Iâ€™ve never worked for the FBI. Never coordinated with local law
enforcement on investigations ranging from serial killers to child
abductions to terrorism. Never had to interview suspects, been
threatened by suspects or attacked by suspects just when I thought I was
safe. And Iâ€™ve never had to create a victim profile of a teenage
girl, seemingly loved by everyone, after sheâ€™s gone missing and left a note
behind foretelling her own death.
But the heroine of my Profiler series,
FBI Special Agent Evelyn Baine, has done all of these things. And
because Iâ€™m a stickler for accuracy, I had to figure out how to do all of
Before my heroine could become a criminal investigative analyst
(profiler) for the FBI, she had to first get through the Academy and work
as a regular Special Agent. So, I began by researching those things,
everything from how a NAT (New Agent in Training) graduates from the FBI
Academy to what kind of squad she might be working when she was finished.
I dug into books by former FBI profilers, dozens of them, to get into
the nitty gritty of creating a criminal personality profile. But the
best part of the research, hands down, was visiting the FBI Academy and FBI
field offices, and talking to the agents who actually do the work.
the way, I learned that profiling actually involves a lot more than just
creating a profile for an unknown subject (UNSUB). While those
criminal personality profiles are key â€“ they narrow down the attributes
that will lead police to a perpetrator (things like if the perpetrator is
married, what kind of job he holds, whether he would have tried to insert
himself into the investigation, and much more) â€“ profilers also have to
look at the victims. To figure out why a particular person was
targeted, profilers also create whatâ€™s known as victim profiles.
Evelynâ€™s upcoming investigation in STALKED,
my latest Profiler book, the victim profile was key. Because when a
teenage girl goes missing from inside her high school and police discover
she left behind a cryptic note foretelling her own death, there are no
obvious suspects. No useful forensics. Not even a crime scene
they can truly identify. So, all they have is the girl: Was she
really what she seemed or was she hiding a dark secret that could have
gotten her killed? And if sheâ€™s still alive, can they find her before
itâ€™s too late?
Those are all questions for a profiler, and the answers, of
course, are never simple. You can learn more about STALKED at my
Elizabeth Heiter likes her suspense to feature strong heroines,
chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of
romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through
murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academyâ€™s shooting range.
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree
in English Literature. Sheâ€™s a member of International Thriller Writers and
Romance Writers of America. Fresh Fiction called her debut suspense
HUNTED a "fast paced and thrilling start to a new series," Affaire de
Coeur gave it 5 stars, calling it "very well done with a fantastic ending,"
and Bookreporter said HUNTED was "a thriller that grabs readers from the
first page...Heiter has hit a high note right at the start of her writing
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