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By Frank S. Perri, JD, MBA, CPA,

and Terrance G. Lichtenwald, PhD

+.( /

+((% !
It is not uncommon for lay persons to
erroneously believe that criminal inves-
tigative analysis, commonly referred to as
“criminal profiling,” is synonymous with forensic
psychology, especially with the rise in popular-
ity of television programs on profiling that in-
Criminal Investigative Analysis, Forensic corporate psychological concepts. Further con-
fusion may occur because practitioners in both
Psychology, and the Timothy Masters Case fields read the same research, interview the same
criminals, attend the same seminars, develop
professional relationships, and cite one anoth-
er’s scholarship. However, what happens when
This article is approved by the following for continuing education credit: forensic psychologists advance opinions about
The American College of Forensic Examiners International provides this continuing education
credit for Diplomates.
criminal matters based on the extrapolation of
academic research on psychological concepts
After studying this article, participants should be better able to do the following: involving sexual homicide cases and reject the
1. Understand the difference between criminal investigative analysis and forensic psychology.
2. Consider ethical considerations when offering forensic psychological opinions.
opinions of professional criminal profilers who
3. Implement Daubert factors when evaluating the appropriateness of forensic testimony. incorporate law enforcement analysis coupled
with criminal evidentiary considerations into
KEY WORDS: Reid Meloy, Timothy Masters, criminal investigative analysis, forensic psychology, their work?
Roy Hazelwood, sexual homicide, motive fantasy, pseudo-profile
TARGET AUDIENCE: Criminal investigators and psychologists
Timothy Masters, who spent over 9 years
PROGRAM LEVEL: Basic in a Colorado prison for the murder of Peggy
DISCLOSURE: The author has nothing to disclose. Hettrick, was released on January 22, 2008.
PREREQUISITES: None Shortly thereafter, all homicide charges were
dropped based on new DNA evidence pointing
to other suspects. Masters, who always main-

his paper offers an analysis of the series of events that occurred
tained his innocence, was convicted largely on
when a homicide detective contacted an international expert in the testimony of forensic psychologist, Dr.
forensic psychology to assist in the arrest process and the prosecu- Reid Meloy. His violent sketches and stories
tion of a targeted sexual homicide suspect. The forensic psycholo- produced when he was an adolescent were used
gist developed a psychological profile of a killer using narrative as evidence to arrest and convict him in 1999
and drawings made by the suspect to conclude that the suspect’s fantasy was of killing Peggy Hettrick in 1987, a convic-
the motive and behavioral preparation for the sexual murder, regardless of the tion that was upheld by the Colorado Court
fact that the forensic psychologist knew that there was no direct or physical of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court.
evidence linking the suspect to the crime. In this article, the authors examine Masters’s prosecution raises troubling questions,
the case of Timothy Masters, who was arrested and convicted of sexual murder primarily because it pivoted on the controversial
opinions of a board certified forensic psycholo-
based on the testimony of a forensic psychologist while the opinion of a crimi-
gist who analyzed Timothy’s sketches and con-
nal investigative analyst was ignored.


▲ Timothy Masters when
▲ Timothy Masters at the released from prison
age of 15

cluded the drawings reflected specific personal- right breast and pubic area.
ity traits, a motive and behavioral preparation to After the delivery of the fatal
commit sexual homicide. Masters was convicted wound, a bloody trail indicated
without a single shred of direct evidence, such as that the perpetrator dragged the vic-
a confession, or physical evidence such as DNA, tim’s body 103.5 feet into the field where
and was sentenced to life in prison without pa- it was found.
role. According to law enforcement, Timothy
In this article, the authors review the sexual Masters was an early suspect because he saw
homicide investigation leading to the arrest of the body on the way to school but failed to
Timothy Masters, analyze the reasoning of the report it. Without consulting an attorney, he
forensic psychologist’s theories used to justify and his dad allowed detectives to search their
the prosecution, include former FBI profiler home and Tim’s school locker, where the police
Roy Hazelwood’s analysis of the sexual homi- retrieved his writings, sketches, and survival-
cide that was never revealed to the defense, and knife collection. Timothy’s school locker con-
provide an analysis of the legal implications of tained a hand-drawn map of what appeared to
the case together with recommendations for fo- be the field where Hettrick’s body was found
rensic psychological practitioners. and a sketch of a person dragging a body. In his
backpack were two Mother’s Day cards he had
The Sexual Homicide Investigation made years before, while his mother was still
In 1987, 15-year-old high-school sophomore alive. The detectives also found a calendar
Timothy Masters lived with his father in Fort with a date circled reflecting the date that
Collins, Colorado, a university town on the Timothy’s mother died four years ear-
plains east of the Rocky Mountains. On February lier. Peggy Hettrick had been mur-
11, 1987, the murdered body of Peggy Hettrick dered one day shy of the February
was found in a field not far from his residence. 12th anniversary of the death of
Hettrick’s private areas were mutilated; with Timothy’s mother. Detective
surgical precision, her killer removed her left Francis Gonzales found
nipple, areola, and part of her vulva. She was Masters at school,
stabbed in the lower back causing a rib to break and Masters
and then dragged into a field as evidenced by told him he
the drag marks in the soil. The body had been
partially disrobed and positioned on its back
with the legs slightly apart and arms over
the head, ex-
posing the

(800) 592-1399 Summer 2009 THE FORENSIC EXAMINER® 53

“Officers found
no blood and no
body parts in the
house. There was
no fiber, hair, skin,
fingerprints, or
other evidence that
knife colle
ction linked Masters
to Hettrick, or
an eyewitness.”
had seen Hettrick’s body but assumed it was a 2,200 pages of material produced by Masters;
mannequin put in the field by his friends in an over 1,000 of these were admitted at trial.
attempt to trick him. Indeed, even the bicyclist
who reported the body told police that he too Drawings by Timothy Masters
thought it was a mannequin (Yager, Smith, & During His Adolescent Years
Goldbaum, 2008). During the interrogation, Timothy’s father
The detectives also found what would be- sat outside the interview room. After reading
come the most prejudicial of the prosecution’s Timothy his Miranda rights, officers prodded
evidence a decade later when Masters was put him to talk about killing, to think like a killer,
on trial for Hettrick’s murder: hundreds of ex- to talk about what weapons he might use, and
tremely violent drawings and stories in his bed- where he might put a body, yet Timothy did
room. Many of the pictures showed stabbings not confess. By the sixth hour, it was Detective
with knives and swords; much of the violence James Broderick’s turn to tell Timothy to come
was directed at women. A sketch that would be clean about how he fulfilled a fantasy by killing
particularly damning showed a figure that had Hettrick: “Why can’t you just say it? Why is it
been shot with arrows being dragged by an- so hard for you to tell me? You got to admit it
other figure in the same manner police believe when it’s over. People get killed in battle, right?
Hettrick’s killer dragged her. While Masters’s Their friends die! A piece in you just died just a
volume of drawings raised questions, they did minute ago. It’s over. You’re not free anymore”
not trigger his arrest because the bedroom and (Moffeit, 2008a). Timothy was interrogated for
its contents were equally notable for what offi- more than 10 hours without a lawyer. According
cers did not find. Officers found no blood and to Broderick, Timothy failed a lie detector test,
no body parts anywhere in the house. There was but the official report of the test results are lost
no fiber, hair, skin, fingerprints, or other physi- (Yager et al., 2008). At age 15, Timothy Masters
cal evidence that linked Masters to Hettrick, or was not arrested, and after high school he joined
any eyewitness. The survival knives were tested the navy.
at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and In 1992, Detective Linda Wheeler-Holloway
found to have no trace of the victim’s blood or thought she had a break on the case when one
DNA. There were footprints, but he lived next of Masters’s friends said Masters had told him
to the field and walked through it every day, so Hettrick’s nipple was missing. “That’s it. That’s
his footprints would be present. holdback information that only the cops knew”
The police also found a suitcase containing (McLaughlin, 2008). Wheeler-Holloway and
pornographic photographs and a large number Detective Broderick interviewed Masters for 2
of writings and drawings Masters had produced. days while he was still in the navy, in what was
Additional sets of drawings and writings were called a “tag-team” interrogation. Timothy had
seized by police in 1998 when the defendant known about the nipple, but a girl in his art
was arrested. In all, police seized approximately class had told him about it (Moffeit, 2008a).


The detectives checked out the story, and it
turned out to be true. Broderick kept battering
Masters with questions and at one point forced
him to break down in tears (Moffeit, 2008a).
The interviews were also witnessed by members
of Naval Intelligence and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation; a naval intelligence officer asked
her, “You sure you got the right guy?” “I don’t
know,” Wheeler-Holloway replied (McLaughlin,
Wheeler-Holloway, however, was impressed
that Masters disclosed the same story he had 5
years earlier—that he did not report Hettrick’s
body because he thought it was a mannequin/
prank, and his stories and drawings stemmed
from his ambition to write horror stories like
Stephen King. According to court records,
Wheeler-Holloway later wrote in a police re-
port, “The FBI agents here believe Tim Masters
is innocent, and so do I” (Campbell, 2007).
Troubled by a seeming reluctance by the po-
lice department to pursue other suspects and to
have the FBI perform a profile at her request,
Wheeler-Holloway filed the case as cold and later
left the department for the Colorado Bureau of
Investigation. Even Detective Troy Krenning
believed it improbable that a boy could have
pulled off such a sophisticated, fetishistic kill-
On the first anniversary of Hettrick’s death,
Krenning was instructed to sit in a mobile home
opposite Masters’s house to perform surveillance
of the crime scene in case the killer came back.
Krenning stated, however, “My perspective was
to get off Masters and take a look at maybe
someone else…We seem to be focused on one”
(Moffeit, 2008a). Krenning recalled pressing his
colleagues for evidence proving that Masters was
a legitimate suspect and his colleagues challeng-
ing his position by stating, “Prove that Masters
did not commit the crime” (Moffeit, 2007b).
Krenning replied that his colleagues’ investiga-
tory strategy was the exact opposite of how an
investigation unfolds (Moffeit, 2007b).
Yet, even with numerous law enforcement col-
leagues in his own department and the FBI not
convinced that Timothy had anything to do with
the murder, Detective Broderick was not satis-
fied with the belief that Timothy was innocent.
Broderick said a search of Masters’s bedroom,
school locker, and backpack revealed numerous
drawings and narratives suggesting the teen was
fixated on death and violence. Broderick felt the
artwork and stories fit the axiom that sexual ho-
micide suspects generally fantasize about what
they are going to do before they do it; in essence, Timothy’s
the “fantasy’s a template for the murder they ac-
tually commit” (McLaughlin, 2008).

