In Which Sondra London
Interrogates the FBI
SPRING, 1990. A bright white light swung back and forth overhead,
casting film noir reflections in the gleaming black lacquer,
as the legendary Media Queen interrogated some Very Special Agents.
I had originally been introduced to Supervisory Special Agent Robert "Roy" Hazelwood when I called the hotline at the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime headquartered at the FBI Academy, in Quantico, Virginia, asking for assistance in dealing with a serial killer.
Hazelwood has conducted seminal research on serial murder, as well as serial rape, sexual sadism, autoerotic fatalities, and the profiling of violent crime. He has consulted on hundreds of violent crimes throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
Hazelwood's curriculum as an instructor at the FBI Academy included a study of Gerard John Schaefer, so he was uniquely helpful to me in directing my studies towards understanding first Schaefer, and then other serial killers as well.
After over a year of correspondence and telephone conferences, I was looking forward to this interview with great anticipation. I wondered if Hazelwood's questions would be too intimate, and if mine would be too impertinent. I wondered if they would flash their badges at me and intone "FBI," like they do on TV. I wondered where I would take them for lunch. I needn't have worried about that - these legendary men of steel are hardly slaves to such base bodily functions.
I expected them at 9:30 a.m. and was fixing a pot of coffee at 9:15 when I hear the doorbell. Living dangerously for once, I flung open the door without the usual "Who's there?" cautiously demanded from behind the triple-locked door, while eyeballing the suspects through the peephole. I figured what the hell. If it was a homicidal maniac, at least top guns would be on the scene within minutes to assess his patterns and motives.
Roy Hazelwood's distinctive, rugged countenance with dark, piercing eyes was immediately recognizable from the photo that has appeared with his many articles. The rumble of Ralph Stone's baritone voice was familiar from the phone, and the striking man standing in the door with Roy Hazelwood had to be him. A Supervisory Special Agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Stone is one of the nine regional profilers that work as liaisons with the FBI. He stood tall and distinguished with silver hair and eyes the color of a worn service revolver.
I couldn't see their weapons right away, but their badges were already out and sure enough they were saying, "Roy Hazelwood, FBI," and "Ralph Stone, GBI" - just like on TV.
Pleasant without being overly casual, they were comfortable within their protocol. This was not a social call, however, and I could see they were already working, making mental notes on my appearance and demeanor as I ushered them into the Media Queen domain. For the next six hours their gaze never faltered from my face, as their attention focused on my every little word, no matter how grandiose or puerile. A narcissist's dream, it was sort of like psychoanalysis, but more fun.
It only took a few minutes to settle down to business over the first of our endless cups of coffee. The plate of fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts placed on the table as a gesture of Southern hospitality remained untouched by the steelier of the two. However, "the wimp" finally weakened and ate the doughnut with the chocolate sprinkles. But it's only fair to concede, he did break down after hours upon hours of relentless grilling.
"Ralph Stone, GBI"
Roy Hazelwood: Now, you wanted to ask us some questions?
Sondra London: Yeah, but don't you want to do lunch or something? It's after two o'clock, and we've been at this for four hours now. All that coffee, and still no bathroom, no lunch?
Roy Hazelwood: I'd just as soon answer your questions.
Ralph Stone: The iron man. You wanted to know about the FBI.
Ralph Stone: I'm a wimp.
Sondra London: A whoosh.
Ralph Stone: Yeah, right.
Sondra London: OK then, I'd like to start by running this definition of serial murder by you. It's from Steven Egger's book, Serial Murder, an Elusive Phenomenon.
Roy Hazelwood: You're not going to ask me to criticize people, are you?
Sondra London: No, I just want to talk about the elements of serial murder. The question he asks is, do we have a good definition, does this comprise the elements that you believe are essential -
Roy Hazelwood: Why don't you let me give you our definition?
Sondra London: No. Because I'm asking the questions.
Roy Hazelwood: Oh, OK.
