderson.

The early murders had already sent terror through hikers in the area and prompted signs advising people, especially women, not to go into the woods alone. But with the discovery of four bodies in a single day, all hell broke loose. Marin County sheriff G. Albert Howenstein Jr. had collected several eyewitness accounts of people having seen the victims with strange men just before their deaths, but on certain key points, such as age and facial features, the descriptions conflicted with each other. This, by the way, isn’t unusual even in a single murder, much less a multiple over several months. An unusual pair of bifocals was found at the Barbara Schwartz scene, which apparently belonged to the killer. Howenstein released information on the glasses and the prescription, sending out flyers to all the optometrists in the area. The frames were of apparent prison issue, so Captain Gaddini contacted the California State Department of Justice to try to identify all recently released offenders with a history of sex crimes against women. Various jurisdictions and agencies, including the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office, were now actively working the case.

There was speculation in the press that the Trailside Killer might, in fact, be Los Angeles’ Zodiac Killer, who remained an UNSUB but who had been inactive since 1969. Perhaps Zodiac had been in prison for some other crime all this time and had been released by unknowing corrections officials. But unlike Zodiac, the Trailside Killer felt no need to taunt police or communicate with them.

Sheriff Howenstein brought in a psychologist from Napa, Dr. R. William Mathis, to analyze the case. Noting the ritualistic aspects of the cases, Dr. Mathis said he would expect the offender to keep souvenirs, and anyone identified as a suspect should be followed for a week before being arrested in the hope that he might lead police to the murder weapon or other evidence. As far as his appearance and behavioral characteristics, Mathis described a handsome man with a winning personality.

Working on Mathis’s advice, Howenstein and Gaddini set various types of proactive traps, including having male park rangers pose as female hikers, but nothing was working. The public pressure on law enforcement was intense. The sheriff announced to the public that the killer lays in wait for his victims and puts them through psychological trauma before killing them, probably making them plead for their lives.

When the Bureau’s San Rafael Resident Agency asked for assistance from Quantico, they’d originally contacted Roy Hazelwood, who was our chief expert on rape and violence against women. Roy is a sensitive, caring guy, and the case affected him deeply. I remember him describing it to me as we walked back to our office suite from the classroom building, where he had just finished teaching a National Academy class. I almost got the sense Roy felt personally responsible, as if the combined efforts of the FBI and about ten cooperating local agencies weren’t enough; that he should be cracking the case and bringing the offender to justice.

Unlike me, Roy had full-time teaching responsibilities. I had given up most of my classroom work by this point and was the Behavioral Science Unit’s only full-time profiler actively working cases. So Roy asked me to go out to San Francisco and give the police there some on-the-scene input.

As we’ve noted earlier, there is often resentment when the FBI comes into a case. Some of this is left over from the Hoover days, when it was often felt that the Bureau would just move in and take over the investigation of high-profile crimes. My unit can’t come in unless we’re asked by whichever agency has primary jurisdiction, be it a local police department or even the FBI itself. But in Trailside, the Marin County Sheriff’s Department had brought in the Bureau early, and with the kind of play the cases were getting in the media, I frankly felt they welcomed someone like me to come in and take the heat off them, at least for a while.

At the sheriff’s department offices, I reviewed all the case materials and crime-scene photos. I was particularly interested in Marin detective sergeant Rich Keaton’s observations that the murders all seemed to have taken place at secluded, heavily wooded sites with a thick canopy of foliage blocking out most of the sky. None of these areas was accessible by car, only by foot, involving at least a mile’s hike. The scene of Anne Alderson’s murder was reasonably close to a service road that represented a shortcut from the park amphitheater. This all strongly suggested to me that the killer was a local, intimately familiar with the area.

I gave my presentation in a large training room at the Marin County Sheriff’s Department. Seats were banked in a semicircle, like a medical lecture hall. Of the fifty or sixty people in the room, about ten were FBI agents, the rest police officers and detectives. As I looked out over the heads of the audience, I noticed more than a few gray hairs—experienced veterans had been brought back from retirement to help catch this guy.