(800) 592-1399 Summer 2009 THE FORENSIC EXAMINER® 55

Aerial view of Hettrick’s body

Undisclosed Evidence
By the time the case went
to trial in 1999, there were
investigative and prosecu-
torial issues that related to
exculpatory evidence that
could be used to show that
the alleged defendant was
not the culprit, but that was Hettrick’s body on the field

not revealed to the defense. Dr. Allen later

For example, prosecutors nev- found the most puzzling wounds, un-
er told defense attorneys about a sex offender noticed by officers. They were “neatly” execut-
and surgeon living near the field and close to ed cuts inside her genitalia that, like the one on
Timothy’s residence where Hettrick’s body was her left breast, must have been made with an
found. Police initially considered eye surgeon extremely sharp knife, an instrument different
Dr. Richard Hammond as, at the very least, a from the one used to stab her. In 21 years of per-
“person of interest” in 1987 (Darst, 2007). In forming autopsies, Allen told colleagues, he had
1995, police confiscated more than 300 home- never seen wounds like these (Moffeit, 2008).
made videos and over $10,000 worth of por- Broderick stated that he never talked to Allen
nography when a housesitter found a hidden about whether someone with surgical skill must
camera positioned in Hammond’s bathroom have inflicted Hettrick’s wounds: “I can assure you
where women’s private areas were videotaped if Dr. Allen’s finding was that only a surgeon could
(Reed, 2007). Other cameras were found in have made those cuttings, that would have been
a guest bedroom. After bonding out of jail, forensic information he would have certainly told
Hammond checked himself in to the Mountain us” (Moffeit, 2008). Interestingly, Meloy also in-
Crest Hospital in Fort Collins for counseling, dicated that the wounds on Hettrick appeared to
where he talked little but revealed on paper an be surgical, but Broderick never disclosed Meloy’s
unhappy life, lonely childhood, and voyeuris- over 250-page report (Yager et al., 2008).
tic tendencies since his teen years (Moffeit, Dr. Warren James, prominent Fort Collins
2008a). OB-GYN, indicated that “the perpetrator would
In addition, plastic surgeon Christopher not have been able to cut Ms. Hettrick’s upper
Tsoi revealed to police investigator Marsha labia and clitoris if her jeans were pulled up
Reed in early 1998 his belief that Hettrick’s above her knees as demonstrated by the crime
genital wounds reflected the proficiency of a scene photos during the surgical procedure. Ms.
surgeon (Darst, 2007). Though police released Hettrick would had to have been positioned
a report showing that Reed set up an appoint- in a major frog leg position during the surgi-
ment with Tsoi, no report detailing their con- cal procedure. Based on the surgical precision
versation has ever been released (Darst, 2007). of the excision, a general physician would not
In addition, during the autopsy of 1987 mur- have been able to conduct this procedure, and
der victim Peggy Hettrick, the medical ex- in fact, most surgeons would not be able to per-
aminer remarked, “A doctor could have done form this type of procedure given the precise-
this” (Moffeit, 2007a). Coroner Dr. Patrick ness of the cut. I find it highly unlikely that
Allen’s surprise at the surgical precision of her any 15-year-old could perform this precise sur-
wounds was only recently recounted in an in- gical procedure given the advanced anatomical
terview with Masters’s defense team and fits the knowledge required and the skill necessary to
defense’s contention that a 15-year-old could excise the skin tissue of the fraenulum, clitoral
not have pulled off such a sophisticated slay- gland, and nipple as most surgeons cannot per-
ing (Moffeit, 2007a). form this procedure” (Moffeit, 2007b).


In addition, Masters’s defense team indi- in any way with Peggy Hettrick’s murder the loss of his job if he continued to pursue
cated the police did not look hard enough . . . it just never occurred to us” (Hartman, the Hammond evidence issue (Hartman,
into Hammond’s background, which in- 2008). Prosecutor Blair indicated that “Dr. 2008). Sanchez, without elaborating, said
cluded secret credit cards, a possible fake Hammond wasn’t even a blip on the screen there were legal issues behind the destruc-
name, and a Denver residence where . . . no one thought of him, no one talked tion, even though Sanchez indicated that
Hammond taped sexual encounters with of him . . . the crimes that he apparently Hammond should be investigated; “The
another woman. Hammond was arrest- perpetrated are so much different than seized evidence burned for approximate-
ed for the illegal taping, but he commit- the Peggy Hettrick homicide” (Hartman, ly 8 1/2 hours,” according to an August
ted suicide before Masters was convicted. 2008). However, Officer Jack Taylor dis- 15, 1995, report by Sanchez (Moffeit,
Defense attorneys argued that Hammond puted Blair’s comments, indicating that 2008a).
was never really investigated because he Hammond and his possibility as a sus- Detective Krenning could not believe
was a social acquaintance of lead prosecu- pect was common knowledge (Hartman, they burned every piece of evidence, stat-
tor Terry Gilmore. Prosecutor Gilmore 2008). ing, “I can’t recall one other case where the
initially denied the claim, but later indi- In addition, Broderick stated that there evidence was taken to a landfill, mashed up
cated that he was indeed a social acquain- was no reason to investigate Hammond for with a grater, and then burned” (Moffeit,
tance of Dr. Hammond (Hartman, 2008). Hettrick’s murder: “Where’s the violence? 2008a). Nine weeks after Hammond’s pos-
Prosecutor Gilmore and Dr. Hammond had Show me that pattern of violence…We sessions were destroyed, Broderick phoned
been known to go out together and social- searched [Hammond’s] entire house, and forensic psychologist Reid Meloy to have
ize (Hughes, 2008b). there was nothing to link him to Hettrick’s him study Masters’s artwork (Moffeit,
The authors comment on Dr. Hammond murder” (Moffeit, 2008a). The special pros- 2008a). Also, newly discovered records
not to imply that he was the killer, but ecutor reviewing the case indicated that not disclosed to the defense show that a
rather to indicate that the arguments used there was no evidence tying Dr. Hammond witness reported seeing a man running in
by the police and the prosecution against to the murder because there was no evi- shorts expose himself near where Hettrick’s
Timothy applied equally or more to Dr. dence of blood, blood splatter, DNA, fin- body was found; the woman who saw the
Hammond in terms of investigating him as gerprints, hair fibers, confessions, or per- man said he fit Hammond’s description and
a possible suspect, especially with the belief sons to whom Hammond confessed the was seen going in a nearby house (Hughes,
that the murder was a sexual homicide. Yet crime (Hartman, 2008). Who destroyed 2007c). Prosecutors and police stated in
Prosecutor Blair argued, “Who else could Hammond’s video tapes, and why? “I had Masters’s trial that Hettrick’s killer could get
it possibly be? Nobody else had a motive, a lot to do with that,” Broderick says. “It sexual satisfaction from passing near where
nobody else had the opportunity, nobody was an ethical decision. Should we re-vic- he posed her body (Hughes, 2007c).
else had the weapon” (Hartman, 2007a). “It timize all these women by telling them Tom Bevel, a 1999 prosecution wit-
wasn’t just the fact that he had these draw- they are victims? So it really was an effort ness and blood-spatter expert, told jurors
ings … but the number, the sheer number to protect them, to preserve these victims’ he believed Hettrick was killed at Landings
we found,” she said. Blair added, “What rights” (Moffeit, 2008a). Drive and dragged or carried to the spot
we needed to do is demonstrate that this After viewing several of the videotapes, where she was found by a bicyclist the next
wasn’t just a passing fancy of this kid, this Officer Mickelson started making con- day. Bevel later stated that police failed to
was complete obsession with death, spe- nections: the doctor’s close proximity to provide him “a litany of items” that he
cifically the death of a woman, and try to the Hettrick crime scene and his obsession had now seen and that led him to believe
draw parallels between the drawings and with women’s genitalia and breasts. He told Hettrick was killed elsewhere and driven
our crime scene” (Campbell, 2008). “We’re Detective Tony Sanchez that Hammond to Landings Drive before being dragged to
talking about fantasy that becomes obses- should be investigated for Hettrick’s mur- where she was found (McLaughlin, 2008).
sive” (Moffeit, 2008a). der. In August 1995, investigators had Bevel was not aware of Hettrick’s clothing
During the trial, the prosecution argued slated for destruction every piece of evi- until August 2005 when he got a call from
that it was Timothy’s familiarity with the dence they seized from
area that the body was found and his love Hammond. “Don’t do
for knives that linked him to the crime. It is it, save the evidence,”
apparent that the prosecution was not inter- Officer Mickelson re-
ested in considering other suspects as possi- calls telling Sanchez
ble culprits, especially when Dr. Hammond after he heard about
had his own links to the crime—familiar- the plan, knowing that
ity with the area, an obsession with wom- they had reviewed only
en’s private areas and an interest in sex- a small portion of the
ual deviance, ownership of surgical tools tapes (Moffeit, 2008a).
that could be used to kill and mutilate, Mickelson wanted to
the skills to perform the type of cuts ob- see if Hettrick may
served by other doctors, as well as the op- have appeared in any
portunity to commit the crime. Prosecutor of the tapes, but he tes-
Gilmore stated, “I had absolutely no rea- tified that at one point Close-up of Hettrick’s body
son to believe he [Hammond] was involved he was threatened with