Sondra London: I'm reading now: "Serial murder occurs when one or more males (in most known cases) commit a second murder and/or subsequent murder; is relationshipless (victim and attacker are strangers); is at a different time and has no apparent connection to the initial (and subsequent) murder; and is usually committed in a different geographical location. Further, the motive is not for material gain and is believed to be for the murderer's desire to have power over his victims. Victims are perceived as powerless given their situation in time, place or status within their immediate surroundings (such as vagrants, prostitutes, migrant workers, homosexuals, missing children, and single and elderly women)." Mr. Hazelwood, there is some opinion in the field that the sexual or lust component is really the essential feature of serial murder, but Steven Egger believes that it's not a sexual crime, that power is the common denominator, rather than sex.
Roy Hazelwood: I believe it is a combination of power with an undercurrent of sexuality. Even though no overtly sexual acts may take place, the act itself may be sexual. I cannot disagree with what he has stated. Basically what we state is three or more murders, over a period of time, separate instances, not connected, and there is also an emotional cooling-off period with serial murders. So I really don't disagree with what he is stating.
Sondra London: That emotional cooling-off period then would distinguish it from mass murder?
Roy Hazelwood: Absolutely. Or spree murder.
Sondra London: Like Starkweather?
Roy Hazelwood: Yes, but a better example would be the guy who goes in to rob a 7-11 store and shoots the clerk, then he comes out, a police officer stops him for a traffic violation, he shoots the police officer, he goes home and kills his wife. And himself. See? Boom boom boom. It's all connected to one event in his life, and there's no cooling-off period.
Sondra London: What is the nature of the symbolic aspect of serial murder?
Roy Hazelwood: Very infrequently do we find there is a symbolic aspect. Occasionally you will find that there is a symbolic aspect. Most often there is no commonalty among victims. The victims are selected - well, let's take prostitutes -
Sondra London: Or women who part their hair down the middle.
Roy Hazelwood: Well, Bundy debunked that. He told us, everybody says I killed those women because they parted their hair down the middle. He said if you think back to that period of time, everyone wore their hair long, straight, and parted down the middle. And we said, yeah, you're right. So basically, if they select prostitutes, the primary reason is that they are vulnerable, they're available, and nobody cares.
Sondra London: Could you please explain the theory of analyzing a crime scene for elements of organization or disorganization, and how this is projected to profiling a suspect?
Roy Hazelwood: Basically, it's an analysis of the behavior exhibited during the commission of the crime. If it's a rape, you are very interested in what the offender said specifically, what he demanded she say, the amount and type of physical force used, and you are very interested in the sexual behavior that takes place.
Sondra London: So the distinction between organization and disorganization is what?
Roy Hazelwood: Basically whether or not the crime appeared to be methodical, well-planned, well-thought-out, the lack of evidence at the scene.
Sondra London: What is the correlation between this and the terms psychopath or sociopath?
Roy Hazelwood: A psychopath is not psychotic, he simply has a personality disorder. The psychopath would fall into the category of being the organized type of killer. Initially he may not appear to be, because of his lack of maturity or his lack of experience at killing. But over a period of time . . .
Sondra London: The psychopath? Then what would be the distinction between him and the sociopath?
Roy Hazelwood: They're both the same.
Sondra London: So "psychopath" is an older term, and then the word "sociopath" began to replace that term.
Roy Hazelwood: That's right. And now it's called the "antisocial personality."
Sondra London: But it's all the same.
Roy Hazelwood: Right.
Ralph Stone: Now you have a lot of non-criminal psychopaths.
Sondra London: Like these businessmen.
Ralph Stone: Oh yeah. You might have worked for some of them.
Sondra London: I have, I'm sure.
Ralph Stone: But not all psychopaths are criminals.
Sondra London: A homicide detective told me that in his opinion the FBI has no business investigating serial killers or any killers, because they do not have the necessary field experience that a good homicide detective does, and they don't know how to investigate the scene of a murder.
Roy Hazelwood: OK, Ralph, how many homicides have you investigated?
Ralph Stone: Hundreds.
Sondra London: As an FBI agent?
Ralph Stone: Right. Now, what you don't understand is this. The profiler, or the person who profiles, he's not investigating a homicide. That's left up to the police department to do - the people who go out and look at the crime scene. What the profiler does is take the results of this handiwork and here makes a decision as to organization or disorganization, takes what is depicted in that crime scene and converts it to behavior that he sees, and then takes that behavior and then through the vast experience that the FBI has in looking at hundreds of these over and over again, from all over the - well, from all over the world really - and is able to convert that behavior into certain physical characteristics.
