Pressroom: Criminal Investigative Analysis Courses

Courses delve into criminal minds

September 2, 2009


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Work(951) 827-3806

Phoebe Kelsoe might not be able to identify the specific person who violently assaulted his victim, but she can paint a pretty clear picture of the likely suspect.

Kelsoe is an expert in criminal profiling and teaches courses in Criminal Investigative Analysis at University of California, Riverside Extension.

She analyzes crime scenes to determine the personality and behavioral characteristics of rapists and murderers.

"We predict their style, their frame of mind and what they probably did before the crime. How they got the victim. What they did during and after the crime.  How they choose the next victim and, with some precision, when they are likely to hit again."

If it sounds like an episode of  "Criminal Minds," you're right.

By analyzing all of the evidence available, Kelsoe accurately predicts factors such as the age, level of intelligence and type of occupation of the person who committed the crime.

Kelsoe, who has been profiling for more than 20 years, honed her skills at the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. Since she retired, she responds to calls all over the country primarily to assist in the investigation of cold cases.

She starts by gathering everything the detectives have including crime-scene sketches, lab results, photographs, autopsy protocols and reports. After she analyzes the evidence, she writes a full report on the offender's characteristics and includes recommendations or suggestions.

One advantage of profiling is when there are four or five possible suspects, investigators can focus on the one or two who fit the profile.

"The whole point is to save man hours and to help get the perpetrator off the streets as quickly as possible," Kelsoe said.

So far Kelsoe is batting 1000.  Of the cases she has worked on that have been solved, she has delivered an accurate profile of the offender.

She has worked on a number of high profile cases including Anthony Martinez, the 10-year-old Beaumont boy who was kidnapped and murdered in 1997.  The suspect is a serial murderer, who was sentenced to death last year for crimes in Idaho. The Martinez case is pending. Kelsoe also worked on the task force that profiled William Lester Suff, who was convicted and sentenced to death in 1995 for killing a dozen prostitutes he had picked up in Riverside and Lake Elsinore between 1985 and 1991. Suff is currently on death row.

Many of her students are unprepared for some of the subject matter she uses in class and she's had a few women drop out of the course.

"It's kind of difficult to study a homicide and not show pictures," Kelsoe said. "I really try not to show the worst. I try to show what I need to show, get past it and go on."

Kelsoe's Criminal Investigation Analysis class is the first in a series of UCR Extension courses this fall that count toward certificates in Crime and Intelligence Analysis and Crime Scene Investigation. The course begins Sept. 11.

The Crime and Intelligence Analysis certificate is designed for people who currently are in law enforcement or anyone who is interested in pursuing it as a career.

Students learn how to analyze crimes, detect crime patterns, create tactical action plans, collect and test data, and report their findings.

In order to earn a certificate, students must complete 26 units and 400 hours of supervised training with the crime analysis unit of a law enforcement agency.

Students, who successfully complete the program, will receive a certificate from UCR Extension and an official designation as a Certified Crime Analyst through the California Department of Justice.

To receive a free occupational guide prepared by the State of California Employment Development Department, with information on requirements, compensation, and employment outlook, e-mail  

The Crime Scene Investigation Certificate prepares students for an entry-level, civilian position in a law enforcement agency.

Classes include: Crime Scene Photography; Fingerprint Techniques and Impression Evidence; Autopsy, and Criminal Law.

All courses are open for individual enrollment.


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

UC Riverside Extension Center
1200 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92507-4596

UCR Extension Center

Tel: Work(951) 827-4105 or Toll-Free(800) 442-4990 toll-free
Fax: Fax(951) 827-7273