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Barie Goetz, another forensic expert who nocence even after his colleagues and the capable of committing the crime, as con-
headed a Colorado Bureau of Investigation FBI indicated that they believed Timothy trasted to a skinny 15-year-old adolescent
crime lab from 1999 to 2004, who stat- was innocent. Broderick sought the opin- (Yager et al., 2008).
ed, “He was never given the physical evi- ion of forensic psychologist Dr. Reid Meloy stated, “In my 18 years of doing
dence until I took it to him” (McLaughlin, Meloy, member of the American Board of this kind of work I have never seen such
2008). Bevel added that Goetz also provid- Professional Psychology (ABPP). Dr. Meloy voluminous productions by a suspect in a
ed photos and reports he had not seen; “I received details of the case along with more sexual homicide; that tells us he was preoc-
was never aware all those were available” than 2,000 of Masters’s drawings, stories, cupied with sexual violence, violence, sexu-
(McLaughlin, 2008). Bevel said he has nev- crime scene videotapes, Broderick’s inter- ally sadistic images, images of domination
er experienced a miscommunication of this pretation of Masters’s drawings, police in- and degradation of women, and he was also
level in more than 35 years of testifying as terviews with Masters, photographs, maps, fascinated by knives.” Meloy further stated,
an expert (McLaughlin, 2008). and transcripts in order to see if there was a ‘“After spending six months on the case, I
Also, a defense expert recently identified relationship between Masters and the mur- felt I understood the motivations for this
at least a dozen tracks running alongside the der. Meloy would eventually conclude from homicide and that I had become convinced
blood drag-trail leading to Hettrick’s body Masters’s drawings and stories that Masters that Timothy Masters was the individual
as prints from Thom McAn manufactured fit the profile of a killer because he was a that had committed this homicide” (Banda,
shoes, not worn by Masters. Yet Broderick’s loner, he came from an isolated or deprived 2008). “Young Timothy killed Hettrick …
testimony at trial alluded to only one Thom background, he often had violent fantasies, and, by doing so, had symbolically killed
McAn print and discounted the chance it and harbored hidden hostility toward au- his own mother. A classic case of ‘displaced
was tied to the killing (Moffeit, 2007a). thorities and women (Moffeit, 2008a). sexual matricide’ brought on by feelings of
Moreover, Masters’s new defense counsel However, not turned over to the defense abandonment” (Banda, 2008). In court,
discovered that the FBI had made high- were Broderick’s own interpretations of the prosecution bombarded the jury with
quality casts of footprints in the “drag trail’’ Masters’s artwork that filled dozens of pages Masters’s violent pictures that were shown
leading to the spot where Hettrick’s body that were dated long before Meloy joined on a large video monitor. Meloy pointed
was found. The prints did not belong to the prosecution’s efforts. On July 24, 1998, out features of the drawings that he testified
Masters, nor was the defense notified of Detective Broderick updated prosecutors showed a pairing of sex and violence, which
the FBI results (Banda, 2008). Gilmore and Blair on the status of Meloy’s was evidence of “picquerism,” the sadistic
work, and in his letter Broderick wrote pleasure derived from stabbing. He also
The Opinion of Forensic that he sent Meloy a draft of Masters’s ar- claimed that Masters was interested in the
Psychologist Dr. Reid Meloy rest warrant and was waiting for his “ap- degradation of women and fascinated with
Honorably discharged in 1998 after serv- proval” (Vaughn, 2007). Meloy was so con- weapons and death (Campbell, 2008a).
ing eight years in the navy, Masters moved vinced that Timothy was the culprit that Although Meloy was barred from giving
to California, bought a house in the des- he sent a pretrial letter to then-Larimer his opinion about whether or not he be-
ert town of Ridgecrest, and began work as County DA Stuart Van Meveren in which lieved Masters’s pictures and stories impli-
an aircraft structural mechanic. Detective he hoped the work of cated him in Hettrick’s murder or that his
Broderick was less convinced “superb professionals” productions reflected his belief that it was
of Masters’s in- Gilmore and Blair a displaced matricide, Meloy drew a very
“will result in a suc- clear correlation between the circumstances
cessful prosecution” of her death and Masters’s artwork as mo-
(Vaughn, 2007). tive for the homicide. He testified about
Besides the inclu- the characteristics of a sexual homicide
sion of Dr. Meloy and went into detail about how Masters’s
as a prosecution productions could be considered a “fantasy
witness, there was rehearsal,” especially a doodle on Masters’s
no new evidence math homework of a knife-wielding hand
to link Timothy cutting a diamond shape that Meloy inter-
to the murder. preted as a vagina (see left), “which may
By this time, have been a rehearsal of the genital mutila-
Timothy’s ap- tion” (Campbell, 2008a).
pearance as an According to Meloy, because some of
adult helped Tim’s drawings were of stabbings, dragging,
the prosecu- and so on, they were logically relevant to
tion’s cause: the defendant’s motive, intent, and plan to
he had commit the crime. The psychologist defined
grown into a sexual homicide as one in which there is
an impos- “primary sexual activity usually involving
ing fig- semen or ejaculation”; yet despite labeling
ure and this a sexual homicide, there was no semen
looked found in, on, or near the body (Hartman,


2007a). He showed how specific pictures
could be interpreted to reflect the crime;
several showed “blitz attacks,” depicted
stabbings that Meloy interpreted as sexual
in nature and depicted women as murder
victims. He opined that Timothy’s retreat
into a fantasy world combined to create a
boiling kettle of latent violence just waiting
to erupt; “A retreat into such a compensa-
tory narcissistic fantasy world, replete with
sexuality and violence, works for awhile,
but at a great cost. The unexpressed rage
continues, depression may ensue, and an-
ger toward women as sources of both pain
(abandonment) and erotic stimulation
builds” (Campbell, 2008a).
Equally prejudicial was Meloy’s inter-
pretation of a picture Masters drew the day is a particular occurrence in the life of the as well as faxed memos from Hazelwood
after he saw Hettrick’s body. It depicted one perpetrator which causes him to act out his to Broderick (Goodbee, n.d.). Hazelwood
figure dragging another, which was appar- fantasies in the real world” (Banda, 2008). told Broderick that tying the pictures to the
ently wounded or dead, from behind. The Dr. Meloy testified that such an event could crime, since none of them reflected what
wounded figure was riddled with arrows be conflict with one’s spouse or girlfriend, happened, was “overreaching” (Hughes,
and blood seemed to flow from its back grief over the death of a loved one, or con- 2007b). Hazelwood eventually withdrew
(see above right). flict with women of authority in a school from the case after he had concerns over the
Entirely discounting the presence of the or employment setting” (Banda, 2008). prosecutors’ trial strategy and psychologi-
arrows, which had nothing to do with the In this case, Meloy stated that Timothy’s cal theories to be used at trial (Campbell,
murder, Meloy wrote in his report that trigger mechanism, which was the catalyst 2008b.)
this picture represented the crime as it ac- for Timothy to kill, consisted of the argu- He also told Broderick that “fantasy
tually happened. “This is not a drawing of ment he had with a female teacher at school is not motive,” contradicting one of the
the crime scene as seen by Tim Masters on about a month prior to the murder. The ar- pillars of Meloy’s testimony (Campbell,
the morning of February 11 as he went to gument ensued between the female teacher 2008a). Hazelwood’s opinion is crucial in
school. This is an accurate and vivid draw- and Timothy because the teacher took away understanding why Broderick and the po-
ing of the homicide as it is occurring. It is a military manual he possessed. lice department did not employ Hazelwood
unlikely that Tim Masters could have in- or a profiler from the FBI to develop a pro-
ferred such criminal behavior by just view- Retired FBI Agent Roy file, but instead used the services of a foren-
ing the corpse, unless he was an experienced Hazelwood’s Analysis sic psychologist. The differences between
forensic investigator. It is much more like- The crux of Masters’s position during the FBI profiles and the forensic psychologist
ly, in my opinion, that he was drawing the post-conviction process was that Detective hired for the Hettrick investigation cannot
crime to rekindle his memory of the sexu- Broderick and Prosecutors Gilmore and be overstated and the following quote is in-
al homicide he committed the day before” Blair withheld information from the de- structive: “The difference is really a matter
(Campbell, 2008a). fense lawyers that could have been used to of the FBI being more oriented towards
Meloy stated, “Sexual homicide repre- contradict their case that Masters was a kill- investigative experience than [academic
sents the solution, particularly in the form er; specially-appointed prosecutors agreed psychologists] are,” says retired FBI agent
it took in this case: If I kill a woman, she that the original prosecutors violated pretri- McCrary (Winerman, 2004).
cannot abandon me; if I desexualize her al discovery rules. It was during the review The investigative aspect and differen-
(genital mutilation), she cannot stimu- of the violation of pretrial discovery rules tiation between disciplines that McCrary
late me” (Banda, 2008). “These are not that the defense learned that Hazelwood refers to includes trained and experienced
conscious thoughts for Tim Masters, but was a retired special agent with the FBI who law enforcement officers who understand
likely represent the unconscious beliefs specialized as an FBI profiler and also had practices and procedures of a criminal in-
that drove his behavior the night of Feb. published research on the specific type of vestigation, interview and interrogation,
11, 1987, when he killed and sexually mu- crime in question. Moreover, it was learned search and seizure, reviewing police reports,
tilated Peggy Hettrick, a victim of choice that Hazelwood’s opinion contradicted the analysis of intelligence from both physical
and opportunity. Ms. Hettrick represented direction the investigation took, the theory and witness evidence, evidentiary consid-
all women to Tim Masters” (Banda, 2008). of the prosecution, and testimony of the erations as to how they impact courtroom
Meloy indicated that either a conflict with a forensic psychologist who was the main testimony, and forensic laboratory reports.
woman in authority or grief over the death prosecution witness. Specifically, among Academic forensic psychologists focus more
of a loved one triggered his murderous out- the material not disclosed that should have on the offender class rather than attempt-
burst (Banda, 2008). According to Meloy, been were notes Broderick took after a con- ing to solve an individual case. Academic
“A trigger mechanism or precipitating event versation with Hazelwood (Hughes, 2007b) forensic psychologists are more apt to look

