Criminal Justice

Case Study

A serial killer is a person who commits a series of murders, whereas a white-collar crime is a financially motivated and a nonviolent crime committed by a business or a professional, with the aim of stealing funds. One case of a serial killer was by Richard Mark Evonmitz, who in 1993 killed a teenager in her home in Virginia. The next month after killing the teenager, he went ahead to kill two sisters in the same county, where their bodies were thrown in a river (FBI, 2013). It took him five years to be identified after abducting a teenager who managed to escape. Nevertheless, Richard committed suicide before his arrest, where valuable trace evidence linked him to the three murders, homicides, and other attacks.

Another serial killer was Theodore Ted Buddy, who escaped from Colorado and was in one of the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list (FBI, October 23, 2013). Ted looked for victims are colleges, beaches, and discos, where young people gathered. He had a preference for young, attractive white women with long hair parted in the Middle. He was ultimately arrested and convicted of multiple murders and executed in 1989. The Enron case is one of the most famous white-collar crime cases, where there were schemes to hide shares and fabricate profits. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Andrew Fastow was primarily held responsible for orchestrating these business tactics (FBI, 2020). A second white-collar crime was by Bernard Madoff, who was convicted of fraud costing investors around $65 billion in 2009. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison.


Both the serial killers and white-collar offenders have characteristics in the way they execute their crimes. According to the FBI, the local police who track down serial killers are using this similar expertise in behavioral profiling to target the white-collar criminals such as Madoff (REUTERS, 2011). The profiling strategies of the white-collar crimes is getting used, since they share a common trait with serial killers of manipulation, hiding, and targeting their victims.

How the Crimes Facilitated Negative Reinforcement

Research suggests that, eventually, white-collar criminals start portraying violent tendencies, resulting in dangerous individuals. As white-collar crimes evolve over the years to become more dangerous, so do the white-collar criminals (Brody & Kiehl, 2010). The offenders may have had multiple arrests and convictions, factors that repudiate the common perception of the white-collar criminal being a one-time offender. The offenders may begin committing acts of violence and even a series of murders to conceal the fraud. This is as a way of silencing the witnesses or victims, who had detected or were in a position of exposing the crime (Brody & Kiehl, 2010). These are acts of desperation that lead the criminal to make such decisions, where a suspect becomes desperate and seeks to avoid a jail term. As a result, he/she evolves from being a white-collar criminal to a serial killer or offender.

The FBI’s Use of Criminal Profiling

As a result, FBI agents are using criminal profiling used for serial killers to resolve major white-collar crimes. According to (REUTERS 2011), some of their white-collar offenders operate like professional criminals or like some organized crime syndicates. As a result, the best way of investigating the criminals, is through using techniques used to target killers who commit violent and heinous crimes.



Brody, R. G., & Kiehl, K. A. (2010). From white-collar crime to red-collar crime. J Finance Crime, 17(3): 351–364. Doi: 10.1108/13590791011056318

FBI. (2013). Serial Killers. Part 1: The FBI’s Role Takes Shape. Retrieved from—part-1-the-fbis-role-takes-shape

FBI. (October 23, 2013). Serial Killers. Part 2: The Birth of Behavioral Analysis in the FBI. Retrieved from

FBI. (2020). Major Cases. Major white-collar crime cases over the years. Retrieved from

REUTERS. (2011). FBI Behavior Analysts Apply Serial Killer Profiling To White Collar Crime. Retrieved from

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