Sondra London: Is that something that you just do in your head from what you know personally, or is it something that you can teach people to do?
Ralph Stone: You can teach them over a period of time, but it takes a lot of time and training to teach someone to do this. The FBI trains their own investigators that they bring in from the field. They have a minimum of two years of intensive training, which includes the rudiments of abnormal psych and some of the other behavioral science disciplines - sociology, psychology - in addition to actual hands-on experience. But this individual has to be an experienced investigator, someone who has served his time in the trenches. So obviously you want to take somebody who has lived a varied lifestyle, someone who has had a lot of life's experiences, maybe been in the military, maybe served in another capacity as a police officer, say, in a local police department, as well as being an FBI agent who has served in many offices in the FBI, and has worked a varied background, with various types of cases. Whether it involves violent crimes or non-violent crimes.
Sondra London: Did I understand you to say the profiler does not actually examine the murder scene?
Ralph Stone: That's exactly right. In fact we discourage a profiler from going to what we call a "hot scene." A hot scene would be where the crime scene tape is still up and the people are still there. Because he becomes prejudiced by what the investigators might say.
Sondra London: You mean the investigators might be drawing conclusions?
Ralph Stone: Their own conclusions, and this will prejudice him.
Sondra London: What do you want him to see, a form?
Ralph Stone: No, what we want the profiler to see is what they have captured with photographs. The crime scene photographs are very, very important. The initial impressions of either the crime scene techs - they have to provide a written report of all the evidence they found, where they found it, what they saw, heard, tasted, smelled, all your five senses. Either the crime techs or the investigator.
Sondra London: Is this an art or a science?
Ralph Stone: It's an art.
Roy Hazelwood: Let me point out one thing. When you go to a scene, whether you want to or not, you will be hearing things. You look at a photograph, and a photograph doesn't say anything. It doesn't exaggerate, it doesn't ridicule, it doesn't do anything. So what you're looking at is a simple scene, and you can analyze the scene for what it is. Now as far as our not being qualified, I might add that we give a year's fellowship to police officers throughout the country, and if it were not valid, then New York City wouldn't have sent down their detectives, and Los Angeles, to the FBI to be trained.
Sondra London: In profiling?
Roy Hazelwood: Yes. For one year.
Sondra London: But you are saying that profiling is different from investigating the scene of a crime.
Roy Hazelwood: Yes, it is.
Ralph Stone: It's a tool.
Sondra London: But what the homicide detective says, is that the FBI is not skilled in investigating the scene of a crime.
Ralph Stone: I'm not going to criticize what the investigator said, but the FBI is not in the habit of investigating homicides unless they occur on a government reservation. If it occurred at Ft. McPherson this afternoon that one G.I. blew out another G.I.'s brains . . .
Sondra London: Murder is not a federal offense.
Roy Hazelwood: That's it, absolutely.
Ralph Stone: It becomes a federal offense when an FBI agent is killed, or a federal judge, then they come in.
Sondra London: Or if you have a serial killer going interstate?
Roy Hazelwood: No, we'd have no jurisdiction there. But here's another interesting aspect. Take the Atlanta child murders. We were invited in as consultants. We have to be invited in by the jurisdiction. And we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of cases come in every year, from police agencies throughout the United States. As a matter of fact, next year we are bringing in as police fellows for that one year of training, two officers from Australia, one from England, one from the Netherlands, and one from Canada. So even the other Western countries recognize the value of this training and are sending their officers here to learn profiling.
Ralph Stone: Maybe this will help you too, to explain this. Profiling is not new.
Sondra London: Sure, didn't Sherlock Holmes have to profile his suspects?
