As is probably true for many of us in the workplace, my career has not turned out quite as I envisioned it would some 40 years ago. More specifically, as a beginning graduate student in sociology, I had no idea I would eventually practice forensic criminology or be in a position to write about what follows. In fact, I had never heard of forensic criminology (FC) until years later and, I believe, neither had my academic colleagues. It was only after I began to practice as a forensic criminologist and to identify myself as one that the parameters of this fascinating area of expertise began to reveal themselves more fully to me.
Social scientists play an increasingly important role in the prosecution and defense of both criminal and civil matters before the courts. An expanding area of forensic sociology and criminology involves the analysis of crime foreseeability and security standards of care as they relate to the question of liability for negligent security. Criminologists analyze prior crimes at a location and consider the totality of circumstances in order to determine foreseeability.
Criminal or offender profiling in one form or another has existed for many centuries. In more recent history, profiles have been constructed for such notorious criminals as Jack the Ripper, the Boston Strangler, the Unabomber, the Beltway Sniper, the Railway Rapist, the Mad Bomber, and the Green River Killer, all with varying degrees of validity.
In ancient Rome, a forum was a public place where important governmental debates were held. Sometimes it was a town square or even a marketplace. Gradually, the forum also became a sort of public ‘courthouse,’ where various trials of importance to the citizenry were held