(800) 592-1399 Summer 2009 THE FORENSIC EXAMINER® 59

at research of those who have already been by studying the offender, his or her behav- most frequently requested type of service
caught, analyzing their characteristics and ior, and the motivation behind it. Teten and the most important task that they per-
searching for patterns involving how they stated, “People get the wrong idea of what form because the profilers belief about the
think, personality traits, and psychological/ profiling is…It’s not a psychic thing…You type of person who committed the crime
social data. don’t pick out the perpetrator with a pro- influences all subsequent types of profiling
The study of the available records sup- file…Not the individual…You pick out a advice (Eastwood et al., 2006).
ports the observations of McCrary in that type of personality” (Banda, 2008). Absent
at some point Meloy believed that academic physical evidence, Teten and Mullany said, Analysis of Dr. Meloy’s Opinion
research on sexual homicide could replace it would be a mistake to rely on that anal-
solid law enforcement investigation proto- ysis alone to build a case. Mullany stated “There have been incidences
col as evidence. The authors acknowledge that, ‘’We never intended that it would be where juries relied on my
that forensic psychologists can be involved the sole evidence that would move the case opinion and in the aftermath
in many different aspects of an investiga- forward…We always intended that it could those [opinions] were not
tion; however, one of the most overrated be a technique to ferret out a suspect…
supported by evidence.”
concepts of their work is criminal profil- The only thing that should be in court is
ing, and this is where the investigation and exact evidence: hair, fiber, DNA. Even if a —Dr. Reid Meloy
prosecution of Timothy Masters strayed. guy confesses, these are things that need to
Even University of Wyoming criminal be put in place’’ (Banda, 2008). Mullany’s There are several problems in the way Meloy
justice professor George Blau considered comment on the evidentiary aspects of pro- was employed in this case. Although foren-
the hidden Hazelwood commentary criti- filing supports McCrary’s observation that sic psychologists may conduct research on
cizing Meloy’s theories particularly trouble- the FBI is oriented toward the investigative criminal profiling, that fact does not make
some, stating that “Hazelwood destroys the experience where evidence is still necessary them a profiler. The forensic psycholo-
argument of psychological validity” when for opinions of culpability to withstand le- gists who are profilers have had training
Meloy attempts to “link the crime scene to gal scrutiny. as profilers and incorporate far more than
Masters’s drawings” (Moffeit, 2007a). The position of McCrary, Teten, and personality trait theory into their analysis.
In addition to the problems associated Mullaney is further supported in an article Regardless of the lack of evidence linking
with the building of a psychological profile titled The Academic and the Practitioner: Timothy to the case and the opinion of
that would have to either ignore or coun- Pragmatists’ Views of Offender Profiling Hazelwood, Meloy continues to push his
ter the opinions of Hazelwood, Hazelwood (Alison & Goodwill, 2004). Using per- own reversed engineered psychological
stated in a 1997 memo that Hettrick’s death sonality traits as the main foundation for a profile matching Masters to the murder.
was a “crime of opportunity,” contrary psychological profile that masquerades as This reverse profiling exists when one first
to the prosecution’s theory that Masters criminal investigative analysis is of signifi- determines who they want the suspect to be
snuck out of his trailer home, stalked Peggy, cant concern to professionals in the field and then continues to add characteristics to
and killed and mutilated her without leav- (Alison et al., 2004). “While it is acceptable that individual of the type of person who
ing a shred of evidence (Hughes 2007b). to create a profile as an investigative tool, it would commit such a crime by the type
The court transcripts make it clear that is not acceptable to focus investigations on of evidence that is collected—in this case
Hazelwood never testified and that each of the presumption that the profile is wholly drawings and narratives.
his cautions were rejected by the investiga- accurate, especially when the consequences Furthermore, Meloy did not reveal to the
tors, the prosecution, and the forensic psy- of such action might have significant det- court that Hazelwood did not agree with
chologist. Hazelwood’s opinion about the rimental effects on an individual and/or his opinion, even though during Meloy’s
relevance of Masters’s drawings to the crime an investigation” (Alison et al., 2004). It is testimony he cites Hazelwood’s scholarship
directly contradicted Meloy’s eventual testi- necessary to “distinguish between informa- as scholarship he would have relied upon.
mony, but the conclusions of Hazelwood’s tion that directs an investigation and infor- Meloy never employed any psychological
report on the case were never introduced mation that proves guilt, arguing that while tests to derive the assumptions of personal-
during the 1999 trial or disclosed to the offender profiles have been helpful in police ity traits and was left to derive the assump-
defense (Hughes, 2007b). Masters’s attor- investigations, extending their use to pro- tion of Masters’s personality traits from his
ney, Fischer, stated, “We would have called vide evidence of guilt is dangerous” (Alison interpretation of Masters’s drawings, knife
Hazelwood as fast as we could have called et al., 2004). collections, and pornographic magazines.
him…We’ve got it backed up by the lead- Moreover, as important as profiling is The authors believe that a serious ethical
ing expert in the world, and these guys hid in terms of solving difficult cases, the real- issue develops when a forensic psychologist
it from us” (Hughes, 2007b). ity is that professionals in the field should offers a reason for the arrest warrant, assists
The formidable obstacle before the foren- be aware that, to date, the empirical evi- in drafting the arrest warrant, and testifies
sic psychologist is described by two veter- dence does not support the scientific va- on behalf of the prosecution as an expert
an FBI agents who pioneered the bureau’s lidity of profilers’s predictive abilities from in the same case he helped build.
psychological profiling program. In the crime scene evidence (Eastwood, Cullen, Criminal investigative analysis is em-
early 1970s, Howard Teten and Patrick Kavanagh, & Snook, 2006). The authors ployed as a specific method to analyze
Mullany developed the modern investiga- acknowledge that profilers provide services crimes and develop a hypothesis about the
tive approach for the Behavioral Science in addition to predictions about offender characteristics of the person who might
Unit, which helps trainees to solve crimes characteristics; however, this is arguably the have committed such a crime; practitioners


of the field do not contend that such an analysis In fact, according to the American
can identify the individual(s) who committed Psychological Association, a forensic psychologist
the offense. “In some ways, [profiling] is really does not take a side; his or her job is to translate
still as much an art as a science,” says psycholo- psychological terminology in such a way that is
gist Harvey Schlossberg, PhD, former direc- acceptable to the legal system (Brodsky, 1991).
tor of psychological services for the New York The reader should be aware of the fact that if the
Police Department (Winerman, 2004). “We as forensic psychologist is testifying for the defense
psychologists do look at database sets on known or the prosecution, this does not mean that they
criminal groups, and that indeed does assist in are taking sides; the forensic psychologist’s loy-
completing analysis of specific criminal behavior, alty is to the court. Furthermore, what is inter-
but such analysis is very different from simply esting is that even Meloy indicated during his
guessing ‘who did it’” (Winerman, 2004). testimony that the research on sexual homicide
There was no objective analysis in Meloy’s as- was scant. Meloy testified that current scientif-
sessment of Timothy’s behavior because he vio- ic journals have reported that the relationship
lates his own forensic psychological protocol. between sexual fantasies and sexual homicides Robert R. “Roy” Hazelwood,
For example, Meloy’s own scholarship empha- is tentative and opined that no conclusions can DABFE, DABLEE, has been re-
sizes a protocol that, in addition to psychologi- be drawn linking fantasies to conduct. garded as one of the leading pioneers
cal testing as mentioned above, competent and Indeed, the inconclusive nature of this re- into the study of sexual predators. His
work in criminal profiling helped to
thorough completion of the clinical interview search is apparent when one of the two studies define the practice, and he has written
and the gathering of independent historical data relied upon by the prosecution’s expert is also several books about profiling.
are critically important in arriving at a reliable, relied upon for the proposition that “normal He was a supervisor for more
valid understanding of the individual (Meloy people,” that is, persons who do not commit than 20 years with the FBI Behavioral
& Gacono, 1995). Meloy never interviewed criminal behavior, also engage in deviant sexu- Science group, and he remains active
as a member of the Academy Group,
Timothy, thus relying on speculation as to what al fantasies (MacCulloch, Snowden, Wood, & an organization of former FBI agents
the drawing and narratives signified (Hartman, Mills, 1983). If both groups do engage in sa- and law enforcement officers.
2007b). Because Meloy was not employed as a distic sexual fantasies, there is no one causative He is now Affiliate Professor of
neutral party that would have been loyal to the factor that explains why some act out their fan- Administrative Justice at George
court, there would have been no reason to sub- tasies and others do not (MacCulloch et al., Mason University and has appeared as
an expert on criminal investigations on
ject Timothy to an evaluation by Meloy when 1983). Surveys measuring sadistic fantasy make numerous radio and television shows.
Meloy already determined that Timothy was it clear that it is extremely common and the vast Hazelwood is a commentator for The
the culprit. According to ethical guidelines for majority of it does not lead to sexual offending Forensic Echo.
forensic psychologists, “forensic psychologists (Grubin, 1999). As to rehearsed sadistic fanta- Before joining the FBI, he achieved
realize that their public role as “expert to the sy, sadistic situations tend to be rehearsed many the rank of Major in the Army Military
Police Corp. Holding a Master of
court” confers upon them a special responsi- times in fantasy and at times are tried out in real
Science from NOVA University, he
bility for fairness and accuracy in their public life over a number of years (MacCulloch et al., also studied forensic medicine at the
statements” (APA, 1991). It is incorrect to opine 1983). There was no proof of rehearsal through Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in
that fantasy is equivalent to motive when the fo- Meloy’s testimony considering that Meloy nev- Washington DC. He has received nu-
merous awards and certificates from
rensic psychologist does not know the purpose er interviewed Timothy to validate his conclu-
universities, criminal justice associa-
or intent of the fantasy. Having fantasies is not sion. tions, and law enforcement agencies
synonymous with the intent to fulfill or perform Moreover, the defense did call a prominent around the country.
those fantasies; one only needs to observe all the forensic psychologist, Dr. John Yuille, who Hazelwood’s early interest in auto-
graphic horror films and novels available to the stated that the drawings meant nothing. Because erotic fatalities initiated a groundbreak-
public. research in sexual homicide is relatively new, ing study that compiled the results of
over 150 cases. He also conducted
The behavioral science approach mandates Yuille does not believe that a correlation neces- the largest known survey of police
that a mental health professional sticks to behav- sarily exists between fantasy and homicide; there attitudes toward rape. With Drs. Park
ior analysis and never testifies or tries to project is room for differing interpretations of the same Dietz and Janet Warren, Hazelwood
psychological theories on to the specifics of a giv- evidence (Farrell, 1999). In his testimony regard- interviewed incarcerated men con-
victed of sexually sadistic crimes. They
en case. Thus, once a mental health professional ing the current state of research on the relation- then did an involved study of the wives
abandons this approach as well, the prejudice to ship between fantasy and sexual homicide, Yuille and girlfriends of sexual sadists. With
a suspect can be insurmountable. Given that one stated, “the research is flawed” (Masters, 1999). Dr. John Hunter of the University of
of the authors is a clinical psychologist and has In addition, he indicated that it is difficult to Virginia, Hazelwood is now research-
ing juvenile sex offenders.
spent the last 20 years working in the criminal generalize about the link between fantasy and
Hazelwood is a Diplomate of the
justice system providing forensic psychological sexual homicide because the sample size in the American Board of Law Enforcement
analysis, the point authoritatively may be made research is small (Masters, 1999). Furthermore, Experts, and he spoke at the ACFEI
that once the mental health professional begins the research on how frequently normal people 2005 National Conference as a fea-
to champion a cause or a theory as Meloy es- engage in sexual fantasies and who do not com- tured presenter.
poused (either for or against the individual be- mit sex crimes is inadequate (Masters, 1999).
fore the court), the objective analysis owed to The research on sexual homicide and its pur-
the court is lost. ported application to Masters is simply incor-

