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Criminal Minds: How true is their BAU?

Updated on July 29, 2015

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Criminal Minds: How true is their BAU?

For those of you who are intrigued by sociopathology, Criminal Minds is a drama you may want to watch. The show airs on CBS on Wednesdays at 9:00 P.M. The series focuses on profiling criminals. The members of the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) are headquartered in Quantico just like the real BAU profilers.

The NCAVC [The National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime] is comprised of four units: Behavioral Analysis Unit-1 (Counterterrorism/Threat Assessment), Behavioral Analysis Unit-2 (Crimes Against Adults), Behavioral Analysis Unit-3 (Crimes Against Children), and the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP). http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder

On the television show, the team takes on “unsubs” AKA unknown subjects. The “unsubs” more often than not are serial killers. If one happens to watch often, he or she may begin to think serial killers are everywhere when according to the FBI,

Serial murder is a relatively rare event, estimated to comprise less than one percent of all murders committed in any given year. http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder

This statistic does not stop the TV BAU from doing what they do best:

Analyzing Human Behavior

The most recent TV BAU team includes:

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1600&bih=752&q=2013+criminal+minds+cast&oq=2013+criminal&gs_l=img.1.2.0j0i24l9.2745.6278.0.8463.13.9.0.4.4.0.50.365.9.9.0...0.0...1ac.1.11.img.yv6czpcrxm8

Aaron Hotchner – former lawyer for the Federal Government
JJ or Jennifer Jareau– Hotchner’s assistant, responsible for coordination and public relations

Derrick Morgan – former law enforcement officer

Dr. Spencer Reid – youngest member, has identic memory

Penelope Garcia – Computer Whiz and “wears her individuality on her sleeve” per Rossi

Rossi - Career FBI agent, the experienced elder

Jennifer Love Hewitt-mysterious newest member

Perhaps the TV team is somewhat representative of the real BAU players. In 2005, the FBI hosted a multi-disciplinary Symposium in which

A total of 135 subject matter experts attended the five-day event. These individuals included law enforcement officials who have successfully investigated and apprehended serial killers; mental health, academic, and other experts who have studied serial killers and shared their expertise through education and publication; officers of the court, who have judged, prosecuted, and defended serial killers; and members of the media, who inform and educate the public when serial killers strike. The attendees also reflected the international nature of the serial murder problem, as there were attendees from ten different countries on five continents. http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder

Like any television drama, one must become vested in the characters if the show is to be successful. One of the ways Criminal Minds accomplishes this is by working as a team. While each character on the show has a “life” outside of Quantico, their real family is the team they work with solving heinous crimes committed by all kinds of offenders.

They reference real serial killers like “The Green River Killer, BTK Killer and Ted Bundy.” In one episode, the unsub (before naturally being caught) commits murders that replicate “Jack the Ripper”-probably the most well-known serial killer.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&biw=1600&bih=752&site=imghp&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=criminal+minds+jack+the+ripper&oq=+criminal+minds+%22jack&gs_l=img.1.3.0l3j0i24l7.1307495.1315252.0.1318639.13.13.0.0.0.0.99.824.13.13.0...0.0...1c.1.11.img.inXKo8RiNjs

The TV BAU solves their cases by analyzing the unknown subject’s motivation and stressors and in the process explores the myths that exist regarding serial killers: topics also covered at the 2005 Symposium.

  • Myth: Serial killers are all dysfunctional loners.
  • Myth: Serial killers are all white males.
  • Myth: Serial killers are only motivated by sex.
  • Myth: All serial murderers travel and operate interstate.
  • Myth: Serial killers cannot stop killing.
  • Myth: All Serial killers are insane or are evil geniuses
  • Myth: Serial killers want to get caught.

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder

On the television version of BAU, the team must be invited by the local law enforcement authority before they can assist. And when they are called, they go in style for there is a pretty impressive airplane ready and waiting just for them, all of the best technology is at their disposal; and best of all, they care about each other so they function well as a team.


© 2013 ocfireflies

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    • profile image

      oannieo3 3 years ago

      I like crime and mystery shows but I like reading them more than watching them.One of my favorite authors is James Patterson and his series about Alex Cross.I have watrched criminal minds an d really enjoyed it. MONK is a great show too.

    • ocfireflies profile image
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      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      The books tend to always outshine the video. Thanks for reading.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Great review, I have seen a few of the earlier episodes, but like most TV crime dramas, it seem to lose it's gloss after a few episodes. Voting up and interesting.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      I enjoyed doing the research for the article. There are some shows, where like you noted, lose their gloss after a few episodes. I suppose it is the OCD operating for me because once I get hooked whether it is a tv show, song or book, I get really hooked. Thanks for reading and sharing your response. Kim

    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 3 years ago from Australia

      I am a sucker when it comes to these sort if shows and documentaries, but I've only caught one or two episodes of criminal minds, I may just have to check it out some more :)

      Thanks

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      glad to know I'm not the only sucker out there ; )

      thanks for stopping by

    • profile image

      Robin 3 years ago

      The show is simply addictive. Love the insight. Great research.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Robin,

      Glad to hear others are hooked on the show, too.

      Kim

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

      'Criminal Minds' is a nice tv show. As it is your hub, too. I enjoyed the interesting insights and information you provided.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Hey Mike,

      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments.

      Best Always,

      Kim

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      I began watching this show for the first time today. I'm not sure if I'll continue due to the 'drama' and the general filming, which I'm not used to. However, I'd probably give it another try. This review is very helpful. Thanks. UP/U

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Denise,

      These type of shows are not for everybody. I did not watch it when it originally aired, but I finally burned out on CSI and gave this one a try. Thanks for the support.

      Best Always,

      Kim

    • wabash annie profile image

      wabash annie 3 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      My husband and I watch the Criminal Minds' episodes through our local library. If we like a series, it seems better to watch a complete season; that is, one or two a night until finished. I did not think he'd enjoy it but he did. I was intrigued by the topics as human behavior has always been intriguing to me for different reasons. Thanks for writing such great hubs.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      wabash annie,

      I had a very similar experience. It took me awhile to get my significant other interested in the show. : ) Also, like you, the explorations of human behavior is what attracted me to the show. Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. Much Appreciated.

      Best Always,

      Kim

    • Ahydz profile image

      Ahydz 3 years ago from Philippines

      I watch Criminal Minds. It's creepy and it always gets into my nerve. I like how they figure out crimes through studying human behavior. You have a great Hub about it. Congrats!

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Ahydz,

      Greetings! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such nice comments.

      Best Always,

      Kim

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Dearest Kim,

      Really great review here and very interesting. Great topic for a hub here!

      Hugs,

      Faith Reaper

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Faith,

      Hey! Thank you for writing a question related to the hub because that reminded me to look at it again. I am one hub away of reaching 50, and while not for some, kind of exciting for me. When I first started writing these hubs, I was not sure if I would be able to produce even 10.

      Thank You,

      Kim

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      ocfireflies: Great hub, voted up, useful and interesting! My husband and I watch Criminal Minds, but that show really creeps me out, and I make sure we watch one or two comedies afterwards. The acting is superb. Thank you for a very interesting hub. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Sparklea,

      Creepy is an understatement. Smiles. Watching comedies afterwards is a great idea. Thank you for the vote. Blessings to you and hope you have a great day.

      Much Appreciated,

      Kim

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