Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ten Pieces of Evidence You Should NOT Become a Profiler

At least not yet. Not now. Maybe when you grow up. Actually, maybe never.

I get emails all the time from people - teens and college students, from those in their thirties and forties and from some quite mature in age - who want to become profilers and so they write me for advice. I answer some of them when they impress me enough to make me want to spend my time responding, but a good many emails just cause me to roll my eyes and hit the delete button. If your email, Ms. or Mr. Profiler Wannabee is in the trash bin, here are ten reasons why you might think about another career.

1) Dear Mr. Brown.....

If you can't even bother to find out the sex of the person you are emailing, your laziness or lack of interest in doing the smallest bit of investigation shows me you aren't going to spend enough time doing analysis on a case to do it properly.

2) Hi. I am starting my own agency and would like some advice.

Learn to write an email and don't go into business because you really aren't very good at it.

3) Dear Ms. Brown, can you recommend some books I should read to learn more about profiling?

Yeah, how about mine?

4) I keep picking abusive men to be in a relationship with, so I have a lot of experience with bad men and I think being a criminal profiler would be a great fit for me.

Hmm....no....because you suck at profiling.

5) I think Casey Anthony is innocent and if I were a profiler, I could have helped the police find the real killer of Caylee.

Hmm....no...because you suck at profiling.

6) I am a woman who just retired from my job at age 65 and I am thinking about going back to college (I am a HS grad) to become a profiler. Do you think I have a chance of working in the field?

::sigh::I wish..but, let's be realistic. There are hardly any jobs in profiling in today's world and by the time you get a master's degree, you will be in your seventies....so really? Do you really think you can get hired at that age when you are competing against young men and women, especially young men who have worked in law enforcement and the military? I won't tell you you shouldn't try but I could make really good money placing a bet against your chances of success.

7) Dear Ms. Brown, I find serial killers really pretty cool and I have been told I might be psychopathic myself so I could probably get inside their heads. Would I make a good profiler?

Dear Mr. Psycho, I am not saying you won't find a criminal profiler with a personality disorder, but I would hardly call that a qualification. However, I will keep you in mind if women start dropping dead in your area.

8). Hi. I think profling is kool I wnat to be one what should I do next

Learn how to read and write.

9) Dear Ms. Brown, I want to be a profiler but I can't stand to look at crime scene photos. Can I be one anyway?


10) Ms. Brown, I want a super exciting career like those profilers in Criminal Minds. I want to chase serial killers and stop them from committing their next murder. What do you think I should do?

Find another career. Profiling is nothing like Criminal Minds and if you don't find studying photos and police reports and interviews something fascinating to do eight hours straight every day with just a break for lunch, you need become a street cop or  join the Marines.

If you sent one of the above emails to me, now you know why you have never heard back!

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

November 25, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bill Cosby, Hollywood, and the Casting Couch

Model Photo at Age 19 
A lot of people have been asking me if I think Bill Cosby is guilty of sexual assault and rape now that sixteen or so women have come forward to claim he forced sex on them in one way or the other. Let me say right here that I don't know if Bill Cosby committed a crime or he was just behaving like some of the men I encountered during my year in Hollywood; aggressive, entitled, and rather repulsive.

The casting couch was alive and well during the year of 1973 when I did the rounds in Hollywood attempting to get modeling and acting gigs. Managers, photographers, and actors of the male persuasion certainly put the moves on me promising me gigs and stardom if I just gave up a little somethin' somethin'. I remember quite a number of approaches. One day I went to a casting director over at Universal Studios for Police Story and he told me he loved my portfolio. Headshot photo in hand, he asked me to dinner. When I told him I had other plans, he threw it back across the desk at me and told me, mockingly, to call him again when I got in the union. Another time I had this manager take me to Richard Dreyfuss's house. I don't remember the actor being there but I do  remember a dish of pills being passed around. The manager encouraged me to pick a color. I declined. He then told me he could take me to Las Vegas with him while he did some business there. I declined. He didn't take me on as a client. I can remember some other times when my go-see included a man simply dropping his trousers or whipping it out and encouraging me to have a go at it. Yeah, the casting couch was and is a huge problem and I can tell you, I ran into very few girls who said no because those who did often got nowhere in the business. I promised myself I would never succumb to the casting couch and I kept that promise; I failed dismally at getting any work other than extra work.

I am not saying that truly talented women and men can never climb the career ladder in Hollywood without getting on their knees, backs, or stomachs but I can confidently say that a good portion of wannabee actors and models just go with the program and hope it does them some good.

So, can I see Bill Cosby acting in a disgraceful manner and aggressively seeking sex with young vulnerable women wanting to break into Hollywood? Absolutely. Most of the stories the women tell sound more like the casting couch than rape scenarios but that some might have been taken advantage of while heavily under the influence of drugs that Bill might have given them when a sexual act occurred...yeah, possible.

The problem, as always with the reporting of crimes delayed by weeks, months or years and especially when reported in the media rather than to law enforcement is that it is impossible to really know if a criminal act occurred, or for that matter, if even sleazy behavior occurred. Even though a person, like Cosby, with a position of power can certainly cause young person to succumb to sexual pressure either because they are starstruck or desirous of fame or fortune, it still isn't a crime unless there was force involved. One could call it sexual harassment but the fact most of these claims are outside of professional employment situations means it is a matter between two people. And, when a man reaches such a high level of visibility, it is easy for him to become a target of claims that can't be proven but can ruin one's reputation. I have had many lies told about me and I can't do much about them because once they are out on the Internet and being repeated, denial often doesn't make a difference. So I don't know exactly who is being despicable in this situation.

I made the decision at age 19 not to go the casting couch route. I could just have easily decided to use it to my advantage to get work. In reality, this is another version of prostitution and if one want to sell one's body to make money or advance one's career than one must accept that one is choosing to do so and the responsiblity for the act lies on both sides. Is it fair that the casting couch is, for a good many people, a necessity to get work in Hollywood? No, and I would like to see it eliminated. But, for now, it is still a reality and we all know that those in power sometimes demand sex in return for favors and those not in power may offer sex in order to get favors.

Sometimes standing up to those in power means losing money and opportunity. I didn't make it in Hollywood at age 19 because I chose not to go the casting couch route (and I probably wasn't all that talented, either) and I lost my job as a professor with Excelsior College because I chose not to allow plagiarism and I refused to participate in grade inflation. I have lost a good portion of my television work because I won't speak on mass murder. That is how life goes. I am sure many readers here have lost opportunities because they said no to sex, or lying, or cheating, or racism, or elitism, or whatever less-than-ethical action their boss or company required of them. And hurrah for them.

So, is Bill Cosby guilty of what these women claim? I don't know. All I know is he is still funny and I still love The Bill Cosby Show. And I still think Michael Jackson can dance.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

November 24, 2014