Friday, May 13, 2011


Criminal Minds: Transcript of the chat with Jim Clemente, BAU founder John Douglas & Erica Messer held on May 12, 2011.

Jim_Clemente has joined.

jill: Welcome Jim and thank you for being with us tonight. You have a guest with you tonight and I would love for you to introduce him if you would please. Then I will turn the chat over to our great moderator Kris.

Jim_Clemente: Hello Jill, I do have a very special guest. THE MAN who started it all. The father of FBI Profiling...JOHN DOUGLAS.

John_Douglas has joined.

jill: We are honored to have both of you with us this evening. Welcome John and thank you for being here tonight. When you are ready we will begin.

John_Douglas: Thank you Jill for having me. And thank you to everyone else who is joining us...

Hardkorr: Welcome to you both, it is an honor to have you here!

Jim_Clemente: We are ready... Thanks for joining us

Hardkorr: Jim, I would like to begin first with last night's episode. It was a great episode. Please tell us how you came up with your story idea.

Jim_Clemente: It was a combination of a tragic event in my life and a talk I gave in Jacksonville, Florida.. I was down at the beach working a case and they were doing a beach reclamation project. As I watched the sandy water being pumped out of the pipe on the beach, a worker waded in and pulled out a huge Megoladon's tooth. It struck me that it could have easily been a human skull. That coupled with the fact that My cousin was abducted and killed when I was a teenager. Her case has never been solved. Though I'm fairly certain I know which serial killer was in operation in that area at that time. He's in jail for 183 years so he's not hurting anyone else any more.

Hardkorr: Both of you must have a boatfull of stories to pull ideas from. I hear you two are working on a project together. What can you tell us about it?

John_Douglas: Jim and I are working on a new show for A&E called Profiler. We will be solving real cases in real time. We are working right now with several jurisdictions in the LA area to help them solve difficult and UnSub cases involving violent crimes.

Hardkorr: That sounds very interesting! What is the hardest challenge of putting together a profile and generally how long does it take to come up with one?

Jim_Clemente: A real profile takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 15 months... depending on the circumstances and the amount of information we have. In child abduction homicides, 44% are killed within the first hour, 75% in the first three hours and 99% in the first 24 hours. It wouldn’t make much sense spending a day developing a profile in that kind of case. So, when we get the info, we ask detailed and specific questions about the age, gender, and last known sittings and many times we can tell from that sketchy info, motive, Gender and Relationship of the offender. Also, Profiles always contain the caveat that they are based on the information available to date and are subject to change with additional information. How many times it changes and when that happens depends on what new info we receive. and how often new information develops. In the early days, the originators of the Unit only took cases that were absolutely dead. No more leads and no investigative avenues. Now we take cases in the first instant they are opened (child abductions, serial killers, for example) and we may constantly refine the profile all along the way. The most difficult part is balancing the need for all available information and the need to stop the offender from killing again.

Hardkorr: As viewers we realize that for the sake of entertainment there are liberties taken regarding the actual duties of the BAU. We’ve seen our heroes on tv kick down doors, tackle trucks, rush into fields, houses, etc. Is that an accurate portrayal of what a typical profiler does in the real world?

Jim_Clemente: Everyone in the FBI is trained in tactical as well as interviews and interrogations. In fact John was a SWAT team member and a Hostage Negotiator before he started the Profiling unit. We are all capable of and have in fact kicked in doors in our careers. However, when we are profiling we tend to use our brains more than we use our brawn. That said, on child abduction cases we race out to the site and we do whatever it is that we have to do to save the child and arrest and convict the offender. Then we move on to the next case... where ever that may be.

Hardkorr: John, what can you tell us about the BAU in it's infancy? How and why did you start such a unit?

John_Douglas: It started in 1977 with just me. Then when I finally got FBI HQ to hire more profilers, I had to train them myself. This is about a two year process. Then it's about 5 years before they are really able to fly solo. It was hard work but definitely worth it. Now, the Unit has about 30 Profilers. And they are able to help many more people every year.

Hardkorr: That's fantastic. You must be so proud!

John_Douglas: I am very proud of the people like Jim who have followed in my footsteps. They have taken a good concept and made it an institution.

Hardkorr: John, can I ask if you watch Criminal Minds? How close to they come to getting it right? It's probably much more cerebral and take more than an hour to solve a case but good a job do you think they do?

John_Douglas: They do a good job of portraying some of the difficulties of profiling and how much it can help law enforcement in situations where there isn't a great deal of forensic evidence.
They also show how important team work is to the process.

Hardkorr: The BAU has studied criminals that have died prior to arrest and also those that are incarcerated. How valuable is studying them once they are caught? How hard is it to sit and talk with a convicted serial killer? Do you look at them as people who did bad things or as evil beings?

Jim_Clemente: 1. Studying convicted serial offenders is the core of profiling. It forms the basis and foundation of what we do. 2. It is not hard at all. It is a challenge that is what we live for. We can learn form them so that others may not have to suffer. 3. We do not think of them as evil. If you elevate them to the position of being evil, then you put them on a higher plane then our human selves. We see them as criminals. People who have made choices to do very bad and cruel things. But just people. Nothing more.

Hardkorr: Once you’ve worked the job as long as you both did do you now profile everyone you meet? How does that affect your everyday life? Do you generally know when someone is lying? And what would your profile be of fans like us that are rather obsessed with a show like Criminal Minds?

