The previous post about Coral Watts got me to thinking about the job of FBI profilers, and how hard it must have been to track down a serial killer who fit none of the usual patterns. But away from Watts, it's amazing how closely the FBI profilers can sometimes describe certain serial killers even before a specific suspect has emerged. the profilers can predict what kind of job the killer has, how he comes across in person, whether he's married, and what kind of social life he must have.
Law enforcement agencies have suspected for a while that the Long Island Ripper may be a cop himself, and today news came out that two NYPD cops have emerged as prime suspects in the case.
It would be interesting to see what the FBI would come up with if it were asked to provide a psychological profile of the typical man who decides to run for President. This would probably be a much easier job for them. Their profile would probably look something like this:
John Candidate grew up with a distant father, and had a weak bond with his mother. Neither of them had particularly deep feelings for him. As a result he has a strongly narcissistic personality, with delusions of grandeur, which he masks with frequent statements about how he only wants to help people and other falsely modest gestures.
Mr. Candidate is always well groomed, to the point of being fastidious about his personal appearance. He pays a great deal of attention to his wardrobe and is generally willing to spend large sums of money to look good.
He will generally say anything to please others, regardless of how little truth there is to his statements. This tendency along with a keen sense of what motivates others allows him to be quite effective at manipulating those around him. This accounts in large part for the success he has achieved so far.
He also makes promises quite readily; but even if at the time he has the vague intention of keeping them, later on he feels little need to actually make good on them.
Although Mr. Candidate is adept at spotting others weaknesses and motivations, he has a low level of insight into his own, and tends to believe his own superficial statements about his desire to serve. He is quite glib, and is skilled at lying with seeming sincerity.
He is a very outward-directed person: he tends to feel empty inside unless he has approval from others, and thus has a bottomless need for approval and validation. He is married, but regards his marriage and even his own children primarily as window dressing. In fact, all of his personal relationships are based on how others can benefit him. Friendship for its own sake is an alien concept to him.
John Candidate has an ordinary physical sex drive, but a very low level of inhibition, so has a tendency to get into a lot of sexually-motivated entanglements.