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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview with Pat Brown

Aired August 18, 2003 - 19:46   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF DAVE TUCKER, KANAWHA COUNTY, W. VA: We do have 100 leads. And every lead is being covered. During this, as I mention leads, there are suspects arrived through this investigation and we are actively pursuing those.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Those are the words of the lead investigator in the three West Virginia shootings we told you about earlier. Police fear they are copycats of last year's sniper attacks that terrorized the Washington area, leaving 13 people dead. Developing a profile gunman is a key tool in solving the killing. "Killing for the Sport: Inside the Minds of Serial Killers," looks at science of getting into the minds of murderers. The books author, former profiler Pat Brown joins us with insight into what the West Virginia investigators are trying to accomplish and she joins us this evening.

Pat good evening, thanks for being with us.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: And good evening.

KAGAN: First of all, I don't think the image of profilers is doing too well after the last sniper incident. Then the word went out, you're looking for single white guy in a white car or white van could not have been farther from the truth?

BROWN: In defense of profilers and myself, particularly, not all of us said that. And by the way, I'm not ex-FBI, I'm a private profiler, so FBI won't be mad about that. But profiling, especially, when you're doing something on TV, people are guess working, they don't have anything from inside the investigation. They don't have the crime scene photos, they don't have all the little the details that are there. So you get a lot of people -- just making guesses. And some of them, yes, they did guess rather wrong, because even profilers, a lot of them, believe the old myth, for example, all serial killers are white. So they just throw that out there and they're wrong.

KAGAN: Give us a couple other myths that you think are just wrong about serial killers.

BROWN: That they're brilliant. That's one of the big problems. The reason that's done is because if you can't catch them, you don't want to admit they're kind of stupid. So you might as well say they're really brilliant, that's why we had to work so hard and didn't catch the person. But most really aren't that smart. They're actually fairly careless. The problem is we simply don't know who they are, because they're out there and they're strangers. And when you look around like in Washington, D.C., look how big the population is. When Mohammed and Malvo did the shootings, they did them at rush hour, a lot of people around simply had idea who it was.

There's the West Virginia. That's the benefit in West Virginia right now, is a smaller population, the police have a better shot at finding this guy earlier.

KAGAN: Also this appears to be a copycat crime, somebody who would be led in that direction, what kind of clues could be gained from that?

BROWN: Well, he's just not that clever in his fantasy. I mean Mohammed was...

KAGAN: You say he, are you going to go with he or could he be a she?

BROWN: Gosh, I hope I'm not wrong here. I hope everyone forgets if I say it's he and it doesn't turn out...

KAGAN: We will save the tape.

BROWN: Right, it will be out on the net and everybody will trash me. But generally speak, guys who use rifles, people who use rifles, shall we say,tend to be guys. Because that's something they practice with over the years. A lot of guys enjoy shooting and hunting, and they love the military stuff. There could be a woman with a gun, yes, that has happened. But generally speaking, you got a pretty good shot at it, 98 percent chance, 99 percent chance, you've got a guy here. So I think that's a probably pretty safe bet.

KAGAN: Just really quickly, as we close here, you've pointed out you're not within investigation so you don't all the clues there.

But what types of clues would you be looking for in order to build a profile of the suspect?

BROWN: The more you know, the better you can do. But what's really important for anybody getting on the TV set like this and talking to the public, is to tell the people that they're looking, no. 1, to are a psychopath. That's a guy who is a pathological liar, he's going to manipulate people, he either thinks they're useful or they're in the way. This is a guy who's kind of given you the creep for in the years. That's important to know. Because if you link that type of personality to the guy with a rifle and a vehicle, you might be able to call the police then say, I know who this guy is. If you don't know what you're looking for, you're not going to call the police in with any kind of tip, because you'll feel rather foolish when you do so.

KAGAN: All right, Pat Brown, thank you for your insight. Appreciate it.

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