Ralph Stone: The idea is, even this particular homicide detective you are referring to here. Every time he goes to the scene of a crime he has to ask himself the important question, whodunit, who is responsible for this crime? So what profiling has done, it has taken the observations, the experience with similar cases time and time again - what types of weapons that are used, why that weapon was selected over another type of weapon, why that particular victim was selected - all of these dynamics have occurred in hundreds and hundreds of cases. What the FBI has done is put it all together and look at it from a totally different perspective - from a behavioral perspective, which law enforcement has not done in the past. But what they have relied on in the past is asking themselves, have I ever seen a case like this before, or who do I have that did this before. And that's helpful. Past experience is helpful. But the FBI has taken an art and put it together with some very, very bright people. You have people with backgrounds in psychology and sociology and criminology. And they have also brought in one of the country's foremost forensic psychologists, Dr. Park Dietz, as a consultant. And Murray Myron, who is also a psychiatrist and who is wonderful with threat analysis. They've brought all these people together.
Sondra London: I want him, I need him. Maybe he can analyze some of these threats I've been getting.
Roy Hazelwood: He's expensive.
Ralph Stone: They've brought all these people with their vast experience together, and what is even more important than that, is what Roy and I are doing here today. And what has been done not only in the area of serial homicide, but also sexual sadism, arson, rape - research projects. And who knows more about what happens than the offender? So that's the place to go.
Sondra London: So let me see if I can bottom-line what you're telling me.
Roy Hazelwood: Go ahead.
Sondra London: You're saying that the FBI is taking a global approach, and gathering as much information as possible, getting people's heads together, to make this into a technique rather than just an instinctive process.
Roy Hazelwood: That's exactly right. In fact, that's very well summed up. Instead of just an intuitive process.
Sondra London: So then it becomes something that you can teach somebody.
Roy Hazelwood: Oh yes, certainly, that's why we have these people come from all over the world to study with us for a year. We see something so many times that we'll say hey - by gosh, when you see this, it means that. Let me give you one example that people know about now: facial battering in a homicide. What does that mean? Nothing to the layman. What that means to a behaviorist is that's very personalized anger. And you only find personalized anger between people who know each other. So we have seen it so many times, that when we see facial battering in a homicide, we can say the killer knew her.
Sondra London: And that's behavioral.
Roy Hazelwood: That's behavioral. And we have a whole series of things like that. When you see this, it tells you that. When you see this, it tells you the other. But it's no hocus-pocus, no crystal ball, it's not intuition, it's logic. That's all it is.
Sondra London: In your opinion, has the incidence of serial murder in the United States been on the upswing, or is it more likely that advances in forensic science have enabled law enforcement to detect more patterns and connect more individual crimes?
Roy Hazelwood: I personally believe it's on the upswing, because in the last two and a half decades we've identified 200 serial killers. Before that, we had identified 26.
Sondra London: Are these copycats, or is it superior techniques that enable them to link crimes that would be considered unrelated?
Roy Hazelwood: We look for what we call a signature in a crime. We don't go on M.O. The M.O. changes over time. We look for the ritual.
Sondra London: Like in Silence of the Lambs?
Roy Hazelwood: There you go, the moth in the mouth. Exactly. But there's no question that there is superior linkage today, compared to what was available ten years ago.
Sondra London: But let's go back to your impression that it's on the upswing. Why do you suppose that is so?
Roy Hazelwood: Because our society is much more mobile today than it was in the forties and the fifties. We have more air transportation, and you have more vehicles available to people than you had prior to that time. So that's one reason. A person who would have killed a lot of people in a small area would have been found very quickly. Those who did kill in a small area prior to say, 1950, were found rather quickly - Albert Fish, Ed Gein, Harvey Glatman, those old-timers. Today, because of the mobility, it's taking longer to find these people. And we know we're seeing more of it, and we think that mobility is one of the reasons. Another reason is, look at the emphasis on violence in our society. Somebody did a study on the number of murders that children see in a lifetime...
Ralph Stone: Children will see thousands of murders. In other words, if they just sit down and watch TV every day, it's some tremendous number.
Roy Hazelwood: Seventeen or eighteen thousand, I think.
Sondra London: Can you explain how true-detective magazines can function as pornography for criminals? Is there any evidence that reading this material leads directly to committing crimes?