The first thing I did was challenge the profile that had already been given. I didn’t think we were dealing with a good-looking, charming, sophisticated type. The multiple stabbings and blitz-style attacks from the rear told me we were dealing with an asocial type (though not necessarily antisocial) who’d be withdrawn, unsure of himself, and unable to engage his victims in conversation, develop a good line, or con or coax or trick them into doing what he wanted. The hikers were all physically fit. The blitz attack was a clear indication to me that the only way he could control his intended victim was to devastate her before she could respond.

These were not the crimes of someone who knew his victims. The sites were secluded and protected from view, which meant the killer essentially had as much time as he wanted to act out his fantasy with each victim. Yet he still felt the need for a blitz attack. There was no rape, just handling of the bodies after death; masturbation, probably, but no intercourse. The victims were a range of ages and physical types, unlike those of a glib, sophisticated killer such as Ted Bundy, most of whose victims conformed to a single image: pretty, college-age women with long, dark hair, parted in the middle. The Trailside Killer was nonpreferential, like a spider waiting for a bug to fly into his web. I told the assembled group of officers I expected this guy to have a bad background. I agreed with Captain Gaddini that he had spent time in jail. Priors might include rapes or, more likely, rape attempts, but no murders before this series. There would have been some precipitating stressor before it began. I certainly expected him to be white since all the victims were, and I thought he’d have some blue-collar mechanical or industrial job. Because of the efficiency of the murders and his success in evading the police thus far, I pegged his age at low to mid- thirties. I also thought he’d be pretty bright. If they ever tested his IQ, it would be well above normal. And if they looked into his background, they’d find a history of bed-wetting, fire-starting, and cruelty to animals, or at least two of the three.

“Another thing,” I added after a pregnant pause, “the killer will have a speech impediment.”

It wasn’t hard to read the expressions or body language in the room. They were finally expressing what they’d probably been thinking all along: this guy’s full of shit!

“What makes you say that?” one cop asked sarcastically. “The wounds look like a ‘stutter stab’ to you?” He grinned at his own “discovery” of a new method of killing.

No, I explained, it was a combination of inductive and deductive reasoning, considering just about every other factor in the cases; all of the factors I’d already been through. The secluded locations where he wasn’t likely to come in contact with anyone else, the fact that none of the victims had been approached in a crowd or tricked into going along with him, the fact that he felt he had to rely on a blitz attack even in the middle of nowhere—all of this told me we were dealing with someone with some condition he felt awkward or ashamed about. Overpowering an unsuspecting victim and being able to dominate and control her was his way of overcoming this handicap.

It could be some other type of ailment or disability, I allowed. Psychologically or behaviorally speaking, it could be a very homely individual, someone with bad acne scarring, polio, a missing limb, anything like that. But with the kind of attack we’d seen, we had to rule out a missing limb or any serious crippling condition. And with all the various witness accounts and all of the people in the parks around the time of the murders, we would have expected to hear about someone with an obvious disfigurement. A speech impediment, on the other hand, was something that the UNSUB could easily feel ashamed of or uncomfortable with to the extent that it might limit normal social relationships, yet wouldn’t “stand out” in a crowd. No one would know about it until he opened his mouth.

Giving this kind of guidance to a roomful of seasoned cops with a lot at stake and the press and public breathing down their necks is definitely a high ass-pucker situation, the kind I like to create for the people I’m interrogating but would just as soon avoid myself. You can’t completely do that, though. You’re always haunted by the thought so clearly stated by one of the detectives in the room that afternoon:

“What if you’re wrong, Douglas?”

“I may be wrong about some things,” I conceded as truthfully as I could. “I may miss the age. I may miss the occupation or the IQ. But I’m certainly not going to miss the race or the sex, and I’m not going to miss that he’s blue collar. And in this particular case, I’m not going to miss that he has some kind of defect that really bothers him. Maybe it’s not a speech impediment, but I think it is.”

When I was finished, I couldn’t tell how much of an impact I’d had or whether any of this had sunk in. But one cop did come up to me afterward and say, “I don’t know whether you’re right or wrong, John, but at least you gave the investigation some direction.” That’s always good to hear, though you tend to hold your breath until you see what that investigation ultimately turns up. I went back to Quantico and the combined Bay Area sheriff and police departments went about their work.

