INTUITION: An Underused Weapon to Fight Crime

crime-scene-pic

We all have had those moments in our lives where it seemed like a little inner voice told us to avoid a situation, change our decision, or take a completely different direction. That voice goes by many names (hunch, sixth sense, gut feeling, instinct, insight, sensitivity, etc.) and most of us have had a one-on-one with it at some point in life, but let us just call it what it is—intuition. It comes from the Latin word “intuir,” which means knowledge from within.

Intuition is defined as the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning—it is not a magical or paranormal existence. Although not all scientists can completely agree on the exact definition; however, they do agree on where the source of intuition originates.

The term “gut feeling” actually does come from the stomach area. How? It is the result of the activities within the different regions of the brain. criminal profiling2These specific types of reasoning skills are generated from the right hemisphere of the brain. The right hemisphere not only governs creative thought, art, music, senses and emotion, it is also the area where intuitive thoughts are created.

Most psychologists view intuition as a condensed reasoning or swift cognition—a person’s ability to exploit the brain’s shortcuts. However, some psychologists, on the other hand, deem gut feelings as an associative process that taps into the unconscious.

How can we use intuition to fight crime?

Criminologists explain that a crime is the desire, target, and opportunity of the criminal. All three of these components must take place to make up the crime.

DESIRE

Criminals have a desire to commit a specific crime, such as robbery, assault, rape, etc. This desire to commit the crime is something that we don’t have any control over.

TARGET

Generally, the criminal will not attempt to commit a specific crime if the target (home, car, person, etc.) is secure. burglar-imgWe do have control over this area. It has been referred to as target hardening and simply means that we have taken steps to make it secure.

OPPORTUNITY

The above two components must take place first before the opportunity can take place. However, if any of these components of the crime don’t fall into place, the crime will not be committed. We have control over the opportunity aspect. Be aware, don’t put yourself into situations that could be dangerous, and pay attention to your intuition.

CRIME

I know that I’m oversimplifying the crime aspect, but I wanted to make a point about intuition and using it fight crime.

Intuition can be a powerful tool in our cognitive arsenal—it is fast, powerful, and mainly used under stressful situations. Just like anything, it needs recognition. Remember, intuition can easily be overridden by our rational thoughts.

Intuition typically is more successful under chaotic and uncertain conditions, and rational thoughts are generally more successful with analysis and data.

FIGHTING CRIME

  • Do everything that you can to secure yourself and your property. Take extra measures if necessary—be proactive. Take the target out of the crime equation.
  • Be alert and take notice of your surroundings. Be sure to report anything suspicious to the local authorities. Take the opportunity out of the crime equation.
  • Don’t get distracted by simple things such as your cell phone, text messages, etc. when leaving a location (home or business) and walking to your car. Take both the target and opportunity out of the crime equation.
  • If at all possible, don’t put yourself in high-risk situations. If you absolutely have to, then make some kind of arrangement to ensure more safety.
  • Above all, listen your little inner voice, gut feelings, or hunch. Find your intuition and use it.

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Have you ever listened to your instinct and it paid off? I would love to hear from you, please feel free to leave a comment.

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No Bones about Writing Bad Guys

Author Jennifer Chase

When I outline bad guys for my novels, it often reads like a police rap sheet and a psychological profile.  I can’t overstate the effectiveness for research and outlining in fiction writing.  There’s always those little pieces of nuggets that you can weave into the story that gives it the added realism and authenticity.  These nuggets are like pieces of gold for me and I love hunting for them.

Research into creating new characters works well for me because I love learning new things that I didn’t know yesterday, but it can be a daunting task if you don’t enjoy the process.  I’ve managed to streamline my process a bit so that I don’t get overwhelmed with too much information and avoid a major time void sucking the life out of me.

I remember when I first began writing screenplays, it was quoted many times in books and from successful…

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The Bystander Effect and What it Represents in Society Today

Author Jennifer Chase

BarfightIn my Emily Stone Series, my protagonist is a woman who has made the decision to get involved when she knows a crime is being committed. Emily Stone uses her intelligence, her intuition, and a few helpful pieces of technology to track the most dangerous predators in our society. She does all of this work anonymously, and forwards the evidence and entire investigation for the local police department before moving onto her next case. Well, it doesn’t always go the way as planned.