Roy Hazelwood: Pornography, detective magazines, drawings, pictures, movies - in my opinion, these do not create an offender. Because there are people who are not offenders who read or look at the same thing. What it does, it enhances the fantasies and for those individuals who have a predisposition toward violent crime, it gives them new ideas. For example, I interviewed one sadist's wife and asked her what she thought about detective magazines. And she hit her hand on the table and said, "Those are nothing but instructional manuals! That's what my husband used them for!" So in answer to your question, I'd say for those people with a disposition to violence, it gives them ideas, it enhances their fantasies, and it's not healthy for them to look at.
Sondra London: To me, the person who is not interested, they're just not interested. You can't make them look at it.
Roy Hazelwood: That's true. But then you have people who seek out this type of literature. I do have one example, only one, of an individual who had a favorite detective magazine story. He had even ejaculated on the part where it talked about the evisceration of a woman. And he duplicated that murder. Even to the extent of taking a picture and leaving it propped up on the television, like in the detective magazine. Even wearing the same clothes, carrying a weapon exactly like the offender in the story did, and using a weapon from the victim's residence, everything had been replicated. Now like I said, that's the only example I have of that -
Sondra London: Were you able to talk to that offender?
Roy Hazelwood: No, I haven't been able to. But we've got the detective magazine story, and we've got the crime, and he ejaculates on the portion where she was eviscerated, and that's where he did it at the scene. It's amazing - graphically duplicating the crime.
Sondra London: What do you think about Bundy's claim that pornography was to blame for his crimes?
Roy Hazelwood: Bundy didn't say that. Bundy said, I'm not saying pornography created it. He said, what I'm saying is that it gave me new ideas, it fed my need for violent fantasies and things like that.
Sondra London: He said on TV, well I've been to prison now and I've talked to all these other bad guys and without exception, in every case there was an obsession with pornography. Now Bobby Lewis, who lived right next to him on death row, says that pornography is a form of currency in prison, that everybody has these books with pictures of naked women. And Bobby says if Bundy loved pornography so much, how come in the ten years I saw him on a day in, day out basis, I never ever once saw him with pornography in his hand? He said that while everybody else had these books, Bundy would be reading East-West Journal, and stuff like that.
Roy Hazelwood: That's because in my opinion, Bundy considered himself superior to the other people in prison, so consequently what's he going to read, this low-class material? He's going to read material that's more in keeping with his status.
Ralph Stone: And I want to take that one step further. You've got to remember what Bundy did, and remember where it is. It's right there in his head. And he can live it over again any time he wants. And every time he tells his story to someone, he is living it over and over again. So he's got his own. He doesn't need whatever they trade in the prison.
Roy Hazelwood: In fact, what they trade in the prisons is probably very, very benign compared to what he actually did. So that wouldn't even gratify him.
Sondra London: What impact to you believe public executions have? According to Gerard John Schaefer, historically executions have provided a great public spectacle with a lot of stimulation and excitement, and that this contributes to perversion - that people acquire sexual perversions from witnessing these events.
Roy Hazelwood: I would say that it's more likely that it was a morbid fascination. America has a morbid fascination with death. For example there is a video out called The Faces of Death, in three parts. It shows people being executed, automobile fatalities, burning fatalities, showing nothing but people dying. There's just a morbid fascination with death there.
Sondra London: What about intervention? What should I do if someone threatens me or tells me they want to kill someone?
Roy Hazelwood: You should report it to the police, that's what you should do.
Sondra London: But if all the person has done is TELL me they want to do something, they haven't done any crime, they haven't given the police anything they can take action on.
Roy Hazelwood: You can't prosecute a man for his thoughts, but if an individual says I have these feelings that I want to murder somebody, I would certainly notify the police.
Sondra London: And then what? They can't do anything.
Roy Hazelwood: But they make a record of it. And then if something does occur - if they name a specific person, they are certainly not going to just ignore that. They're going to go to that person and say, this man has said to another party that he wants to kill you. And if I were the police, I'd also go talk to the man and say if this person ends up dead, guess who I'm coming looking for.
Ralph Stone: The only other thing that you might do, if you have any influence whatsoever on that person's life, is to ensure that obviously if these are they kinds of thoughts they have, then what do they need? They need some sort of mental health intervention. And if you're able to get them into some kind of counseling that would be a good idea.
Sondra London: Is there any specific thing in the mind of a killer that makes him different from you and me?