On March 29, the killer struck again, this time shooting a young couple in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz. When he told Ellen Marie Hansen, a twenty-year-old sophomore at the University of California-Davis, that he was going to rape her, she protested, whereupon he opened fire with a .38 pistol, killing her outright and severely wounding Steven Haertle, whom he left for dead. But Haertle was able to provide a partial description of a man with crooked, yellow teeth. Police built on this with other witnesses and were able to tie such a man to a red, late-model foreign car, possibly a Fiat, though again, this description varied considerably from previous ones. Haertle thought the subject was in his fifties or sixties and balding. Ballistics linked these shootings to previous Trailside murders.

On May 1, pretty, blond, twenty-year-old Heather Roxanne Scaggs disappeared. She was a student at a printing trade school in San Jose, and her boyfriend, mother, and roommate all recalled she said she was going out with an industrial arts teacher at the school, David Carpenter, who had arranged for her to buy a car from a friend of his. Carpenter was fifty years of age, which was unusual for a crime of this type.

From that point on, things began falling into place and the net began closing. Carpenter drove a red Fiat with a dented tailpipe. This last detail was a piece of “hold-back” information the police hadn’t let out previously.

David Carpenter should have been identified and caught before he actually was. The fact is, he was incredibly lucky and had also involved multiple police jurisdictions, which complicated the manhunt. He had an incarceration record for sex crimes. Ironically, the reason he didn’t show up as a sex offender on state parole records was that he had been released by California to serve out a federal sentence, and though on the streets, he was still technically in federal custody. So he slipped through the cracks. Another irony was that Carpenter and his second victim, Barbara Schwartz, at whose murder scene his glasses had been found, shared the same optometrist! Unfortunately, he had not seen the flyer the sheriff’s department circulated.

Other witnesses came forward, including an older woman who had recognized the composite drawing on television and said he had been the purser on a ship she and her children had taken to Japan twenty years before. The man had given her “the creeps” with the inappropriate attention he continually paid her young daughter.

And Peter Berest, the manager of the Glen Park Continental Savings and Loan branch in Daly City, recalled his pretty, sensitive, and trusting part-time teller, high school student Anna Kelly Menjivar, who had disappeared from her home late the previous December. Though she had not previously been linked to the Trailside slayings, her body had also been found in Mount Tamalpais Park. Berest remembered how kind and sweet Anna had been to the regular customer with a severe stutter whom Berest later learned had been arrested in 1960 for attacking a young woman at the Presidio, the Army installation at the north tip of San Francisco.

San Jose police and the FBI put Carpenter under surveillance and eventually arrested him. He turned out to be the product of a domineering and physically abusive mother, and at least an emotionally abusive father, a child of well above average intelligence who was picked on because of his severe stuttering. His childhood was also marked by chronic bed-wetting and cruelty to animals. In adult life, his anger and frustration turned into fits of unpredictable, violent rage and a seemingly unquenchable sex drive.

The first crime for which he was caught and served time, the attack on a woman with a knife and hammer in the Presidio, came following the birth of a child into an already strained marriage. During the brutal assault and shortly before, the victim reported, his terrible stutter was gone.

Because of all the requests that had been coming in from National Academy graduates, FBI director William Webster had given the Behavioral Science instructors official approval to offer psychological profiling consultation back in 1978. By the early 1980s the service had become extremely popular. I was working cases full-time, and instructors such as Bob Ressler and Roy Hazelwood were consulting as their teaching duties allowed. But despite the fact that we felt good about what we were doing and the results we thought we were achieving, no one at the top really knew for sure if this was an effective use of Bureau resources and manpower. So in 1981, the FBI’s Institutional Research and Development Unit—then headed by Howard Teten, who had moved over from Behavioral Science—undertook the first in-depth cost-benefit study of what was then called simply the Psychological Profiling Program. Teten, whose informal consultations had begun the program almost by accident, was interested to see if it was really having any effect and if headquarters should continue it.

