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Profiling the Unsub
Written by Russell   
Monday, 15 September 2008 04:44

The Rest of the Story

A Validity[1] Test of the BRACE Character Profile™

by Russell L Smith, M.S., HSP-PA, NCP

Based on the author's request, John Douglas, Criminal Profiler, Ex-Chief FBI Investigative Support Unit and New York Times Best-Selling Author,[2] was gracious enough to complete the seventy-five input ratings for a BRACE Character Profile[3] on any well known criminal of his choice. The resulting profile was analyzed by the author as an "Unknown Subject" or "UNSUB". Within weeks the author submitted the following BRACE Character Profile analysis report to Mr. Douglas. Mr. Douglas subsequently revealed the identity of the Unknown Subject and provided his expert opinion as to the accuracy of the BRACE Character Profile analysis. The following is the analysis report, edited for length, followed by the identity of the Unknown Subject and Mr. Douglas's expert opinion as to its accuracy.

Overview of the BRACE Character Profile

The BRACE Character Profile is designed to profile patterns of maladaptive thought, behavior, and motivation. The concepts of "adaptive"and "maladaptive" are operationalized by defining adaptive as independently exercising rights and meeting corresponding responsibilities, and defining maladaptive as violating rights or not meeting responsibilities.

The BRACE Character Profile consists of seventy-five randomly ordered maladaptive characteristics which are rated on a five point scale (0 to 4). The scale is designed to index maladaptive thought, behavior, and motivation.

The scoring key orders the items into three Character Types[4] based on eight cognitive variables, eight behavior variables, and eight motivation or existential variables. The resulting profile reflects to what degree an individual's thoughts, behavior, and desires are consistent with these three Character Types. These three Character Types actually represent three core aspects of human nature, which in combination make up an individual's character. These three represent different aspects of the dark side of human nature, from ignorance to obsessions (Cognitive), from lies to murder (Behavior), and from thrill seeking to self-worship (Motivation or Existential). It is these core aspects of human nature (maladaptive thought, maladaptive behav-ior, and maladaptive motivation) which must be actively managed by each person in order to develop and maintain socially appropriate behavior. Under normal conditions, each person is more or less like these three Character Types throughout their lives and throughout each day.

BRACE Character Profile Analysis of Unknown Subject

Cognitive: This Subject has a strange combination of intellectual capacity and narrowed focus of attention. There is clearly the capacity to formulate intent – and the intent to ignore consequences. This person is exceptionally time and stimulus bound, but it is more a matter of wearing cognitive blinders than be-ing cognitively impaired. This individual is very reactive – yet, only to conditions and circumstances that he creates for himself. He is aware of social consequen-ces but does not focus on them and willingly runs exceptionally high risks. This individual could be psychotic, such as paranoid schizophrenic or with a delusional disorder, but it is not likely.

He is definitely very prone to systematic desensitization related to victims and consequences, and equally prone to being increasingly sensitized to exceptionally bizarre and self-centered thoughts and fantasy activities. This person is not stupid, but is very self-possessed, with a long history of cognitive conditioning combined with consistent behavioral actions, which serves to strengthen related desire and narrow focus of attention; preoccupation would be an understatement, it is more like an obsession turning into a lifestyle. This person stretches his own imagination to the point of making suicide out of the question and his habitation a death and pleasure chamber. This individual collects all things into his Self, only taking pleasure in both his being possessed (his obsession) and his possessing (his compulsion). All else – his reality, his neighbors, the world – is out of his frame of reference because it is not important, not because he does not understand it or have the capacity to relate to it when necessary. This person thinks primarily in terms of power and control fantasies designed to fulfill his increasingly perverted desires.

Behavioral: Power and control are core, primary, and essential features of all that this individual acts for, acts against, inhibits actions for, and inhibits actions against. This person will do what it takes to get what he wants and to avoid what he does not want. This person has no moral, legal, social, spiritual, or personal restraints on his behavior. Behavior is simply a means to an end and his behavior has no constraints. This person loves power and control and will fight to gain and maintain it.

He is oppositional to authority and takes pleasure in deceiving and acting against all forms of higher power. The death of others is simply an outcome necessity if others serve his pleasure or block or delay his access to it. This individual is socially isolated, likely unemployed, and has an extensive history of serious criminal conduct, including serial murders with a strong sexual theme. He is very likely to combine criminal sexual conduct with alcohol and/or stimulants.

Existential: This social misfit has a self-created desire which is all consuming. Yet, even in desire it is the power and control that remains a central feature. When such a compelling desire is fulfilled by a person willing to engage in any type of antisocial behavior, death and dying by the objects of their "affection" is a near certainty. Intimacy is replaced by intensity, and the power and control must be absolute. The desired relief from self-suffering related to being alone with all of the implications of interpersonal isolation, including antisocial pathology, and the desire for experiences of self-pleasure such as being able to experience the pleasures of intimacy combine in increasingly bizarre fantasies to make this person the only actor in a play of one.

This person truly becomes a creation of his own corrupted desires – to have complete power and control, even through violence and force, in order to establish unconditional psychological and physical pleasure and simultaneous relief from pain – all at the expense of others. This is a person who is ultimately compelled by his own systematically constructed Self-image as a god. This is evil. There is no remorse (it has been conditioned out), there is no compassion (his own needs override any suffering of others); there is only an empty, progressive, all consuming seeking of Self fulfillment which can not be satiated because it can not be shared.

This person has the characteristics of a Jeffery Dahmer. He is terribly self-absorbed, terribly alone, terribly self-corrupted, and terribly deviant. This is a pervert's pervert who by his own choices in thought and action shaped his Self into being less than nothing of good value – into being evil created of an evil conscience.

Identity of the Unknown Subject

Mr. Douglas revealed the Unknown Subject to be serial killer Edmund Kemper III, who was fiteen years old when he murdered his grandparents on August 27, 1954. Kemper's murders ended on April 23, 1973 with the death of his mother and one of her friends. However, he is known as the Coed Butcher[5] for murdering college coeds and mutilating their dead bodies, including dismemberment and various acts of necrophilia[6] and cannibalism.

Mr. Douglas' Expert Opinion[7]

"I think the BRACE Character Profile was right on the money[8] ... Keep up the good work!"[9]
Russell L. Smith is a Certified Health Services Provider-Psychological Associate and NCP. He has over thirty years of experience developing and imple-menting individual, group, and system wide pro-grams using his Behavioral Relativity And Cognitive Economics model. For more information on the BRACE Profile see


  • Validity [Statistics]
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    retrieved January 18, 2008

  • Douglas, John, and Mark Olshaker
    Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit
    New York: Scribner, 1995

  • The BRACE Character Profile™ Manual and BRACE Character Profile™ Excel template to generate related graphics and correlation charts for analysis are available as free downloads at in the Repository under Forensic Tools.

  • The three Character Types were originally presented by the author at the 1996 NAMP convention in "Applied Behavioral Relativity: Personality Development: Solomon vs DSM-IV or Solomon, The Un-known Father Of Cognitive Behaviorism." The lengthy handout was subsequently published by the author in 1999 as "Solomon's Crime Prevention Package: Character Development," which is available as a free download at

  • Edmund Kemper: The Coed Butcher
    The Crime Library
    retrieved January 18, 2008

  • All About Necrophiles
    by Katherine Ramsland
    The Crime Library
    retrieved January 18, 2008

  • Douglas, John
    Personal communication, dated February 11, 2002

  • Douglas, John
    Personal communication, dated February 11, 2002

  • For related free downloads and sample profiles


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