Roy Hazelwood: Yes - thoughts of murder.
Sondra London: Do you think it is normal to have homicidal impulses?
Roy Hazelwood: No.
Sondra London: You don't think it's normal to feel like you want to wring the boss' neck?
Roy Hazelwood: That's not a homicidal impulse. What you have there is feelings of anger towards the person. A homicidal impulse is an actual desire to kill somebody, to actually do it. What you're talking about is an expression of temporary anger.
Sondra London: What about early detection and prevention? I know a little boy from a secure, intact family, who at age 7 has been kicked out of two schools, is cruel to animals and babies, sets fires, and wets his bed. He is also preoccupied with guns and knives, and talks about killing. He goes to a psychiatrist once a week. Do you have any advice for this little boy's family?
Roy Hazelwood: I'm glad they've got him in therapy.
Ralph Stone: That's where he needs to be.
Sondra London: He's been in therapy for over a year, but nothing has changed, he still shows the same behavior.
Roy Hazelwood: Are they dealing with a forensic psychiatrist?
Sondra London: No, it's a child psychiatrist.
Roy Hazelwood: Well, that's good. What you're asking is probably better answered by the mental health community than by ourselves. But I would recommend exactly what they have done - get that child in therapy, and he is in therapy, so -
Ralph Stone: That's about all you can do. This is intervention at a very early age. It's proactive. I don't know why the therapy is not having any effect, but it needs to continue, obviously it can't stop. I don't know the prognosis of the psychiatrist, but if he doesn't seem to be getting any better, perhaps they might want to change to another therapist.
Sondra London: Has your research given you any insight into why some women are attracted to killers and sexual sadists?
Roy Hazelwood: I don't think at this stage of our research, we'd be ready to make a flat statement on that. We haven't been able to talk to enough yet to generalize that information.
Ralph Stone: You have two areas there that are very interesting. One is the women that Roy and I are dealing with on this research project, which are the spouses or girlfriends of the offenders. And then you've got another class of women that correspond with the offenders or may even marry them while they are incarcerated. Are these the same type of women? Or are they a different type of woman, seeking different things? That's very interesting, and something that needs to be addressed.
Roy Hazelwood: You can't include the spouses in the same group, because the spouses in most instances were also victims. The other group of women, the ones that are attracted to these people, we haven't even touched that. We're dealing with the women who dated, married, or were engaged to them.
Sondra London: As a researcher into some of the darkest corners of human experience, you must have some personal reactions to your subjects. How do you maintain your professionalism, and can you relate any instances where you came close to losing it?
Roy Hazelwood: Ralph and I were talking about this yesterday. We don't just have an interest in this. We have a lot of outside interests. We have families, most of us have religion, hobbies and pastimes. We recommend very strongly exercise and that type of thing. So I maintain my balance that way. And Ralph does the same.
Sondra London: By allowing other areas of your life to counteract -
Roy Hazelwood: That's exactly right.
Ralph Stone: You can't allow this area dominate. You can't take this home with you. You have to maintain a certain perspective.
Sondra London: Is there a certain percentage of agents who let it get to them?
Roy Hazelwood: We've had individuals who decide they no longer want to work this type of activity, because it is not an enjoyable situation, and they have opted to step out of this line of work and go on to other things. But no, it has not caused any breakdowns or suicides or anything like that.
Sondra London: How do you cope with it?
Roy Hazelwood: You cope with it by realizing this is a very small segment of society.
Sondra London: Say you're in an interview, and what they are telling you just makes you want to throw up.
Roy Hazelwood: One thing you have to guard against is making any judgmental statements, like "What! You're kidding me!"
Sondra London: That's how you act out, but how you feel it within yourself, do you feel a physical revulsion, like you've been kicked in the stomach?
Roy Hazelwood: In fact, as a human being, you want to take a shower when you get through.
Sondra London: Does that help?
Roy Hazelwood: No, what we actually do when we get through, we go out and talk to each other, say, "What did you think about such and such?"
Sondra London: You have a few laughs.