A questionnaire was developed and sent to our clients—officials and detectives at any law enforcement agency that had used our profiling services. These included city, county, and state police departments, sheriff’s departments, FBI field offices, highway patrols, and state investigative agencies. While most of the requests had had to do with murder investigations, the R&D Unit also compiled data on our consultation in rapes, kidnappings, extortion, threats, child molestation, hostage situations, and accidental-death and suicide determination.

Profiling was still a hazy and hard-to-evaluate notion to many people within the Bureau. A lot considered it witchcraft or black magic, and some of the rest thought of it as window dressing. So we knew that unless the study showed strong and verifiable successes, all of the nonteaching facets of the Behavioral Science Unit could go by the board.

We were therefore both gratified and relieved when the analysis came back in December 1981. Investigators from all over the country came through enthusiastically for us, urging that the program be continued. The final paragraph of the report’s covering letter sums it up:

The evaluation reveals that the program is actually more successful than any of us really realized. The Behavioral Science Unit is to be commended for their outstanding job.

The detectives generally agreed that the area in which we were the most helpful was in narrowing down lists of suspects and directing the investigation into a tighter focus. An example was the brutal and appallingly senseless killing of Francine Elveson in the Bronx in October 1979, not far from some of David Berkowitz’s haunts. In fact there was concern on the part of NYPD that a Son of Sam devotee might be using his hero for inspiration. We teach the case at Quantico because it’s a good model of just how we came up with a profile and how the police used it to push forward a baffling and long-unsolved murder.

Francine Elveson was a twenty-six-year-old teacher of handicapped children at a local day-care center. Weighing ninety pounds and standing less than five foot tall, she brought a rare empathy and sensitivity to her students, being mildly handicapped herself with kyphoscoliosis, or curvature of the spine. Shy and not very socially oriented, she lived with her parents in the Pelham Parkway House apartments.

She had left for work as usual at six-thirty in the morning. About eight-twenty, a fifteen-year-old boy who also lived in the building found her wallet in the stairwell between the third and fourth floors. He had no time to do anything with it and still be on time for school, so he kept it until he came home for lunch, then gave it to his father. The father went to the Elveson apartment a little before three that afternoon and gave the wallet to Francine’s mother, who then called the day-care center to let Francine know her wallet had been found. Mrs. Elveson was told her daughter had not shown up for work that day. Instantly alarmed, she and her other daughter and a neighbor began a search of the building.

On the roof landing at the top of the stairwell, they came upon a sight of overwhelming horror. Francine’s nude body had been severely beaten by blunt-force trauma, so severely that the medical examiner later found that her jaw, nose, and cheeks had been fractured and her teeth loosened. She had been spread-eagled and tied with her own belt and nylon stockings around her wrists and ankles, though the medical examiner determined she was already dead when that was done. Her nipples had been cut off after death and placed on her chest. Her underpants had been pulled over her head to cover her face, and bite marks were on her thighs and knees. The several lacerations on the body, all of them shallow, suggested a small penknife. Her umbrella and pen had been forced into her vagina, and her comb was placed in her pubic hair. Her earrings had been placed on the ground symmetrically on either side of her head. The cause of death was determined to be ligature strangulation with the strap of the victim’s own pocketbook. On her thigh the killer had scrawled, “You can’t stop me,” and on her stomach he had written, “Fuck you,” both with the pen that had been inserted into her vagina. The other significant feature of the scene was that the killer had defecated near the body and covered the excrement with some of Francine’s clothing.

One of the things Mrs. Elveson told the police was that a gold pendant in the form of the Hebrew letter chai, for good luck, was missing from around Francine’s neck. When the mother described the shape of the pendant, detectives realized her body had been ceremonially positioned to replicate it.

Traces of semen were found on her body, but DNA typing was unknown to forensic science back in 1979. There were no defense wounds on the hands or blood traces or skin fragments under fingernails, which suggested there had been no struggle. The only tangible piece of forensic evidence was a single negroid hair found on the body during the autopsy.

