Stephanie Hernandez

Since late 2005, Criminal Minds has been very successful and continues to captivate viewers

Commented [1]: I think that you need to create a hook
to make the reader want to keep reading and find out
more. Maybe you could explain what a profiler does to
catch attention. From that you could play into the show
since they are profilers in the show.

each and every season. Many individuals, like myself, either once or still aspire to become a
profiler in the Behavioral Analysis Unit. As the show evolves we understand and comprehend
what profilers do within the world of Criminal Minds, which is a piece of fiction, however, the
shows agency, the Behavioral Analysis unit, does in fact exist, as well as other aspects the show.
Profilers are criminologist who studies criminal behavior using psychology to develop clues on
who the criminal is.

Commented [2]: I think that you should back this up
with some statistics or something. Not everyone wants
to or has wanted to do that. I also think that you should
explain what a profiler does because I don't even know
what they do.
Commented [3]: Using the word 'we' includes the
reader and I've never seen the show so I do
understand and comprehend what they do. I think that
you should consider changing it to something like 'the
viewers' to explain that while watching the show you
will learn along the way. You can make a connection
between the show and the viewers.

Criminal minds was created by Jeff Davis and first aired in September 2005 (Davis, 2005).
Criminal Minds is set primarily in Quantico, Virginia which is where the FBI’s Behavioral
Analysis Unit headquarters is located. Throughout the show, the plot surrounds a talented group
illustrating the hardships of being a profiler and their process of finding the suspects. In every
episode, there are quotes from famous philosophers usually recited by the team members that
either focuses on the suspect, the team member’s life, or the relationship between the team
members. Each observation takes place in different states, which depend on where the crime was
committed. When in other states, the team is usually stationed in local police departments where
they developed a profile they later present to the local police officers. Other several important
sites in each the observations take place include the crime scenes and morgues.
This paper intends to delve into the fiction versus reality aspects of the show, to explore the
psychological and physical scientific principles that the show is based off that narrows down the
suspect pool, and to compare and contrast the psychological and physical effects of stress from
the career on real agents and the series’ agents.

Commented [4]: I know you need to put background
information, which you did in the previous paragraph,
but I feel like you should talk more about the intended
research rather than just an explanation of the show.
You go into detail about what the show is about, but
then you end the introduction with just one sentence
saying what your paper is intended to do.
Commented [5]: In the introduction you don't state any
potential bias. Think about possibly adding that to this
paragraph to help extend the introduction and add
more detail.

Stephanie Hernandez

Literature Review
The profilers in Criminal Minds have to delve deep into the psyche of the criminals they are

Commented [6]: Your Literature Review was very well
written. You included all of the sources that you needed
to. It provided a lot of good information in it.

chasing. Each criminal is different in a way that makes each crime different. Many of the
criminals in the show portray signs of abuse, but each abuse situation is different, and even if
their crime is the same, there are different details to each murder (Hernandez, 2016) such as the
way these criminals also get their start. The show depicts the history of the criminals and in
reality, the history of the criminals is important because the environment they are abused in,
along with the kind of abuse, can lead to a life of terrible acts (Beaver, 2008). After reading this,
more research led me to find out that there is also a set of genes that affect on what makes a
killer (Fallon, 2009). The show covers genetics a bit as well. The series also demonstrates the
psychology of the minds of criminals. Evil can be considered any act against humanity. But in
situations where people commit evil and don’t need to, they are in the position of power, which
isn't forcing them to commit the crime, however, it gives the option to do evil (Zimbardo, 2010).
According to what has been researched about the minds of real-life criminals, it has followed
up on information that the show is accurate in its information (Hernandez, 2016). However, after
noting this, there has been cases where criminal profilers attempt a process called "offender
homology," which presumes an inherent uniformity of traits in criminals, that has more or less
worked as a profiling technique, but it still requires some fine tuning for more accurate tests
(Kocsis & Palermo, 2013). The agents in the show highly rely on this technique when
developing a profile for the criminal. People aren't born criminals, there are many factors that
push people towards committing evil acts, and this sometimes may not make them criminals, but

Commented [7]: When I read these first few
sentences, I felt like I had already read this before. So,
I looked back to the beginning of your paper and
realized that the introduction sounds like these first few
sentences. They sound repetitive because you
describe the show a few times. You may want to cut
down on exactly how much summarizing you do and
state the point in just a few sentences.