Roy Hazelwood: Yeah, we vent with each other. That's why you never find in an interview situation that there is only one agent present. There's always two. And no, I have never come close to losing my cool with these guys. I've had offenders tell me, [REDACTED]. But my reaction would simply be, "OK, describe it to me." In other words, you cannot be judgmental in this type of work.
Sondra London: You can't let them see you react, because they would love to see that.
Roy Hazelwood: Oh yeah, that's what they want.
Ralph Stone: You're exactly right. But you've got to understand, we not only interview offenders, but we also interview victims. When you talk to a victim who has survived, you have got to be very objective, very professional, because you've got to ask some pretty tough questions for them to answer. We need to have the specifics.
Sondra London: Is there training in emotional professionalism, or is it just something you develop over a period of time?
Roy Hazelwood: We train our new agents, as do several other law enforcement agencies, in stress management.
Sondra London: So the FBI is in the business of taking this ancient art and making a science out of it.
Roy Hazelwood: Well no, it's never going to become a science like fingerprints. Because you cannot categorize human behavior. You're always going to find exceptions to whatever you decide. For example, a moment ago I told you about facial battering. There are exceptions to that, where there has been a homicide and the face has been battered, and lo and behold, they didn't know each other. But what we say is generally, typically that is what you will find.
Sondra London: And when you did find that anomaly, there would be an explanation for why the face was battered.
Roy Hazelwood: Yes, maybe she said something that just enraged him.
Ralph Stone: Or something that I've found in some cases too is that you have to look at the whole crime scene. Where is the victim and what kind of person is she? Is she someone who would run, or is she someone who would stand and fight? If she's someone who would stand and fight and she is cornered, when she has nowhere else to turn and she is confronting the offender, then she is going to get pounded on. In that case, you'd want to look at how many defensive wounds or offensive wounds she had. If she may have stood there defending herself like this, or like this, or actually fighting him off. So those are all things you have to take into consideration.
Sondra London: So you're saying you wouldn't want to make this technique a science to the extent you'd try to feed the data into a computer and expect the answer to come out.
Roy Hazelwood: The human will never be out of it.
Ralph Stone: They call that artificial intelligence, and that's a field -
Roy Hazelwood: It's a tool, but it's not the answer. The human being is still the bottom line.
Ralph Stone: Each case has to be looked at individually. Although they may be linked, there are certain differences, and those differences have to be addressed.
Roy Hazelwood: Sondra, if we have a rape come in, we don't just say, "OK, this is Profile A, send that out to them." No, we look at each case.
Sondra London: That's good, I'm glad to hear that. Well, we're getting near the end of our interview now, so let's get to the good part. What similarities have you noticed between cops and criminals?
Roy Hazelwood: Well someone once said, and I don't know who it was, there's a very fine line between cops and criminals.
Sondra London: Yeah, what is it that puts me, who is neither, over here and cops or criminals over there?
Roy Hazelwood: Well nothing puts you over there and us over here. I think you and I are on the same side of the fence.
Sondra London: No, I'm not a cop.
Roy Hazelwood: But we're still on the same side of the fence. We didn't break the law, and the criminal did break the law.
Sondra London: But a cop makes it his business to get involved with crime.
Ralph Stone: There may be many, many reasons for this. A good policeman, like a good profiler - who is a policeman - is going to do two things: he's going to think like the offender, and think like the victim. Now that can be dangerous. Because you've got to think like the crook. Some people are better at that than others. Why is that? I don't know. Obviously, a man cannot be a sworn police officer who has ever been a criminal.
Roy Hazelwood: I think what is important is that you have some people who want to become police officers for the wrong reasons. They want to become police officers for the power, for the authority. That's the kind of person that we don't want.
Sondra London: The thrills?
Roy Hazelwood: That goes right back to power and authority. That's the bottom line. We want people that evolved into law enforcement because they want to help society. When I graduated from college, my major was sociology. I never even thought about becoming a law enforcement officer. I graduated from college on an ROTC scholarship, with an ROTC commission, and they said what branch do you want to be in? Well, you see the infantry running and sweating, there's the artillery, you see them wearing earplugs, you see the quartermaster and he's doling out tents and caps, then all of a sudden you see these real sharp looking guys with shiny boots and white gloves, and you say, "They look good. That's who I'll be. That's it." So I signed up for the military police, supposedly for two years. I wound up staying eleven years. Then I resigned my commission and now I am in law enforcement, I'm in the FBI. I didn't consciously say, I want to be a police officer. And I'll tell you, there are people that want to be police officers who - in our study on serial rapists, we asked them if you could live your life over, what would you most like to be? A police officer. And second, the military. It's the power.
