Explain 'how' David Canter came to the points/conclusions below when developing his profile of John Duffy, the 'railway rapist'?Canter's profile of John Duffy - ·          Residence: has...

Explain 'how' David Canter came to the points/conclusions below when developing his profile of John Duffy, the 'railway rapist'?

Canter's profile of John Duffy -

·          Residence: has lived in the area circumscribed by the first three cases since 1983.

·          Marital status: probably lives with wife/girlfriend, quite possibly without children.

·          Age etc: mid to late twenties; light hair, about 5 ft 9 in.

·          Occupation: probably semi-skilled job, involving weekend work or casual labour from June 1984 onwards. Job does not bring him into a lot of contact with pubic, in all probability.

·          Character: keeps to himself but has one or two very close men friends. Probably very little contact with women, especially in work situation. Has knowledge of the railway system along which attacks happened.

·          Sexual activity: the variety and mixture of his sexual actions suggest considerable sexual experience.

·          Criminal record: was probably under arrest at some time between 24 October 1982 and January 1984. His arrest may not have been a sex-related crime at all but an aggressive attack, possibly under the influence of alcohol (or drugs?).



For each point/conclusion above, explain 'how' David Canter came to the point/conclusion when developing his profile of John Duffy, the 'railway rapist'?

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to his book Application of Geographical Offender Profiling serial criminals have certain tendencies that send off signals to the authorities due to the complexity of the trends.

In the case of Duffy, his residency has to do with "Clustering" (pg. 16): The tendency of the criminal to operate within a range, and to sort of "collect locations" which he or she can control within a range. It is almost as if the criminal wanted to "run that side of town", and leave its mark permanently in one place.

Marital Status: Duffy seemed to have a certain ease accessing women, which could mean that he already lived with one, considering that he is not shy with them, and knows where they can be found. Seems to know the tendencies and patterns of females, prob. because he lives with one.

Age and Sexual Activity may be a correlation due to his sexual experience and agility, level of energy, possible level of strength, anger, and libido. A young, scrawny guy wouldn't fit the bill in terms of experience and strength.

His criminal record has a lot to do with the clustering discussed above: The criminal operates under motivating factors such as need for drugs, and as he moves, he does- Hence, he may have just committed one offence in one place and kept dragging them around his operating range.

Occupation and Character are closely related, as one is a consequence of the other (you usually choose to do tasks that have to do with your personal choices and personality), so decoding his character as a man obsessed with the railroad systems, which are rather hidden and secluded, are the acts of someone who is similar to his tastes.