Upon examining the scene and establishing the known facts, homicide detectives determined that the initial attack took place as Francine walked down the stairs. After she was battered unconscious, she was carried up to the roof landing. The autopsy indicated that she hadn’t been raped.

Because of its horrible nature, the case attracted a tremendous amount of public attention and media coverage. A police task force of twenty-six detectives was assembled, which questioned more than two thousand potential witnesses and suspects and checked on all known sex offenders in the New York City metropolitan area. But after a month, the investigation didn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Figuring there was no harm in getting another opinion, New York Housing Authority detective Tom Foley and Lt. Joe D’Amico contacted us at Quantico. They came down, bringing files and reports, crime-scene photos, and autopsy protocols. Roy Hazelwood, Dick Ault, Tony Rider (who would go on to become chief of the Behavioral Science Unit), and I met with them in the executive dining room.

After going over all the evidence and case materials and trying to place myself in the shoes of both the victim and the attacker, I came up with a profile. I suggested that the police seek an average-looking white male between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five, probably right around thirty, who would be disheveled in appearance, unemployed, and mainly nocturnal, live within a half mile of the building with his parents or older female relative, be single and have no relationships with women and no close friends, be a high school or college dropout with no military experience, have low self-esteem, and not own a car or hold a driver’s license, who was currently or had been in a mental institution taking prescription medication, had attempted suicide by strangulation or asphyxia, was not a drug or alcohol abuser, and who would have a large collection of bondage and S&M pornography. This would be his first murder, in fact his first serious crime, but unless he was caught, not his last.

“You don’t have to go far for this killer,” I told the investigators. “And you’ve already talked to the guy.” They would already have interviewed him and members of his family, since they lived in the area. Police would find him cooperative, probably overly so. He might even seek them out, injecting himself into the investigation to make sure it didn’t get too close to him.

To a lot of people unfamiliar with our techniques, this seemed like a lot of hocus-pocus. But if you go through it methodically, you can begin to see how we come up with our impressions and recommendations.

The first thing we decided was that this was a crime of opportunity, a spontaneous event. Francine’s parents told us that she sometimes took the elevator and sometimes walked the stairs. There was no way to predict what her preference would be on any given morning. If the killer had been lying in wait for her in the stairwell, he might have missed her altogether and, in any event, would likely have run into other people before seeing Francine.

Everything used in the attack and on the victim’s body belonged to the victim. The killer had brought nothing to the scene, other than perhaps the small pocketknife. He had no weapons or rape kit. He had not stalked her or gone to the scene with the intention of committing the crime.

This, in turn, led us to the next conclusion. If the UNSUB had not gone to the building with the intention of committing this crime, he must have been there for some other reason. And for him to have been there before 7 a.m. and to have run into Francine on the stairwell, he must have either lived in the building, worked there, or knew his way around pretty well. This could have meant a mailman or telephone company or Con Ed worker, though I thought that unlikely since we had no witness reports, and someone in that situation would not have been able to take the time he clearly spent with her. After the initial attack on the stairs, he knew he could take her up to the roof landing without much fear of being interrupted. Also, since no one in the building saw anything or anyone unusual, he must have fit in. Francine did not scream or struggle, so she probably knew him, at least by sight, and no one noticed anyone strange or menacing going into or out of the building that morning.

Because of the sexual nature of the attack, we felt confident we were dealing with a man in her general age range. We stated the range to be between twenty-five and thirty-five, probably right around the middle. I was willing to rule out the fifteen-year-old who found the wallet (as well as his forty-year-old father) based solely on this. Based on my experience, I could not imagine someone of that age treating the body this way. Even Monte Rissel, an extremely “precocious” serial rapist, had not behaved in this manner. This advanced a sexual fantasy would take years to develop. Also, the fifteen-year-old was black.

Even though the examination of the body had turned up the negroid hair, I was convinced we were dealing with a white killer. Very rarely did we see this type of crime cross racial lines, and when we did, there was usually other evidence to substantiate it. There was none in this case, and I had seldom, if ever, seen this kind of mutilation from a black subject. A black former janitor in the building who had never returned his keys was considered a good suspect, but I didn’t think it would be him both because of this behavioral consideration and the fact that some of the tenants would have been sure to notice him.