(800) 592-1399 Summer 2009 THE FORENSIC EXAMINER® 61

rect. For example, research indicated that of the three cases of adolescent sexual homi- Timothy Masters as a case study of sexual
those who engage in sexual murder tended cide may have represented the adolescent’s homicide. What is interesting about the
to be isolated and engaged in anti-social displaced rage onto a female victim—rage article is that he describes characteristics
behavior (Grubin, 1994). There is a re- caused by the mother’s threats of separation that are common in sexual homicide and
lationship between sexual abuse in child- through suicide (Meyers, 1994). cites risk factors that are associated with
hood and the mutilation of murder victims. It is interesting to contrast Meloy’s views displaced matricide that would be attrib-
Sexually abused murderers are more likely on a sexual homicide with what retired FBI utable to Masters—namely 1) a history of
to mutilate victims than are those offend- profiler John Douglas states in his book mistreatment of women or fantasies of as-
ers not sexually abused (67% versus 44%) The Mind Hunter (1995). Douglas de- saulting women, 2) fetishism for female
(Ressler, Burgess, Hartman, Douglas, & scribes a sexual homicide where the victim underclothing and destruction of female
McCormack, 1986). We also see a posi- was found badly beaten. Her nipples had clothes, 3) expression of hatred, contempt,
tive relationship between adolescent sexu- been cut off and placed on her chest, and or fear of women, and 4) confusion of sexu-
al victimization and the mutilation of the there were bite marks on her legs and lac- al identity. The authors could not find any
murder victim (78% versus 42%) (Ressler erations on her body; she was spread-eagled behavioral evidence to support the inclusion
et al., 1986). Furthermore, early fantasies and tied with her belt and nylons, and an of the above criteria to the Masters case.
often give rise to behavior tryouts that are umbrella and pen were placed in her vagina Meloy’s article attempts to show that
precursors to criminal behavior (Burgess, (Douglas, 1995). One of the suspects was a Masters would have fulfilled the criteria for
Hartman, Ressler, Douglas, & McCormack, 15-year-old boy who had found the victim’s the motivation model of sexual homicide
1986). Lastly, what is most revealing is a wallet. However, Douglas dismissed the boy as developed by Burgess, Ressler, Douglas,
study that found that the frequencies of and McCormack and elaborated upon by
deviant sexual fantasies in control groups “...Meloy relied on Ressler et al. in their book Sexual Homicide
representing “normals” tended to be high- (1988), but the authors’ next search for ev-
er than sex offenders (Langevin, Lang, & the very research idence to support this theory proved un-
Curnoe, 1998). that showed that successful. The authors could not find evi-
In the Masters case we do not observe ev- dence revealed by the police or Meloy that
idence of isolation, early try-out behaviors, someone like Timothy the criteria outlined in the sexual homicide
or abuse. What is amazing is that Meloy re-
lied on the very research that showed that
would be the least model applied to Timothy; such evidence
could include 1) an ineffective social envi-
someone like Timothy would be the least likely candidate ronment, 2) formative traumatic events in
likely candidate to commit sexual murder their childhood such as abuse, 3) personal-
to justify his belief that Timothy did in fact to commit sexual ity traits such as chronic lying, stealing, cru-
commit sexual murder. It is incorrect to as- murder to justify his elty, and destroying property, 4) cognition
sume that fantasy is a rehearsal to act out processes entailing negativity and a desire
when it may serve a number of other pur- belief that Timothy to control and dominate others, 5) hyper-
poses for the individual such as wish fulfill-
ment, curiosity, or alleviation of sexual frus-
did in fact commit arousal consistent with early trauma and
hyperarousal consistent with psychopathy,
tration (Langevin et al., 1998). Given that sexual murder.” 6) antisocial acts representing a displace-
there are no certain behavioral indicators to ment of aggression, and 7) a feedback filter
exclusively confirm characteristics in sadis- as a suspect because the sexual fantasy that (learning) where practice makes the crime
tic sexual fantasy, fantasy does not appear to pertained to this killer would have taken more closely fit the perfect fantasy.
be associated toward a type of crime (Gray, years to develop (Douglas, 1995). However, Meloy is, without question, an expert
Watt, Hassan, & MacCulloch, 2003). Douglas goes on to comment about this on narcissism and psychopathic personal-
In addition to the problematic position particular case after the killer had been ap- ity traits, having published many peer re-
that the drawings represent sadistic sexual prehended, candidly stating that acting out view articles and either authored or edited
fantasy, Meloy then takes the position that on fantasies to harm others is a crime, but many books dealing in part or in whole on
the drawings represent an illustration of dis- that in themselves “bizarre and deranged the topic. Thus, when Meloy stated that
placed matricide, indicating that he killed fantasies are not a crime” (Douglas, 1995). “virtually all sexual homicide perpetrators
Peggy Hettrick because Peggy represented Douglas’s insight supports Hazelwood’s evidence narcissistic and psychopathic per-
Timothy’s deceased mother. The authors commentary that fantasy is not necessar- sonality traits” (Meloy, 2000), these authors
went to some length to gather research that ily motive, and MacCulloch et al.’s (1983) were troubled as the traits are not clearly
would attempt to justify Meloy’s position research that sadistic situations tend to be evident in the Masters documents. In a
that Timothy’s actions were a form of dis- rehearsed many times in fantasy and at study titled the “Characteristics of Sexual
placed matricide. The authors located what times tried out in real life over a number Homicides Committed by Psychopathic
we believe to be the only study available of years. and Nonpsychopathic Offenders,” the au-
prior to the trial, titled “Sexual Homicide Moreover, one year after Timothy was thors offer empirical research that is at odds
by Adolescents,” of which Meloy would found guilty, Meloy published an article with Meloy’s findings that both psychopath-
have been familiar. The study regards ado- titled “The Nature and Dynamics of Sexual ic and non-psychopathic persons engage in
lescents who commit sexual homicide and Homicide: An Integrative Review” (2000) sexual homicide (Porter, Woodworth, Earle,
was based on the possibility that at least one where he, on several occasions, mentions Drugge, & Boer, 2003). The authors found


that about 82% of the psychopathic offend- was available prior to Masters’s arrest and cation teacher who knew him best, told
ers are more likely to engage in sadistic vio- trial. In addition, Professor Gerald Post of his reading teacher, “You know, I’m not
lence during the sexual homicide as opposed George Washington University considers at all concerned about them [his writings
to about 52% of the non-psychopathic of- other factors in remote personality assess- and drawings],” because most of her kids
fender (Porter et al., 2003). Furthermore, ment that have been known for years in the scrawled horrific images (Moffeit, 2008a).
the authors of the study indicated that the field, including cultural factors, social inter- There is no evidence that Meloy took the
psychopathic killers more likely tended to action factors, and peer group comparison time to speak to family members or class-
kill for thrill and lacked empathy/remorse, factors. For those that do use remote per- mates about Timothy or whether they had
while non-psychopathic killers murder be- sonality assessments, the authors of these ever seen his drawings and discussed their
cause of negative emotions, rage, and/or remote assessments go to great lengths to significance.
anger (Porter et al., 2003). By deduction, advise the reader of the research on their Perhaps Meloy or one of his proxies
if Meloy states that Timothy’s drawings and validity and reliability (Krauskopf, 1998). could have asked Ms. Challes if she had any
narrative represent anger and rage toward For example, Timothy was placed in a knowledge that Timothy hated women, that
women, the probability that Timothy is special education class after a teacher dis- he had a desire to commit acts that were de-
psychopathic according to Porter’s research covered some of his disturbing artwork. picted in his drawings, if he had hurt others,
lessens, which would cast doubt on Meloy’s An article in the Denver Post describes, or if there was a connection between what
position that all sexual homicide perpetra- “In the margins of his notebooks were he said and what he did. Given that one of
tors evidence narcissistic and psychopathic sketches of dinosaurs with arrows through the authors performs forensic psychologi-
personality traits. them, gruesome war scenes described by his cal services, this would have been a fertile
In addition, Meloy discusses how he Vietnam veteran dad, and horror flicks such area to investigate and assist in a remote
used the Hazelwood and Warren (1995) as Nightmare on Elm Street that father and personality assessment; Timothy spent so
components that violent sexual fantasies son watched together” (Moffeit, 2008a). much time in the company of those teach-
in sexual homicide cases can be inferred by Timothy enjoyed writing, and his goal was ers, they would probably know him best.
the perpetrator’s productions, such as inani- to be another Stephen King. In fact, the au- Did Timothy actually possess adolescent
mate objects, dolls, videos, clothing, pho- thors researched, beginning with the year psychopathic qualities as Meloy argues in
tos, drawings, or narratives (Meloy, 2000). 1987 and back, for publications by Stephen his article? This is an area in which Meloy
Meloy fails to disclose, both in his trial testi- King that Masters may have read. The au- has written extensively; perhaps interview-
mony where he refers to Hazelwood and in thors cross-referenced the themes in King’s ing others who knew Timothy may have re-
his article, that Hazelwood indicated there novels against themes in Masters’s drawings vealed a behavioral pattern that pointed to
was not enough evidence to suggest that and stories and were able to find some par- him as someone other than a psychopath.
Masters was the perpetrator. In addition, allels. For example, the correlations between
Meloy states that while adolescent sexual his drawings depicting murder, Nazi death Legal Implications
homicide perpetrators “are reared in cha- camps, Nazi sadistic killers, Jews, and an
otic family environments and are physically adolescent male student are found in the “He admitted his guilt through
abused, most do not have a history of child Summer of Corruption: Apt Pupil (1982). pictures to us.”
sexual abuse” (Meloy, 2000). The authors With respect to the psychological dynamics —a juror after convicting
could not find any evidence that Timothy of a 12-year-old son of a dying mother who Timothy Masters
was reared in a chaotic family environment must fight evil, the authors direct readers to
or that he suffered from any type of abuse; The Talisman (1984). With respect to a son What is introduced at a trial as evidence
in fact, the reports appear to show that he who kills his mother, the reader is referred can have a profound impact on how lay
came from a stable household. to the short story The Woman in the Room persons serving on a jury perceive a person
There were other methods, although none published in the Night Shift (1978). charged with a crime. Courts attempt to
of them are ideal in terms of validity and re- The authors could not find any evidence filter out evidence that may be inflamma-
liability, for a forensic psychologist to collect that Meloy cross-referenced the stories and tory or prejudicial in order to assure that a
information about a person’s character and drawings to what other adolescents pro- defendant receives a fair trial and that he
behavioral inclinations without interacting duce, either at the national level or in the or she is not held accountable for an act
with the individual. Such methods appear particular school Timothy attended. There because the jury does not like the individ-
familiar to Meloy as he has advertised that was no evidence that there was any explo- ual’s character. Courts generally do not al-
one of his specialties involves remote per- ration as to the timing and manner of pro- low what is known as a defendant’s “other
sonality assessments—essentially assess- duction of the narratives/drawings and crimes, wrongs, or acts” to be used against
ments that do not involve meeting with what his thoughts and feelings were prior them because of the fear that jurors would
and interviewing the person under analy- to, during, and following the productions. focus too much on these other matters and
sis. The authors could not find evidence For example, Masters was never asked if determine the culpability of the accused by
from Meloy’s trial testimony or any other through the use of his narratives/drawings how they perceive his/her character.
records that he used a well-known remote he hoped to shock others, punish them, However, there is an exception in the law
personality assessment inventory called the or ask for help; Meloy and the court sys- where a person’s “other crimes, wrongs, or
Gittinger Personality Assessment System tem assumed that his pictures proved that acts” can be entered as evidence in a trial to
to assist in his opinion of what behavior- he was a bigot and racist full of hatred for assist the jury in determining culpability if
al traits Masters harbored, even though it everyone. Judith Challes, the special edu- it goes to something other than a person’s

