Reading The silence of the lambs made it famous: profiling - the science that draws conclusions from the deeds of a murderer on his character and his life. After successes in the US, it is now being introduced in all German states. When the police found her, Margit R. lay dead on the foliage, not far from the forest parking lot where she had parked her car before jogging. Her killer had throttled her with a wire and smashed her neck with a log. He had torn her short jogging pants so that the seams looked like suspenders. On the woman's thigh, the investigators discovered sperm.

The investigators from the responsible Kripo Landshut formed - at that time in June 1997 - immediately a special commission, in order to clarify this unusually brutal murder case. But they did not just call for the usual forensic service units. In addition to forensics, forensic medicine and DNA analysis for sperm examination, they also turned to the then newly founded Department of Operative Case Analysis (OFA) of the Munich Kripo.

The young Criminal Superintendent Alexander Horn and his colleagues had just set up on the model of the FBI. Their purpose: To find the offender, if there is no relationship between victim and perpetrator. "The cases in which spouses kill themselves after 20 years of frustrating marriage are not part of our job. For serial killers and "lust" killers, the criminal police were until recently quite helpless. Until the introduction of Operational Case Analysis, which was developed in the US.

"The found groups of perpetrators apply worldwide, " says Alexander Horn. "Together with foreign colleagues, we have found that they also exist in Russia, Canada or Germany. With only one striking difference: In the US, the perpetrators are consistently younger. "Display

"The perpetrator must make decisions before, during, and after the act, all of which reflect his character, " says Horn, "and we need to find out which ones were foreseen and which were influenced by his environment and, above all, the victim. The behavior of his victim has the perpetrator not under control. Unexpected things can happen. "

For the profilers, it is particularly important if the victim was a light or heavy prey for the killer. As it turned out, Margit R., who was murdered in the forest, had a small risk of sacrificing himself. She was an intelligent woman and lived in an orderly manner. On top of that, she was not an easy victim. She was a social worker and worked in youth education - a woman who knew how to defend herself. This fact played an important role in the analysis of the offender.

For the Munich OFA experts, the profile of the murderer of Margit R. was clear after their meeting: a man in his early to mid-20s - an underdog who has no success in his job and no high status among his "buddies". He ends relationships with women soon. He lives near the crime scene. He is inexperienced overall - an introverted person with a car that he tinkers a lot. He drinks a lot. Before the act he was under strong stress.

As he has come to most of his conclusions, he conceals: "Many perpetrators are by no means stupid. We do not reveal everything that we know about behavioral assessments, because some perpetrators otherwise try to lead the wrong track. "

The murderer of Margit R. does not belong in this group. The police came across a young man suspiciously suited to many features of the profile. When the investigators arrived, they discovered a tuned Golf GTI on the doorstep. The suspect readily had a saliva sample taken for DNA analysis. She convicted him as a murderer.

=== Thomas Willke

© science.de

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