Sondra London: That's why I was asking you what is similar between cops and criminals.
Roy Hazelwood: What is similar is the criminal's crime.
Ralph Stone: Now this is just pure speculation on my part, but if you're looking at it from the criminal's standpoint when he's saying what if I could be something else, I agree with Roy, they are looking at it from a perspective of power. In other words, as a criminal this is the reason I was committing those crimes. And now if I wore that uniform, and had that badge, and had that gun, and drove that marked vehicle, then I could still have that power, but I could do it without having to be inside this prison. Now I don't know about trying to right all of society's wrongs, but personally, I am a policeman because I'm a curious bastard. I've just got this great curiosity. I want to know everything about what happened, and why, and who's responsible.
Sondra London: So everyday you're given new puzzles to solve.
Ralph Stone: Yes. I just enjoy it.
Roy Hazelwood: It's very enjoyable.
Ralph Stone: Another thing is, it's a job that you get to see the end result of your handiwork. It's a challenge, and you get to see the very beginning, which is the crime itself. And the end result, which is seeing the offender behind bars.
Roy Hazelwood: And no two days are alike. I could not imagine sitting behind a desk shuffling papers.
Ralph Stone: Or working on an assembly line.
Roy Hazelwood: But there are people who are very happy with that type of work and there's nothing wrong with that. It's just that it's not for us.
Sondra London: Do the same women that like criminals also like cops? Do cops really find that women fall willingly into their arms?
Roy Hazelwood: I've never found that to be the case.
Ralph Stone: Apparently a great fantasy.
Roy Hazelwood: Well, you've got police groupies just like you have rock groupies.
Sondra London: Why?
Roy Hazelwood: Because you have a lot of inadequate people in the world who want to vicariously live -
Sondra London: Power by association?
Ralph Stone: Well it could be the uniforms that are attractive to them, or they're attracted to the macho image. If you've ever visited a drinking establishment that's frequented by police officers, the first thing they do when they go there is that they talk shop. Most of them if they are smart, they don't wear their uniform down there with their name tag, they just go in civilian clothes. But it's a very macho type of environment. I feel like the same women might be attracted to a locker room, if they could get into the locker room of a football team.
Sondra London: They feel that these are real men.
Ralph Stone: That's it, and that's what they're looking for.
Sondra London: That's why I think the same women who like criminals also like cops, because you get that macho impression.
Ralph Stone: Or it may be the excitement. You've also got to understand that there's a difference here. With the woman who is attracted to the criminal, first of all she knows he's a criminal and she knows that what he's doing is wrong. It's like a risk-taker, a person who likes to take a chance, who becomes excited by the mere fact of doing something wrong.
Roy Hazelwood: Being so close to danger.
Ralph Stone: The same women might be attracted to someone in a very high-risk occupation, like somebody who works high steel or demolition or something of that nature.
Sondra London: OK, this is my last question. Mr. Hazelwood, you are also an expert in dangerous autoerotic practices. I understand that most of the fatalities are due to asphyxiation, where the person strangles himself to get an orgasm and somehow it goes wrong and he dies. In the interest of safe sex, would you like to warn our readers about any other dangerous practices they might want to avoid?
Roy Hazelwood: Well, the book I wrote, Autoerotic Fatalities, deals with the dangerous autoerotic practices that I am aware of, and those primarily are hanging oneself, using electricity against oneself, suffocating oneself with a plastic bag, using nitrous oxide, those types of activities.
Sondra London: Are there any autoerotic practices that they may not realize are dangerous?
Roy Hazelwood: No, they know. The non-dangerous autoerotic practices are fantasy, masturbation, cross-dressing, those are all autoerotic practices, but they're not dangerous.
Ralph Stone: The only thing that's dangerous about cross-dressing is those damned high-heeled shoes.