(800) 592-1399 Summer 2009 THE FORENSIC EXAMINER® 63

character, such as the ability to commit The majority’s assurance that the pros- The lead author of this article works as a
the crime, a person’s motive, state of mind, ecution did not emphasize or rely on the criminal trial attorney and has participated
planning, identity, or if it reveals a modis inadmissible evidence described, in part, in countless criminal jury trials, including
operandi. Courts normally go through a as the “sporadic use of ethnic slurs,” mis- homicides. Prior to introducing gruesome
balancing test to determine whether the characterizes the nature of the inadmis- evidence in homicide trials, the trial judge
probative value of letting in evidence of sible evidence and the trial proceedings. places the burden on the party wanting to
other crimes, wrongs, or acts outweigh However, the prosecution emphasized to introduce the evidence to explain its rel-
the prejudicial effect that it may have on the jury numerous images drafted by the evance, fully understanding that pictures
the accused. Thus, if the defendant’s other defendant that glorified the Ku Klux Klan; carry great weight in a juror’s mind; as a
wrongs or acts reveal motive that can be the Nazi party; killing; and torturing of result, trial judges frequently limit what
linked to the charged offense, the court people based on their racial, ethnic, and jurors will be exposed to because the prej-
may decide to let the evidence of other religious backgrounds, sexual orientation, udicial impact of gruesome evidence that
wrongs and acts be heard by the jury; even and physical limitations, none of which had could be linked to the defendant is simply
though it is prejudicial to the defendant, a connection to the Hettrick homicide but too prejudicial to admit. It has also been the
the benefit to the jury in linking motive to were used, through Meloy, to prove mo- experience of this author that jurors tend
other evidence is probative in understand- tive (Masters, 2002). The prosecution also to stop listening to evidence when they are
ing why the crime occurred. The judges on highlighted many of these inadmissible, overcome with negative emotions. The vol-
the Colorado Supreme Court that upheld inflammatory examples of racial bigotry ume of drawings and narratives that were
Timothy’s conviction and believed that through the testimony of Broderick as be- introduced in the Masters trial resulted in
Meloy’s testimony was useful—known as ing proof that the defendant committed this the case being decided before it ever be-
the majority—opined that Timothy’s draw- murder. For example, Broderick testified as gan. There was simply too much negative
ings and writings, as well as the testimony to drawings that depicted the Nazi death emotion to overcome to convince jurors,
pertaining to them, were not being offered camp welcoming “Each and Every God- who have promised to listen to all the evi-
to prove his character, but to show that he damn Jew” and the caption “Kill the Jew” dence before coming to a conclusion in
acted in a way that proved his motive for (Masters, 2002). Broderick also testified as order to maintain an open mind before
the crime, his deliberation of the crime, his to another drawing that showed doctors us- deliberations. The Masters case overwhelm-
planning and preparation of the crime, his ing saws, machetes, and knives on people, ingly supports the research by Bright and
opportunity to commit the crime, and his with a caption stating “I’ve found the cure Goodman-Delahunty (2006) that gruesome
subsequent knowledge of the crime. for AIDS” (Masters, 2002). evidence can have a disproportionate im-
The judges who did not believe that Research by Bright and Goodman- pact on the willingness to convict and il-
Meloy’s testimony should have been al- Delahunty titled “Gruesome Evidence and lustrates why it is crucial that the trial court
lowed—referred to as the minority—opined Emotion: Anger, Blame and Jury Decision- filter evidence that can inflame jurors’ pas-
that the tendency of juries to overvalue other Making” (2006) concluded that when grue- sions and convict based on how they feel
crimes, wrongs, or acts as evidence disclosed some photographs, for example, are shown about the defendant’s interests/lifestyle.
at trial is supported by the findings of several to a mock jury and while all other aspects of What is equally amazing about the
empirical studies on jury behavior regarding evidence remain the same, the rate of con- Masters case is that from a legal perspective,
a defendant’s past activities (Masters, 2002). viction increases dramatically as contrasted the circumstantial evidence was non-exis-
For example, the studies found that the dis- if no gruesome photographs are presented at tent to extremely weak at best. According
taste jurors may have for the defendant’s past trial. If those same gruesome photographs to Kevin Heller in his article titled “The
activities may tend to distort their percep- are accompanied by oral testimony describ- Cognitive Psychology of Circumstantial
tion of the degree of independent evidence ing the photograph, the rate of conviction Evidence,” when there is no direct or physi-
necessary to meet the prosecution’s burden increases even further (Bright & Goodman- cal evidence linking a defendant to a crime
of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt Delahunty, 2006). The reason that the con- and the circumstantial evidence is weak, ju-
(Masters, 2002). In other words, the jury viction rate dramatically increases just on rors are more willing to find the defendant
disproportionately concentrates on a de- the introduction of gruesome evidence is be- not guilty because they are capable of think-
fendant’s past activities at the expense of con- cause there are emotional reactions that acti- ing of different scenarios that may have
sidering if there is other evidence that does vate the desire to hold someone responsible explained Hettrick’s death (Heller, 2006).
in fact prove the defendant guilty beyond a for the gruesome acts (Bright & Goodman- The stronger the circumstantial evidence,
reasonable doubt. Yet, in this case there was Delahunty, 2006). Yet in a position contrary meaning the fewer scenarios of alternative
no other independent evidence necessary to to Bright’s research, when the majority is culpability, the stronger the probability of
meet the prosecution’s burden unless you confronted with the issue of the prejudicial conviction based solely on circumstantial
accept the majority’s belief of what consti- impact the hundreds of depictions of draw- evidence (Heller, 2006). Given this author’s
tutes incriminating evidence, such as the fact ings and narratives would have on the jurors, trial experience with circumstantial evidence
that the victim’s hair was red like Timothy’s they reasoned that the jury’s exposure to vio- cases, the author would agree with Heller’s
mother, that Timothy was familiar with the lent images through admissible evidence is position; yet interestingly, the Masters case
area where the victim was found, or that not substantially influencial; in other words, tends to contradict Heller’s position in that
Timothy had knives in his collection simi- the jury is desensitized to the disturbing im- the jurors still found the defendant guilty
lar to the weapon possibly used against the ages because of their extensive exposure to without direct or physical evidence and
victim. them (Masters, 2002). non-existent or weak circumstantial evi-


dence. This observation further supports founded, creating a scenario where the prej- questions, issues of statistical significance,
Bright’s research that the impact gruesome udice to the defendant denies him/her of a distinctions between reliability, and validity
evidence has on juror perceptions cannot fair trial under the Constitution. The major- of the hard sciences versus the behavioral sci-
be overstated. ity indicated that the prosecution presented ences; and are in need of judicial education
Without admitting Timothy’s drawings multiple theories of logical relevance to the on frequent issues that are brought about
and narratives describing violent, hate-filled Masters case and decided that the scientific by expert testimony such as error rates, va-
racist views, there was no case against principles underlying Dr. Meloy’s testimony lidity, and reliability (Gatowski, Dobbin,
him; this is aptly evidenced by what one ju- were reasonably reliable and that they would Richardson, Ginsburg, Merlino, & Dahir,
ror stated after returning a verdict of guilty: aid the jury. According to the majority, Dr. 2001). Moreover, research appears to suggest
“He admitted his guilt through pictures to Meloy’s testimony provided an explanation that jurors, perhaps nonconsciously, assume
us” (Farrell, 2000). This is not arguing that for the seemingly inexplicable, and without that all expert evidence admitted at trial has
gruesome evidence should not be admitted it, jurors cannot understand the defendant’s been “approved” by a judge, thus concluding
because, by definition, certain crimes inher- motivation for murder. The Court stated: too much about the quality of the evidence
ently have gruesome evidence attached to Dr. Meloy relied on an objective, wide- presented (Schweitzer et al., 2009).
their acts; however, it is critical that a legal ly recognized psychological theory, one Specifically, jurors assume trial judges re-
connection linking gruesome evidence to a which was founded on research and view expert evidence before it is presented
crime be established so that the justice sys- study, and one which the trial court de- to them and that any evidence presented
tem can ensure fair proceedings. Yet, the termined was generally recognized within to them must be above some threshold of
mere fact that a forensic psychologist was the forensic community. His testimony quality (Schweitzer et al., 2009). If trial
permitted to theorize about the defendant’s consisted of an objective, complex, and judges do adhere to Daubert standards, the
fantasies depicted in the drawings does not highly developed analysis of the crime jurors’ assumptions may make sense but the
strengthen this weak evidentiary link. scene and Defendant’s productions that research indicates that trial judges do a poor
The logical relevance of the defendant’s had been refined by years of research. As job of screening expert evidence, which is
uncharged fantasies is minimal when com- such, it was reliable and insightful infor- unfortunate; the trial judge is implicitly
pared to the overwhelming power of these mation that assisted the jury by placing lending credence to the testimony, thus
fantasies to depict the defendant as an evil the crime in context and helping them to increasing its persuasiveness (Schweitzer et
and bad person (Masters, 2002). Even as- understand bizarre and deviant behavior al., 2009). Interestingly, as recent as March
suming that some of the drawings and that was unlikely to be within the knowl- 2008, Meloy testified for the prosecution
writings would be admissible, there are edge of ordinary citizens; it helped the in a death penalty case and admitted un-
hundreds and hundreds of pages that have jury understand the significance of mate- der cross-examination and in reference to
nothing to do with this case. According to rial facts in the case. (Masters, 2002) the Masters case that “there have been in-
the minority, the writings and drawings Unfortunately, in order to bolster their cidences where juries relied on my opin-
are not even “acts” as contemplated by the legal position on the appellate review of ion and in the aftermath, those [opinions]
law, but merely reflect, for the most part, Masters, the majority opined the exact op- were not supported by evidence” (Coberly
a 15-year-old’s fantasies; not one of these posite of what the current research and Dr. & Campbell, 2008).
1,000 drawings and narratives concerns Yuille indicated on the subject of sexual
this victim personally or reflects the man- homicide, in that the role of fantasy is not Recommendations for
ner in which the victim was killed (Masters, generally accepted scientific fact in the fo- Forensic Psychologists
1999). However, the prosecution was al- rensic psychology community. The majority
lowed to end their closing argument by relies upon the prosecution’s expert to link “What gets us in trouble is not
urging the jury to convict the defendant the defendant’s fantasies to this crime, in what we don’t know, it’s what we
because his fantasies proved that he com- spite of the failure of the fantasies to show know for sure that just ain’t so.”
mitted this crime: “Please take the time to a link to this specific victim and this spe- —Mark Twain
look at those drawings, read the narratives, cific crime. When there is genuine scien-
study this evidence. The evidence is there. tific debate over the validity of the expert’s The introduction of Daubert standards
Sometimes it’s hard to find. Sometimes you propositions, the non-character purpose of changed the landscape for forensic psy-
have to do a little thinking as to how the de- the uncharged acts is much weaker and the chology and as the Supreme Court of the
fendant could draw something like that un- danger of use by the forbidden character in- United States stated, admissible expert tes-
less he knew how it happened. Please look ference much greater. timony must be based on more than “sub-
and read, study, dig into the paper bags. It is clear from the Masters case that jective belief or unsupported speculation”
The evidence is there” (Masters, 1999). the judicial ruling allowing Meloy to tes- (Daubert, 1993). The Daubert criteria en-
In addition, courts have an obligation tify reflects the findings of the study titled compass concerns within the psychological
to ascertain whether expert testimony that “Asking the Gatekeepers: A National Survey scientific community that expert testimony
is disclosed to a jury actually rises to the of Judges and Judging Expert Evidence in a was at times admitted absent scientifically
standard that it is in fact generally accepted Post-Daubert World” (2001) that concluded acceptable theories and methods to support
within the scientific community as reliable judges, especially state court judges, do not the opinions expressed, and conversely that
to support expert opinion under Daubert. know how to apply Daubert guidelines; do relevant expert testimony based on reliable,
The concern is that jurors may rely on infor- not understand scientific evidence; do not competent research was at times excluded.
mation to determine culpability that is un- know how to ask experts the appropriate Judge Richard Posner characterized the

