Shew. Y’all. Let me remind everyone real quick that I recently graduated from the Memphis PD Citizens Police Academy, so I thought I was prepared for this course with the Bartlett PD. I was once again thrown into the nether regions of knowledge when Detective Bynum began the class on Criminal Profiling and even all my Dateline Friday nights with Aunt Connie over the last 2 years didn’t prepare me for the rabbit hole we jumped down last night.
Let’s just say I am now looking at every one, and I mean EVERY ONE, as a serial killer until proven otherwise. BET. I mean, damn, y’all. DID ANYONE KNOW THERE HAD BEEN A SERIAL KILLER IN BARTLETT AND ONE IN MEMPHIS? ANYONE? ANYONE? NO?!!! I didn’t know that either until last night. I think the Bartlett one was caught, but not the one in Memphis. Yes, they are two separate serial killers, yes, I said TWO. The Detective warned us she wasn’t gonna hold back and SHE DID NOT. She even brought pictures. Granted, they were pictures of victims (or what was left of them) of famous serial killers we all have heard of such as the BTK Killer, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and more, but I don’t think I was prepared for just how matter of fact she was in the presentation, including when she described what we were seeing in the slide that featured severed heads, hands and a severed penis. Every man in the room shriveled up at the same time and a “wooosh” was felt as the air shifted.
She actually presented some really fascinating facts about the different TYPES of serial killers, their different MOs and signatures (like how one guy would allows poop on the dining room table of his victims in affluent neighborhoods) and what all that meant and how they could use a crime scene to determine what type of person they were looking for. There are “organized” serial killers and “disorganized” serial killers. There are four different types of serial killers. There are Visionary, Mission, Hedonistic and Power serial killers. These types are based on their motivations for carrying out their crimes. For example, a Hedonistic killer might kill for his own sexual gratification whereas a Visionary killer could murder people because he believes that God (or in one case, satan) told him to do so. Sometimes these motivations can overlap. (Also worth noting, a Hedonistic serial killer can be broken down into three subcategories called Lust, Thrill and Comfort.)
We were quizzed on the information she expelled (with tangible enthusiasm I might add) by looking at a series of crime scene photos and trying to determine what type of serial killer had murdered these folks, what their motivation might have been, and whether they were an “organized” or “disorganized” killer. Our rewards? Chocolate candy and lots of images that are seared into my brain’s eyeball for some time to come.
I really enjoyed learning all this, but it hit really close to home for me as several years ago, I was attacked in broad daylight and nearly killed by a man. When she went into the description of the “Visionary” killer, I almost started crying. That was the type of man who attacked me (and at least one other woman I’m aware of after me). He claimed he was hearing voices and that he’d caught me taking nude photos of his niece. (It’s worth noting his family had just reported him missing that very day I believe, and when the police went into his apartment after my attack, the things they found were shocking.) I’d never met that man before that day he totaled my car and nearly ended my life. I’d been able to tuck a lot of that experience away, but last night brought it all back front and center and helped me realize what type of man he possibly was as far as his mental issues, which was actually cathartic and healing in a way.
Next up was Detective Caldwell with the Narcotics division. His presentation was a lot shorter, but just as informative. I learned there are many drugs that are being replaced by Fentanyl, which is super addictive and super lethal in doses over 1 gram, and the pictures of what a “gram” actually looks like would literally surprise you. It is super tiny. It looks like dust up against a penny. DUST. There are different types of heroin, ranging from the white powder type, to black tar and one that is purple and just awful (but aren’t they all?). One of the largest drug busts these guys have done involved a house in Memphis with over 70 pot plants and the picture of the room of plants in his house was truly mind blowing. This man had the complete set up like what you’d see in a legit establishment. The Detective estimated the value to be several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Shew.
Captain Halford was there, but there was no yelling in class this time, lol. He’s actually super cool and really truly loves what he does. He told me this is his 19th Citizens Police Academy that he’s held. He’s very passionate about informing the public on both what the police department deals with, as well as information on how to keep ourselves safe. Easy to say, just in the first two weeks of this course, mission accomplished.
Next week we get to head outside and throw some radar around on folks driving by, learn about crisis intervention and meet the puppies!!! Ok, they are not “puppies”, (although one is still “technically” a puppy), they are the K-9 officers of the Bartlett PD. I can’t WAIT!
I typed all of this from memory, with a lil help from Google here and there, as I was SOOO engrossed in the information being presented I didn’t take ONE note all night. So, yeah, I’d say week 2 went really well.
Hey, they gave us this really cool booklet on how to educate kids about drugs, thought I’d share the cover of it with y’all.
Just in case you wanna learn more about the Bartlett PD and you’re around the Memphis/Bartlett area, they are holding a Community Engagement and Recruitment event on March 26th, complete with a K-9 demo, SWAT, Drone demo and more! I may go just to see all the uniforms in action. Cause, you know…uniforms…in action. rawr.