Stephanie Hernandez
it does affect their level of criminality, their quality or state of being a criminal which can affect
how evil someone can be (Ronel, 2011).
The agents depicted in the show all have their own nightmares about what they do, but so do
many real law enforcement officers. About 254 mostly male officers throughout the US were
tested for mental disorders, and about 80% of them had forms of PTSD (Haisch & Meyers,
2004). Officers, however, are not the only ones affected by these crimes. The families of the
officers suffer, and the people who had to deal with the impact of the crime also have lasting
trauma (Hanson, Sawyer, Begle, & Hubel, 2010).
Now that we have seen what the accurate representations are in this CBS drama, we will
discuss what aren't represented accurately. First off, the psychological profilers do not get that
close and personal with the actual criminals, they only make the analysis and do not take in part
of the arrest when the criminal is found. Also, the show depicts the BAU owning their own
private jet; However, in reality they fly coach. The BAU agents in that they develop a profile and
arrest very quickly. In most episodes have an immediate arrest within a couple days at the max.
In reality it can sometimes takes months, even years to develop an accurate profile and arrest the
criminal (Rosevear, 2006).
Overall, the show depicts profiling and criminal analyzing fairly well. There are some
paradoxical issues but still isn't disproved quite yet. Within the observations, one of the
characters mentions that the techniques are relatively new to the crime solving agencies. The
same goes for reality. Most detectives or agents who have been working in the field for years
don’t have experience with these techniques, but these techniques are being quickly employed
into crime solving agencies now and have been for the past 10 years (Kocsis, 2004).
Entering the Conversation

Commented [8]: Overall, you have a pretty strong
literature review. I like how you included statistics for
support. This helps make the paper stronger. Also, all
of your sources seem very reliable and contribute great

Stephanie Hernandez
Imagine, if you will, a heavy weight on your shoulders, but not just any weight. Your
decisions, your judgment calls, they affect other people's lives. Your career is what either keeps a
family together or can end someone's life if you are not on time or prepared. Agents and officers
have to save the lives of innocent people but sometimes they cannot save all of them. This haunts

Commented [9]: This is a great opening sentence! It is
very strong because it captivates the reader and makes
them think about the situation in their own perspective.

them for years. I have researched the impacts of horrifying crimes on agents and officers that
have solved those crimes as well as why criminal commit those horrendous crimes.
With the knowledge I gained from the sources I collected, I plan to develop a presentation
similar to a “TedTalk” that is about six minutes to ten minutes long. Using this presentation, I
hope to teach others the information I have found about forensics, the psychology of criminals,
and how “Criminal Minds” is and isn’t an accurate representation of the sciences it is portraying.
My specific audience for this presentation is college students that enjoy “Criminal Minds”.
I find it important to introduce “Criminal Minds” and what the show is all about. Criminals
play a huge role in this figured world so it also important to discuss what physical and
psychological aspects make them who they are. I shall also introduce the principle that criminal
share a similar trait that profilers used to narrow down the suspect pool. As well as the principle
that states that there is a biological gene that links those individuals who carry it to being
criminals. Another topic I wish to discuss is how agents often suffer from the horrific crimes
they solve in their day to day activities at work. Then relate these topics to how “Criminal
minds” depicts them throughout the episodes. Finally but not last, I want to discuss what aspects
of the show are false.
My Script for the Presentation:
“What defines criminals? Is it their origins, are they born with that inherent evil? I'm here to
say that criminals are not born, they are made. All criminals are defined by their evil, their acts

Commented [10]: Is this more potential research that
could just be added to your thesis? It sounds as though
you should move it to the introduction. Maybe just keep
this paragraph to describe why Criminal Minds is
something important to you and your TedTalk.
Commented [11]: This paragraph sounded like it
repeated what you stated in your introduction. You
could move this to the bottom of your introduction to
replace that bottom sentence. You do still need a way
to lead into your information like how your first
sentence is doing but you don't need to just repeat
Commented [12]: Your script that you have written
sounds really good. However, I think that you should
talk more about your TED Talk. Like if you're going to
have a visual aid such as a power point or a video.
Other than that I think it's a good idea that gives a lot of
interesting information.
Commented [13]: This is a great TedTalk. I like how
you open up with a question. Although this is just the
TedTalk, I think you should add descriptions on how
your tone would be when you talk. Also, you can say
which points you stress and put emphasis on. This can
just help make the reader visualize the TedTalk as if
they were watching you stage.

Stephanie Hernandez
of aggression towards humanity, and what truly made them evil. The show Criminal Minds is a
crime drama that portrays these aspects justly. This presentation intends to delve into the fiction
versus reality aspects of the show, to explore the psychological and physical scientific principles
that the show is based off, and to compare and contrast the psychological effects of stress from
the career on real agents and the series’ agents.
Many of the criminals depicted in the show are shown as being beaten, abused, and then
thrown away by parents or guardians. This is the worst thing you could ever do to a child. This is
a hugely prominent characteristic to becoming a criminal. This damages the brain both
physically from abuse, but mentally and emotionally this destroys that child. There are other
factors too, such as environment and the level of abuse which leads people to their lives of crime.
The show really puts emphasis on the background of the killers because of how important this is
to aid them to solve murders.
Another factor is power. People who weren't raised in abusive homes don’t normally commit
crimes. However, there are people who make themselves killers by being drunk on power. They
enter a position of extreme importance and power, and they end up getting the ability to do evil.
The show has many episodes where people in high places take control and harm others.
One technique that the actual Behavioral analysis unit is testing is something called Offender
Homology. This means that criminals share similar traits and it helps narrow down a person with
those traits as a criminal. Not every criminal has the tested traits but they have linked criminals
together using this technique. This plays a huge role in the show considering that the agents
mainly use similar characteristics of criminals to determine the “profile”.
Now, hypothetically, what if criminals weren't made, they were born? Well, there has recently
been a discovery of a biological gene that can link people to becoming criminals. During

