Saturday, July 13, 2013

From the Crime Writer’s Library: Crime Classification Manual

In the previous “From the Crime Writer’s Library,” we discussed again a work by John Douglas, the founder of and once head of the FBI's Investigative Support Unit. These blogs have been leading up to today’s book: Crime Classification Manual.

Despite the FBI’s history of criminal investigation, prior to the Investigative Support Unit, the criminal behavior of the offender had not been closely examined or dissected. After extensive investigations and interviews, the people of the Investigative Support Unit created the Crime Classification Manual, which is now in its second edition.

This game changing book that standardized the language and terminology used throughout the criminal justice system. It helps the investigator—and crime writers—to analyze the crime from the characteristics of the perpetrator and the victims of the crimes. This book is not for someone who has just come begun to “wade in the pool” of understanding criminal investigation. It is for someone with a little more advanced knowledge.

Crime Classification Manual helps the investigator (or writer in our case) examine murder, arson, sexual assaults, child abduction, cybercrime, elder female sexual homicide and more by looking for and at the motivation of the criminal. It contains case histories, statistics that also help break down the criminal act.

This book and The Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation, discussed previously on this blog ( ) are the foundation on which to build an understanding of Criminal Investigation, Criminal Behavior, and all of the other sciences of criminal investigative work that is done outside of the crime lab and morgue.  Both are expensive. I would highly suggest checking with your local library or used bookstore before you purchase a copy.

Thank you for reading and please visit and You can also follow me on twitter @Owlkenpowriter and the Writer’s Lens @TheWritersLens. Fiction is the world where the philosopher is the most free in our society to explore the human condition as he chooses.

1 comment:

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