By Greg Ritchie
CROCKETT – Crockett Police Chief Clayton Smith held a free seminar profiling serial killer and other profiling indicators Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Crockett Civic Center.
Attendees included Crockett police officers, Houston County law enforcement, first responders, county school officials and members of the public. No one under the age of 18 was allowed due to graphic nature of much of the information presented.
The event was sponsored by Mimsy’s Craft Barbecue and Spellman’s K-Hill Ranch. Crime writer, television personality and homicide profiler Phil Chalmers was invited by Chief Smith to give the nearly full-day talk about how to profile killers in our society.
The seminar included graphic photos and videos, including live telephone calls with serial killers. Chalmers made the point that many times, these killers move about society undetected. He told the group historical killers such as Ted Bundy were well educated, well spoken and well liked in their communities.
Chalmers also spoke about what triggers many of these killings. The jilted boyfriend may go after the girl – but the girl who is not allowed to be with a boy often goes after her parents. While most of these killers continue to be men, the most common victims of women killers are their husbands.
Chalmers also shared his knowledge and experience and some of the lesser known statistics about these killings.
Traditionally, the profiles were mostly those of white men, the statistics are becoming more diverse. Some killers profiled were only children themselves. Chalmers pointed out many of these killers grew up without a father – something many had in common.
Chalmers explained the difference between the different classifications of killers. A teen killer is anyone 19 years or younger. A school shooter is someone who shoots at a school. A mass murderer kills quickly at least four people. A spree killer kills quickly but in different locations. A serial killer will have many victims, but spread out over a length of time with “cooling off” periods in between.
Topics not for the faint-hearted to be sure. Before the conference, some members of the public expressed their worry privately to several of the organizers that such a conference could be perceived as morbid and not useful.
There were graphic images, videos and conversations. However, the attendees were the very people who would be facing such situations in our county or even in our schools. They would indeed be the ones to face such situations – and the consequences of not knowing the warning signs.
For 25 years, Chalmers focused on teen killers and school shooters, interviewing as many subjects as possible in order to better profile teen killers and school shooters. He explains the causes, warning signs and triggers of teen killers and school shooters. In the last few years, Chalmers has turned his attention to serial murder. He hopes to interview and interact with more serial killers than anyone in history.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org