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John Edward Douglas, FBI agent and criminal profiler





John Edward Douglas (born 18 June 1945 in Brooklyn, New York), is the son of Jack and Dolores Douglas. He is a former special agent with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), one of the first criminal profilers, and criminal psychology author. A veteran of four years in the United States Air Force (1966-1970), he holds several degrees: B.S. (Eastern New Mexico University); M.S. (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Ed.S. Educational Specialist (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and a doctorate in Adult Education (Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida). Douglas has joined College Tonight's board of advisers.

Douglas joined the FBI in 1970 and his first assignment was in Detroit, Michigan. In the field, he served as a sniper on the local FBI SWAT team and later became a hostage negotiator. He transferred to the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit (BSU) in 1977 where he taught hostage negotiation and applied criminal psychology at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia to new FBI special agents, field agents, and police officers from all over the United States. He created and managed the FBI's Criminal Profiling Program and was later promoted to unit chief of the Investigative Support Unit, a division of the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC).

While traveling around the country providing instruction to local police, Douglas and his colleague Robert Ressler began interviewing serial killers and other violent sex offenders at various prisons. He subsequently published a book, Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives, followed by the Crime Classification Manual (CCM). Douglas later received two Thomas Jefferson Awards for academic excellence from the University of Virginia for his work on the study.

John Douglas pioneered "criminal profiling." At the time of criminal profiling's conception, Douglas claimed to have been doubted and criticized by his own colleagues until both police and the FBI realized that he had developed an extremely useful tool for the capture of criminals.

Douglas examined crime scenes and created profiles of the perpetrators, describing their habits and attempting to predict their next moves. In cases that his work helped to snare the criminals, he built strategies for interrogating and prosecuting them, as well. Douglas was instrumental in the capture of numerous serial killers, and for years he attempted to catch the Green River Killer in the Seattle, Washington metro area, which nearly cost him his life, when his stressed and overworked body was unable to fight off viral encephalitis.

Following his retirement from the FBI in 1995, Douglas has gained international fame as the author of a series of books detailing his life tracking serial killers, and has appeared numerous times on television.

Douglas has also written text books for criminal profiling classes. He is the author, along with Mark Olshaker, of several books. There is also a screenplay being written for the book, Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit.

Douglas was married to Pamela Elizabeth Modica (Pamela Douglas). They have three children: Lauren, Erika, and John Jr. "Jed." Currently, he lives in the Washington D.C suburbs.






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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024