Stephanie Hernandez
pregnancy, certain babies develop a gene that helps produce dopamine. Their brains drown in
dopamine, and after birth, they won't be able to be as calm as other children, which leads to more
stress, longer periods of rage and anger.
The last comparison between Criminal Minds and reality is that each agent in the show has
been shown to suffer nightmares of their own about their job or even demonstrate signs of PTSD
, but so do many real law enforcement officers. About 254 mostly male officers throughout the
United States were tested for mental disorders and about 80% of them had shown symptoms of
There are still some things on the show that just don’t add up in reality though. The truth is this
TV drama exaggerates, who would have known? A tv drama exaggerating? Ridiculous, but the
BAU in the show is known for having the psycho analysts with the police arresting the criminal,
which actually does not happen. Also, the BAU does not own its own private jet, which would be
nice. Those things are millions of dollars and the US government does not have that money
laying around. So they fly coach instead.
If you take away anything from this, just remember that Criminal Minds is actually based on
reality and has real continuity to it. It doesn’t have its own science and it isn't just a show, it has
some real fact to it. Thank you.”
Overall, I find it vital that individuals who enjoy in this show or any show similar to it
understand what aspects are real. Many individuals develop a stronger interested due to this
show or others similar to it and wish to pursue a career similar to the ones portray in it. They
must understand the main concepts that they will have to face in order to succeed. However,
further research and comparison needs to pluck out the aspects that are completely false in the
show because in the end it is still a piece of fiction.

Stephanie Hernandez
So criminals overall are very different, there minds are complicated, and Criminal Minds
does a very accurate job portraying them. The real BAU is testing and utilizing theories and
techniques to help save people’s lives which Criminal Minds is putting examples of those
techniques to show everyone how it actually works. They also represent the psychology of a
criminal very well because there is a lot that contributes to making a killer such as genes or
environment and they could even be in a position of importance and power. With all this
considered, Criminal Minds displays at least one of these origins for the criminals every episode
and puts a spin on it to make it interesting. The show is, after researching, accurate with how
much they have to represent.
After learning what causes someone to be a killer, how should the BAU, police
departments, or even social services help to stop crime? With the gene sequence process, can
doctors determine whether a baby has the potential to be a criminal, and can they develop
medication for it? Should the series jump onto topics like this to elaborate more on the issues of
crime and how complicated it can be? What kind of impacts does the show have on its viewers?
Will it make them prone to commit crimes or make them paranoid enough to not leave their
homes? When people watch this show, what are the writer’s purposes, what emotion are they
trying to distill from us? When watching a show you do have to wonder, how realistic is it? Well
for Criminal Minds, the answer is very.

Commented [14]: I think that it is a good idea to ask
the reader some questions to get them thinking and to
make them curious about finding out the answer.
However I don't think that you should ask that many
questions in a row. Also, you only answered the last
question, so if you do want to keep all of the questions
here I think that you should answer more than one of

Stephanie Hernandez

Work Cited
Beaver, K. M. (2008). Nonshared Environmental Influences On Adolescent Delinquent
Involvement And Adult Criminal Behavior. Criminology, 46(2), 341-369.
Davis, J. (2005, September). Criminal Minds. Retrieved from
Haisch, D. C., & Meyers, L. S. (2004). MMPI-2 assessed post-traumatic stress disorder
related to job stress, coping, and personality in police agencies. Stress and Health,
20(4), 223-229.
Hanson, R. F., Sawyer, G. K., Begle, A. M., & Hubel, G. S. (2010). The impact of crime
victimization on quality of life. Journal of Traumatic Stress J. Traum. Stress.
Hernandez, Stephanie (2016) Assignment One: Interview with Nicholas Laidlaw
Hernandez, Stephanie, (2016) Assignment One: Observations of Criminal Minds

Stephanie Hernandez
Kocsis, R. N., & Palermo, G. B. (2013). Disentangling Criminal Profiling: Accuracy,
Homology, and the Myth of Trait-Based Profiling. International Journal of Offender
Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 59(3), 313-332.
Kocsis, R. N. (2004). Psychological Profiling of Serial Arson Offenses an Assessment of
Skills and Accuracy. Crim Justice Behav Criminal Justice and Behavior, 31(3), 341-361.
Rosevear, P. (2006). Real-Life 'Criminal Minds' - KU Campus. Retrieved from
Ronel, N. (2011). Criminal Behavior, Criminal Mind: Being Caught in a "Criminal Spin"
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 55(8), 12081233.
TEDTalks: Jim Fallon-Exploring the Mind of a Killer [Motion picture]. (2009). TED.
TED Talks: Phillip Zimbardo- The Psychology of Evil. (2010). TED.