How did I account for that hair connecting the crime to a black UNSUB? the police wanted to know. I couldn’t, which made me somewhat uncomfortable, but I was still sure enough I was right to stand by it.

This was a “high-risk” crime and a “low-risk” victim. She had no boyfriends, was neither a prostitute, a drug taker, a beautiful child in an open environment, nor was she in a bad neighborhood away from home. The building was about 50 percent black, 40 percent white, and 10 percent Hispanic. No other similar crimes had been reported here or anywhere else in the neighborhood. Any attacker could have chosen a much “safer” place to commit a sexual crime. This, combined with the lack of advance preparation, pointed to a disorganized offender.

A combination of other factors, taken together, gave me an even clearer picture of the type of person who had killed Francine Elveson. There had been rather horrible sexual mutilation and masturbation over the body, but no intercourse. The penetration with the umbrella and pen were acts of sexual substitution. Quite clearly, the adult male we were looking for was an insecure, sexually immature, and inadequate individual. The masturbation suggested this was the acting out of some ritual he had been fantasizing about for some time. The masturbatory fantasy would have been fueled by rough bondage and sadomasochistic pornography, also a hallmark of a sexually inadequate male. Remember, he had tied her up after unconsciousness or death. The choice of a small, physically frail victim who still had to be blitz-attacked and neutralized quickly before he could perpetrate his violent fantasies on her only confirmed this in my mind. Had he carried out his sadistic acts on a living, conscious victim, it would have been a different story as to personality. But as it was, he would have a lot of difficulty maintaining relationships with women. If he dated at all, which I doubted, he would seek out much younger women whom he’d have a better shot at dominating or controlling.

The fact that he had been hanging around the apartment building when other people like Francine were on their way to work told me he was not gainfully employed in a full-time job. If he had any job at all, it would be a part-time one, possibly at night, which didn’t pay him much.

From that I concluded that he would not be able to live on his own. Unlike a lot of slicker types of killers, this guy would not be fully able to hide his weirdness from peers, which would mean he would not have many friends and wouldn’t live with a roommate. He would probably be nocturnal and wouldn’t care much about his appearance. Since he wouldn’t be living with friends and could not afford a place of his own, he would be living with his parents, or more likely, I felt, a single parent or older female relative such as a sister or an aunt. He would not be able to afford an automobile, which meant he either took public transportation to the building, walked, or lived there. I didn’t see him taking a bus to get there so early in the morning, which then suggested that he lived in the building or within, say, a half mile.

Then there was the placement of the various ritual objects—the severed nipples, the earrings, the positioning of the body itself. This type of compulsiveness amidst this frenzy of disorganized mayhem told me my prey had some deep psychological and psychiatric problems. I expected him to be on, or at least to have been on, some kind of prescription medication. That and the fact that the crime took place in early morning indicated that alcohol wasn’t a factor with this person. Whatever his instability or psychosis was, it was getting worse and would have been noticeable to those around him. Previous suicide attempts, particularly involving asphyxiation—the method of killing he had used on Francine—were a good possibility. I was betting he either was, or had been, in a mental institution. I ruled out any military experience because of this and thought he would be either a high school or college dropout with a history of unfulfilled ambitions. I was reasonably sure this was a first murder for this guy, but if he got away with it, it wouldn’t be his last. I didn’t expect him to strike again right away. This crime would be enough to hold him for weeks or months. But eventually, when the circumstances were favorable and the victim of opportunity again presented herself, he would strike again. His messages written on the body told me that much.

His placing the victim in the degrading, ritualistic posture told me he didn’t have much remorse about the crime. Had her body been covered, I might have thought that placing her underpants over her face was a sign that he was somewhat sorry and wanted to leave her with some dignity, but that was negated by the exposure of the body. So the covered face was more in the line of depersonalizing and degrading her than any act of concern.