What about people who make the decision NOT to get involved? We have all read or heard about instances in which horrifying crimes were taking place and bystanders did nothing to stop the violence.

There was an incident in which a teenage girl was gang raped for more than two hours outside of her high school homecoming dance in Richmond, California. More than two dozen people…

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Examining the Digits: Uncovering Tough Clues in Crime Investigations

Author Jennifer Chase

fingerprints_colorThere are forensic scientists discovering and applying new scientific techniques to help solve cases and uncovering clues in cold cases.  Since fingerprints are the most fragile pieces of evidence in a criminal investigation and are the most important to identify the perpetrator, they are the first to be located, documented, retrieved, and examined.

Some of the most common ways to retrieve a fingerprint at a crime scene is by dusting techniques, cyanoacrylate fuming (Super glue), and using various/alternate light sources.  Other applications used are the Magana brush, nindydrin, silver nitrate, and amino black.

During my internship at a police forensic lab in the fingerprint section, I used the ninhydrin method (reacts with the amino acids in fingerprints) and sprayed a letter document in question to develop a print.  I felt a little bit like Sherlock Holmes waiting for the print to appear.  The readable print turned purple/pink in color.  Then…

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I’ve Stared Into the Heart of a Psychopath

Author Jennifer Chase

CoverImage_SmashwordsAs with my fictional heroine Emily Stone, I have stared into the heart of psychopath.  The first book in the award-winning Emily Stone Series is loosely based on some of my experiences with a violent sociopath that lived next door.  It was not only an interesting, eye-opening experience, but a frightening one as well.  It drove me to study and eventually earn my master’s degree in Criminology.  I lived my life for more than two years with the threat that I would be murdered, ambushed, and brutally attacked by this person.  I always believed that good things come out of bad experiences.  My series was one of them.  I want to thank everyone who has supported me and the series.

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COMPULSION

SYNOPSIS:

When Serial Killers Terrorize a California Beach Community, One Woman Stands in Their Way

Emily Stone doesn’t have a badge. But that hasn’t stopped her from tracking…

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Psychological Triggers and Obsessions of the Serial Killer Mind

Author Jennifer Chase

“We’ve all got the power in our hands to kill, but most people are afraid to use it. The ones who aren’t afraid control life itself.”  –Richard Ramirez (The Night Stalker, Los Angeles, CA)

We hear about serial killers crossing that dangerous psychological line into the act of murder.  There is a big leap from the fantasy phase to the actual criminal act.  It’s the impulse control mechanism that is instilled in human beings.  Basically, we know it’s wrong to kill another human for personal reasons or motivations.  When you combine the traits of psychopaths with the lack of impulse control, it can be the formula for disaster.

What triggers these individuals to kill?  According to Joel Norris author of Serial Killers, he outlined seven stages (phases) of the serial killer: aura, trolling, wooing, capture, murder, totem, and depression.  This is an interesting theory and definitely has merit…

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Impression Evidence Takes a Front Row Seat at Crime Scenes

I receive many questions from authors and writers, as well as curious folks who ask questions about impression evidence–and what falls into this category. This is a previous post that gives you some foundation for what makes up impression evidence and how important it is to searching a crime scene area.

Author Jennifer Chase

There is no branch of detective science that is so important and so much neglected as the art of tracing footsteps”, simply stated by the fictional detective character, Sherlock Holmes from A Study in Scarlet written in 1881.

How important is impression evidence?

The short answer:  It is extremely important to any crime scene investigation.

I find the various types of impression evidence to be a fascinating study.  This is the one area, with exception to the study of the psychological aspect of a criminal, which really piques my forensic interest and it poses a great opportunity for my crime fiction as well.

Impression evidence comparison is based upon the details of the particular object of interest that can be examined for distinctive and unique details.

Various impression evidence left behind at a crime scene is similar to fingerprint evidence in that it is in two or three-dimensional…

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