(800) 592-1399 Summer 2009 THE FORENSIC EXAMINER® 65

purpose of Daubert as “to protect juries of Forensic Psychology. All of the guide- even more. . . . We would draw horrible
from being bamboozled by technical evi- lines are important, however, because when gruesome scenes and share it with a guy . .
dence of dubious merit” (Lloyd, 2006). testifying, forensic psychologists have an . ‘Oh, that’s cool,’ and pass it back” (Yager
The authors recommend that practitio- obligation to all parties to a legal proceed- et al., 2008). Meloy had access to Timothy’s
ners consider the Daubert factors so that ing to present their findings, conclusions, school records and knew the media ado-
legal requirements are upheld and ethical evidence, or other professional products in lescents were exposed to; he learned that
considerations are considered when offer- a fair manner (APA, 1991). Forensic psy- Timothy was in a special education class,
ing expert testimony. Although not an ex- chologists do not, by either commission or that his peer group liked to draw, and that
haustive list, some of the Daubert factors omission, participate in a misrepresentation many of them even thought Timothy’s
used by courts in evaluating the reliabil- of their evidence, nor do they participate drawings were cool. Meloy could have used
ity of expert testimony are 1) whether a in partisan attempts to avoid, deny, or sub- all of this information to form an alterna-
method consists of a testable hypothesis, 2) vert the presentation of evidence contrary tive hypothesis.
whether the method has been exposed to to their own position (APA). For example, Meloy was also provided information
peer review, 3) whether the method is gen- Meloy mentioned Hazelwood’s research concerning what Timothy’s fellow students
erally accepted with a given community, 4) during the trial, but he never disclosed were exposed to by the media. Meloy tes-
whether the method is valid and reliable, 5) Hazelwood’s opinion that attempting to tified during the trial that he categorized
any known error rates, and 6) is the theory stretch Timothy’s drawings into behavioral Timothy’s drawings into over thirty themes;
developed “for litigation only.” rehearsal and motive was over-reaching. The however, these were themes that fit into a
For example, Meloy uses Masters’s pic- courtroom testimony clearly illustrates what sexual homicide hypothesis. He never con-
tures as his measurement of the behavioral can happen when opinions that do not sup- sidered a military theme, even though he ad-
rehearsal of the Hettrick sexual homicide, port the position taken by the forensic psy- mitted that many of the drawings had a mil-
yet there is no data to support his hypoth- chologist are either avoided or subverted. itary theme to them. He never considered
esis. As to reliability, Meloy does not pres- The forensic psychologist’s responsibility to that the drawings had a Freddy Krueger hor-
ent research that a test used to measure the make sure that all legal parties understand ror movie theme or, as Timothy stated, were
connection between fantasy and motive the validity and reliability issues ensures a reflection of the work of Stephen King—
to commit sexual homicide produces con- that the checks and balances built into the all possibilities that could have been used
sistent results that are reliable. As to error legal system can function. Meloy com- to form an alternative hypothesis as to why
rates, how many times was a woman killed mitted a significant blunder by attempt- he wrote stories or drew pictures that were
where it was argued to be displaced sexu- ing to superimpose his expertise with the violent. Interestingly, in an article Meloy
al matricide when in fact it was not a dis- Rorschach test to bolster his testimony on co-authored titled, “Investigating the Role
placed sexual matricide? Meloy could not the connection between Masters’s drawings of Screen Violence in Specific Homicide
answer this question because there is no and the homicide. Cases,” he considered relevant the content
data on error rates on this issue. In order to avoid undue influence from of movies viewed by a sexual homicide de-
The authors believe that practitioners financial gain, the forensic psychologist fendant named Lucas Salmon (Meloy &
should consider the ethical implications maintains professional integrity by exam- Mohandie, 2001). Lucas Salmon, together
of their testimony given the impact it ining the issue at hand from all reasonable with George Woldt, abducted a 22-year-old
may have on an individual’s liberty, and perspectives, actively seeking information female, took turns vaginally raping her, and
forensic psychologists do have American that will differentially test plausible rival stabbed, cut, and smothered the woman
Psychological Association (APA) ethical hypotheses (APA). In this case, the foren- to death as she lay naked on the pavement
guidelines to consider. Too often courts sic psychologist made it clear, by way of (Meloy & Mohandie, 2001). Meloy wrote
have admitted misleading psychologi- his own scholarship, that he is interested of the common theme in the movies his cli-
cal testimony with the explanation that in and supports psychoanalytic theories. It ent watched, such as Blood In, Blood Out . .
it could be countered by testimony from is evident that the desire to “push” the le- . Bound By Honor and A Clockwork Orange
opposing experts and by vigorous cross- gitimacy of projectives techniques, at least to explain his pairing of sex and violence
examination. From the lead author’s trial as practiced by him, as a valid and reason- and how it would impact Lucas’s behavior.
experience, there are practical situations able method for assessing culpability lead Compare and contrast how Meloy took
where vigorous cross-examination may not to a tragic error accepted by the Colorado Timothy’s drawings and cross-referenced
make juries aware of what, to sophisticated Supreme Court. the classifications used in sexual homicide
observers, were obvious defects in the tes- For example, there is no evidence that such as blitz attack, mutilating etc., but
timony, thus ethical considerations should Meloy tested a plausible rival hypothesis not to any other type of classification that
not be ignored just because legal require- that the drawings did not reflect what the would have formed a different hypothesis.
ments appear fulfilled. forensic psychologist projected into the For example, Meloy would have known of
The APA, together with other profession- drawings or that perhaps Timothy’s vio- Timothy’s books and movies that the police
al organizations, established a set of ethical lent stories did not mean that his fantasti- recovered from his home and his desire to
guidelines for forensic psychologists pub- cal imagination gave him a motive to kill. write like Stephen King because Timothy re-
lished in Law and Human Behavior (1991), In fact, Timothy indicated that, “My peers vealed this to the detectives on several occa-
and although the guidelines do not repre- seemed to approve of them. . . . They liked sions. Meloy does not appear to extend the
sent an official statement of the APA, they those drawings . . . they would offer sug- same analysis of developing theme consisten-
were endorsed by the American Academy gestions so that encouraged me to draw cies for Timothy as alternative hypotheses. It