Interestingly, he did use her clothing to cover up his own feces. Had he defecated at the scene and left it exposed, this could have been interpreted as part of his ritual fantasy or a further sign of contempt for this victim in particular or for women in general. But the fact that he covered it indicated either that he was there a long time and had no place else to go or couldn’t control his nerves or both. Based on previous experience, I thought his inability to refrain from defecating at the scene might also be the result of medication.

After receiving the profile, the police went back over their extensive suspect and interview list. They tossed out one known former sex offender who was now married with children. The preliminary cut-down had twenty-two names on it, and of these, one stood out as fitting the profile closely.

His name was Carmine Calabro. A thirty-year-old, white unemployed actor, he lived off and on with his widowed father in the Elvesons’ building, also on the fourth floor. He was unmarried and reportedly had trouble maintaining relationships with women. A high school dropout, he had no military experience. When police searched his room, they found an extensive collection of bondage and S&M pornography. He did have a history of suicide attempts by hanging and asphyxia—both before and after the Elveson murder.

But he had an alibi. As I’d predicted, the police had interviewed his father, as they had every other tenant in the building. Mr. Calabro had told them that Carmine was an in-patient resident at a local mental hospital undergoing treatment for depression. This was why the police had ruled him out earlier.

But armed with the profile description, they immediately went back to work on him and quickly determined how lax security was at that particular institution. They were then able to establish conclusively that Carmine had been absent without leave—he had simply walked out—the evening before Francine Elveson’s murder.

Thirteen months after the murder, Carmine Calabro was arrested and police got a dental impression from him. Three forensic dentists then confirmed that his teeth matched the bite marks on Francine’s body. This was to be key evidence in the trial, at which Calabro pleaded not guilty, and which ended with a murder conviction and a sentence of twenty-five years to life.

The negroid hair, by the way, turned out to be unrelated. The medical examiner’s office did a careful procedural investigation and discovered that the body bag used to transport Francine Elveson’s body to the morgue had previously been used for a black male victim and had not been properly cleaned out between uses. But this does go to show that forensic evidence on its own can be misleading, and if it doesn’t fit the investigator’s overall impression of the case, it should be looked at carefully before being accepted as proof.

This case was very gratifying to us, made even more gratifying by the fact that we had made believers out of the people we worked with in New York, among the sharpest and most sophisticated law enforcement people in the business. For an April 1983 article about the profiling program in Psychology Today, Lieutenant D’Amico said, “They had him so right that I asked the FBI why they hadn’t given us his phone number, too.”

After that article appeared, Calabro wrote to us from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, even though his name and Elveson’s name never appeared in the article. In a rambling letter with poor grammar and spelling, he generally had complimentary things to say about the FBI and NYPD, reasserted his innocence, grouped himself together with David Berkowitz and George Metesky, the Mad Bomber, and wrote, “I am not contradicting your profile of the killer in this case, as a matter of fact, on two points, I sincerely believe you are correct.” He went on to ask if we had been informed of the presence of hair evidence on the body, which he thought might exculpate (my word, not his) him. Then, curiously, he went on to ask when we came up with the profile and whether we had all the evidence. If we had all the evidence, then he intended to let the matter rest, though if we didn’t, he would write us again.

I thought this letter might be an opening to allow us to include Calabro in our study. So in July 1983, Bill Hagmaier and Rosanne Russo, one of the first woman agents in the Behavioral Science Unit, went up to Clinton to interview Calabro. They described him as being nervous but polite and cooperative, just as he had been with the police. He focused quite heavily on his innocence and the upcoming appeal, stating that he had been unfairly convicted on the bite-mark evidence. As a result, he had had all of his teeth removed so that “they cannot accuse me again” and proudly displayed his empty mouth. Other than that, the interview was in many ways a rehash of his letter, though Hagmaier and Russo said he seemed quite interested in what they were doing and didn’t want them to leave. Even in prison, he remained a loner.

There is no doubt in my mind that Carmine Calabro is deeply psychologically disturbed. Nothing about his case, his background, or our communication with him indicates anything approaching normalcy. At the same time, I still believe that like most disturbed individuals he understood the difference between right and wrong. Having these bizarre and deranged fantasies is not a crime. Making the willful choice to act upon them to the harm of others most certainly is.

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