Profiling the Kensington Strangler

In early December, police released this version of the suspect sketch. Unlike the first one, it does not show a blemish on the suspect's left cheek, and has longer sideburns.
December 21, 2010 4:45:22 AM PST
Philadelphia police are now working with FBI profilers in their efforts to hunt down the so-called Kensington Strangler.

There have been 8 attacks of women in an area known for prostitution and drugs.

4 women have been killed, 4 have survived, but have been beaten and sexually assaulted.

Two of the survivors say they were choked to the point of losing consciousness.

Police have been distributing a composite sketch, but he has been described only by two survivors.

The suspect's DNA is not in any crime database and that's why profiling this unknown person is critical. The FBI will now gather all the information about the case and forward it to their behavioral analysis unit at Quantico to develop a profile.

"You're looking for patterns of behavior, in this case, you have four survivors here, that's very good in terms of creating an FBI profile," Dr. Kathleen Brown of Penn's School of Nursing said.

Dr. Brown has worked closely with the FBI and Philadelphia police in a number of cases and the proper collection of critical DNA evidence.

"The FBI will be looking for what are the commonalities in the sexual behavior," Dr. Brown said.

Dr. Clarence Watson, a forensic criminal psychiatrist who has been following this case with interest, has several theories on the Kensington Strangler.

"It could be a person who has frustrated interactions with females, hostility towards females," he said, adding, "they're feeling out of control in their lives and now they need to regain some sense of control, regain some sense of self-esteem or repair their ego in some way & they go out and act."

So far, the common denominators in the case are that all of the victims are white, involved in either prostitution or other risky behavior. Women who are particularly vulnerable to this type of predator:

"Because they're easy to approach, they may willingly go with the perpetrator," Dr. Watson said.

Whoever is the Kensington Strangler, our experts say he is likely playing out some kind of sexual fantasy and he is unlikely to stop anytime soon.

"Whatever the sexual fantasy is, the reality never matches the fantasy. and so he will play it out and it won't match the reality," Dr. Brown said.

From all the evidence that has been gathered, FBI profilers will develop the criminal thought process, motivations and behaviors of the Kensington Strangler that combine with the police sketch, will hopefully lead authorities to the man they're looking for.


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