is plausible Meloy did not develop alterna- another reverse-engineered pseudo-profile ignored. As of 2008, Timothy appears to
tive hypotheses because he knew that some that implicated Dr. Hammond as the more suffer from post-traumatic stress disor-
of the major drawings would have more in likely suspect, even though Dr. Hammond der (Moffeit, 2008c). His attorneys have
common with non-sexual homicide themes was irrelevant in terms of Meloy’s analysis of encouraged him to see a psychologist, but
as opposed to the voluminous military, hor- the drawings. Again, Meloy had no known he is weary, stating that “A psychologist
ror movie, and Stephen King themes. direct, physical, or circumstantial evidence helped put me away” (Moffeit, 2008c).
The fatal error in not actively seeking that pointed to Dr. Hammond as a more
information that will differentially test a likely suspect. References
plausible rival hypothesis is a caution that In addition, Meloy never disclosed Alison, L., West, A., & Goodwill, A. (2004). The
academic and the practitioner: Pragmatists’ views of
forensic psychologists should heed. The Hazelwood’s position that is independent offender profiling. Psychology, Public Policy and Law,
ACFEI code of conduct also forbids ACFEI of what the police did or did not tell him 10(1/2), 71-101.
forensic examiners from engaging in dual about the evidence. Moreover, Meloy’s po- APA. (1991). Specialty guidelines for forensic psy-
roles, not developing and considering alter- sition that he was manipulated is flawed; chologists. Law and Human Behavior, 15(6).
Banda, P. (2008, April 6). Did a psychological profile
native hypothesis, and from creating pseu- he would have known that there was no go too far? Prince George Citizen Retrieved from http://
do profiles. Consider that ACFEI members direct or physical evidence used against
are not advocates for one side or the other Timothy, other than his own testimony, world-news/did-a-psychological-profile-go-too-far-
and must maintain objectivity. Members because he was present at the trial. The experts-question-if-practice-is-reliable.html
Bright, D., & Goodman-Delahunty, J. (2006,
should not intentionally withhold or omit evidence or lack of evidence presented at April). Gruesome evidence and emotion: Anger, blame,
any findings or opinions discovered during trial put Meloy on notice as to what exactly and jury decision making. Law and Human Behavior,
a forensic examination that would cause the was used against Timothy. Furthermore, it 30(2), 183-202.
facts to be misinterpreted or distorted. was Meloy, independent of what the police Brodsky, S. (1991). Testifying in court, guidelines
and maxims for the expert witness. Washington, DC:
Moreover, forensic psychologists must disclosed to him, that presented his creden- American Psychological Association.
avoid giving written or oral evidence about tialed testimony as “science” and defended Burgess, A., Hartman, C., Ressler, R., Douglas, J.,
the psychological characteristics of particu- the scientific nature of his testimony as reli- & McCormack, A. (1986, September). Sexual homi-
lar individuals when they have not had the able before the jury that used his testimony cide. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1(3), 251-272.
Campbell, G. (2007, July 15). Convicted man’s ap-
opportunity to conduct an examination of to find Timothy guilty. peal puts a lot at stake. Greeley Tribune Retrieved from
the individual as it pertains to conclusions
to be drawn by the forensic psychologist Conclusion NEWS/107150120
(APA, 1991). Forensic psychologists must Timothy’s drawings and their perceived sig- Campbell, G. (2008a, January 5). Fort Collins po-
lice face questions in Masters case. Greeley Tribune
make every reasonable effort to conduct nificance to the case proved to be the fatal Retrieved from
such examinations and when not feasible, flaw that produced a series of disasters, the article/20080105/NEWS/272599777
they must make it clear the impact of such first of which began with a distorted crimi- Campbell, G. (2008b, February 1). The Tim
limitations on the reliability and validity of nal investigation leading to the hiring of a Masters case: Chasing Reid Meloy. Fort Collins Now
Retrieved from
their professional testimony (APA, 1991). forensic psychologist. The second disaster article/20080201/NEWS/297958975
Meloy had the opportunity to uphold this occurred when the psychologist engaged in Carroll, V. (2008, October 23). Psychologist’s fan-
guideline when he testified by disclosing projective analysis of the drawings without tasy. Retrieved from http://www.rockymountainnews.
that there were reliability issues as to his sound research to support his opinion. This com/news/2008/oct/23/carroll-psychologists-fantasy
Coberly, A., & Campbell, G., (2008b, March
testimony because he did not conduct an mistake led to the third disaster: a prosecu- 14). Expert in Tim Masters case admits his testimo-
examination on Masters, but he did not. tion that ignored all other evidentiary con- ny was not supported by the facts. Greeley Tribune
Upon Timothy’s release from prison, siderations, resulting in the conviction of Retrieved from
Dr. Meloy stated that Detective Broderick an innocent person. This conviction created article/20080314/NEWS/704078416
Darst, K. (2007, August 24). Masters’s defense:
and the prosecutors “intentionally manip- the fourth disaster, which represented the Doctor could have done it. Coloradoan Retrieved
ulated his professional opinion by misrep- Colorado Supreme Court upholding the from
resenting the physical evidence and pro- flawed testimony of the forensic psycholo- article?AID=/20071106/NEWS01/71107028
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79. (1993).
necessary to make a judgment with re- aspects of Daubert. Douglas, J. (1995). The mind hunter. New York:
spect to Mr. Masters’s psychological state” Forensic analysis clearly has its benefits, as Pocket Star Books.
(Moffeit, 2008b). Meloy indicated that we have seen with Timothy being excluded Eastwood, J., Cullen, R., Kavanagh, J., & Snook,
had he known of Dr. Hammond, then he as a source of DNA on the victim’s cloth- S. (2006, Summer/Fall). A review of the validity of
criminal profiling. The Canadian Journal of Police &
would not have considered Masters to be ing, leading to his freedom. However, we Security Services, 4(2/3), 118-124.
the killer (Moffeit, 2008b). Meloy reversed also observe that there is a precarious side Farrell, J. (1999, March 25). Psychologists clash
his prior opinion believing that Timothy to forensics that cannot be discounted, es- over meaning behind sexual homicide. Coloradoan Re-
was the killer when he indicated that rela- pecially when we have lay persons who serve trieved from
tive to Dr. Hammond’s likely perpetration, as jurors and can be swayed by an expert’s Farrell, J. (2000, April 13). Masters: Prosecu-
the “probability that Mr. Masters commit- testimony involving drawings. It is critical tion relied on character attacks. Coloradoan Re-
ted the Hettrick homicide was incredibly that if law enforcement does rely on profil- trieved
small” (Carroll, 2008). It was not until it ing services or forensic psychologists to as- article?AID=/20071106/NEWS01/71107020
Gatowski, S., Dobbin, S., Richardson, J., Ginsburg,
was discovered that Timothy was telling sist in their investigation, the evidentiary G., Merlino, M., & Dahir, V. (2001, October). Ask-
the truth that Meloy offered to create yet aspects of an investigation should not be ing the gatekeepers: A national survey of judges and

(800) 592-1399 Summer 2009 THE FORENSIC EXAMINER® 67

judging expert evidence in a post-Daubert world. Law Masters v. People, 01 SC 291 (2002). Retrieved
and Human Behavior, 25(5), 433-458. from About the Authors
Goodbee, F. M. (n.d). Special prosecutor’s of- dex.htm
fered stipulations. Retrieved from Masters v. People, 01 SC 291. (1999, March 24).
cnn/2008/images/01/16/timothy.lee.masters.pdf Transcript of Meloy and Yuille, Retrieved from http:// Frank S. Perri, JD, MBA, CPA,
Gray, N., Watt, A., Hassan, S., & MacCulloch, M. ACFEI member
(2003, September). Behavioral indicators of sadistic McLaughlin, E. (2008, January 18). Police split and lead author of
sexual murder predict the presence of sadistic sexual over conviction in Colorado slaying. CNN Retrieved this research proj-
fantasy in a normative sample. Journal of Interpersonal from
Violence, 18(9), 1018-1034. ters.cops ect, has worked as
Grubin, D. (1994). Sexual murder. British Journal Meloy, J.R., & Gacono, C.B. (1995). Assessing a prosecutor and
of Psychiatry, 165, 624-629. the psychopathic personality. In J.N. Butcher (Ed.), defense attorney
Grubin, D. (1999, March). Actuarial and clinical Clinical personality assessment: Practical approaches (pp. in the criminal
assessment of risk in sex offenders. Journal of Interper- 410-422). Oxford, U.K: Oxford University Press.
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Hartman, P. (2007a, June 12). Free Tim Masters sexual homicide: An integrative review. Agression and 12 years. Areas
because. Retrieved from http://freetimmastersbecause. Violent Behavior, 5(1), 1-22. of concentration include violent and Meloy, J.R., & Mohandie, K. (2001). Investigating white-collar crimes. Mr. Perri received
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CUSTOMERSERVICE02 ters’s broken life. Denver Post Retrieved from http:// Terrance G. Lichtenwald, PhD, is
Hughes, T. (2007b, December 8). Expert ques- a Life Fellow and
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trieved from Boer, D. (2003, October). Characteristics of sexual homi-
dll/article?AID=/20071208/NEWS01/712080371 cides committed by psychopathic and nonpsychopathic ACFEI. He earned
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Lloyd, R.M. (2006). Proving lost profits after stories/2008/11/24/48hours/main4630559.shtml N
Daubert: Five questions every court should ask be- Acknowledgements
fore admitting expert testimony. Universty of Richmond Earn CE Credit The authors would like to thank Attor-
Law Review, 41, 379-424. To earn CE credit, complete the exam for this ney Wendell Coates and Attorney Su-
MacCulloch, M., Snowden, P., Wood, J. & Mills, article on page 69 or complete the exam on-
H. (1983). Sadistic fantasy, sadistic behavior and of- line at (select “Online CE”).
san Kalbantner for their review of the
fending. British Journal of Psychiatry, 143, 20-29. manuscript.
CE ARTICLE 4: When Worlds Collide (pages 52–68)

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LEARNING OBJECTIVES KEY WORDS: Reid Meloy, Timothy Masters, criminal investigative
After studying this article, participants should be better able to do the following: analysis, forensic psychology, Roy Hazelwood, sexual homicide, motive
1. Understand the difference between criminal investigative analysis and forensic psychology.
2. Consider the ethical considerations when offering forensic psychological opinions.
fantasy, pseudo-profile
3. Implement Daubert factors when evaluating the apprpriateness of forensic testimony.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Criminal investigators and psychologists
DISCLOSURE: The authors have nothing to disclose.

This paper offers an analysis of the series of events that occurred when a homicide detective contacted an international expert in forensic psychology to assist in the arrest process and the prosecution as
an expert witness against a targeted sexual homicide suspect. The forensic psychologist developed a psychological profile of a killer using narrative and drawings made by the suspect to conclude that the
suspect’s fantasy was the motive and behavioral preparation for the sexual murder regardless of the fact that the forensic psychologist knew that there was no direct or physical evidence linking the suspect
to the crime. In this article, the authors examine the case of Timothy Masters, who was arrested and convicted of sexual murder based on the testimony of a forensic psychologist while ignoring the opin-
ion of a criminal investigative analyst.

POST CE TEST QUESTIONS (Answer the following questions after reading the article)

1 Picquerism is a form of 4 Timothy Masters was found guilty based on

a. saddism. a. direct evidence.
b. narcissism. b. circumstantial evidence.
c. psychosis. c. physical evidence.
d. neurosis. d. character evidence.

2 Meloy is a
a. medical doctor. 5 According to Meloy, which would not be a displaced matricide risk factor?
b. forensic psychiatrist. a. history of mistreatment of women.
c. forensic psychologist. b. fetishism of female clothing.
d. investigator. c. lack of confusion over sexual identity.
d. expression of hatred for women.

3 Masters desired to write like

a. John Steinbeck.
b. Plato.
c. James Joyce.
d. Stephen King.

EVALUATION: Circle one (1=Poor 2=Below Average 3=Average 4=Above Average 5=Excellent) PAYMENT INFORMATION: $15 per test (FREE ONLINE)
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Address: City:
1. Information was relevant and applicable. 12345
2. Learning objective 1 was met. 12345 State: Zip: E-mail:
3. Learning objective 2 was met. 12345 Credit Card #
4. Learning objective 3 was met. 12345
5. You were satisfied with the article. 12345 Circle one: check enclosed MasterCard Visa American Express
6. ADA instructions were adequate. 12345
7. The author’s knowledge, expertise, and clarity were appropriate. 12345 Name on card: Exp. Date:
8. Article was fair, balanced, and free of commercial bias. 12345 Signature Date
9. The article was appropriate to your education, experience, and 12345
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10. Instructional materials were useful. 12345 payment of $15 for each test taken. Fax: (417) 881-4702, or mail the forms to ACFEI Continuing Education, 2750 E.
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(800) 592-1399 Summer 2009 THE FORENSIC EXAMINER® 69