Jim_Clemente: We are both well trained and experienced in detection of deception. We can't turn it off. But sometimes, to avoid destroying relationships, we have to bite our tongues from time to time.

EricaM has joined.

Hardkorr: Welcome Erica!

EricaM: hi guys! better late than never!

EricaM: technical issues. hi jimmy!

Jim_Clemente: Hey Erica!

John_Douglas: Hello Erica. Nice to have you here.

jill: Hi Erica.

EricaM: Hi there. Nice to be here. And hello JILL! Really a special treat to have both of you tonight. Don't let me slow you guys down. I'm just here to watch!

Hardkorr: Social media, the internet and the like has flourished the past decade. Has that helped the BAU or added a new class of serial killer? Also, do you think serial killers still on the loose use these types of technology to watch the publicity their crimes are getting and/or stay one step ahead of the law?

Jim_Clemente: The profile of fans who are "very intensely interested" in this show... The way I look at it is similar to Rubbernecking. For those who don't know what that means, it is when people pass a car accident and can not look away. They feel compelled to see exactly what happened. I believe this is a basic survival instinct. Our primitive brains tell us to look and memorize what we see so that this never happens to us. That is what happens on this show. I and the writers use the show to educate the audience about who the real bad guys are, What they do to people and how they get access to them. In effect we are helping to prevent the viewers from becoming victims themselves.

Jim_Clemente: Social media..... Has given serial killers a new and somewhat anonymous way to access potential victims. They can hunt, cull out vulnerable people and lure them in, all from the privacy of their own homes or cars or phones. They have a much greater reach than they ever had before...

Hardkorr: That's rather scary

Jim_Clemente: That said, it also gave us as law enforcement a way to infiltrate and track them so it is a double edged sword.

Hardkorr: Do you ever worry that Criminal Minds might be a feeding ground of ideas for potential serial killers? A copycat effecto so to speak.

Jim_Clemente: Actually, that is an issue I have discussed with the writers many times. It is why we changed the name of the drug we mentioned in Big Sea to Trilimide ( a made up drug). We do not want to give potential offenders any new ideas. Also, the kinds of things we focus on in the show are Behaviors that are intrinsic to that particular person. They are not the kinds of things they can change on a whim. Other shows may do that, but we stay away from forensics on Criminal Minds... Deliberately.

Hardkorr: This question goes back to Criminal Minds as a sort of survival guide... CM has taught many of us some valuable lessons regarding our own personal safety. Certainly it has taught us all to be more aware of our surroundings and the people around us. Situations we would never have imagined happening to normal people like ourselves. Prior to retiring from the BAU you were an advisor for the show. How involved were you in framing the lessons we’ve learned? Is there something you think we should all know that we may not know about how to keep ourselves, our schools and our communities safer?

Jim_Clemente: Great questions...

EricaM: *** jim is still our advisor ***** LUCKY US!

Jim_Clemente: I was very involved in shaping those messages. By giving training lectures to the writers and producers. I also was involved in breaking many of the stories. And adding profiling elements to each script. In fact Eddie B and Erica have both been extremely concerned about making sure that we teach only good lessons with the show. And I truly believe that they have done an excellent job of that all 6 seasons. To keep safer...Listen to your instincts. Your instincts are the one tool that you always have but don't always use. It is a culmination of all your experiences and all you have learned. It is a built in warning system that humans have that we are socialized away from relying on. It is a built in life saver. Cops learn to trust it. Military personnel live by it. All of them survive in much more dangerous situations than the average person, because the trust their instincts.

Hardkorr: The FBI website states that any aspiring FBI Special Agent should have 3 years prior work experience, what kind of work experience do you suggest an aspiring agent should do?

John_Douglas: In the BAU we've had members from all walks of life. Certainly investigative experience is very helpful. Any job that utilizes logic, interactions with people, organizational skills. Self-generator types of personalities. Leaders and people who are not afraid to be wrong. Who will do what ever it takes to get the job done and will never compromise thier values. Law, accounting and science are all great categories. Language as well. We've had rocket Scientists and Cancer Researchers. And school teachers and former Military. Law, accounting and science are all great categories. Language as well. Everyone should be a can do person and someone who loves interacting with people. that is one of the most important aspects of the job.

Hardkorr: Some people believe profiling isn’t a real science. What would you say to those people?

Jim_Clemente: Profiling is a combination of Art, Experience and Science...

Jim_Clemente: It is very similar to an internist in medicine. Much of it is not capble of empiracle study, but it is verified every day in the real world... in life and death situations. Not in a lab somewhere. It is tough to quantify it. But when a Profiler really knows his or her stuff, it is extremely obvious. They get results. They solve cases. They save lives.

John_Douglas: You can read more in my FAQ secton of my website: Thank you everyone for chatting with us.

jill: John and Jim, Thank you both so much for being here this evening. It has been truly an honor and we hope you both will come back soon. We want to hear all about your new project! Kris, I will take over for you when the men leave and Erica will be joining us as our guest. Thank you Kris for the great job.

Jim_Clemente: Yes, thanks for the great questions and especially for watching the show!!!!

Hardkorr: Thank you both for being here and sharing your experiences with us!

jill: Thank you for your years keeping us all safe

Jim_Clemente: Thank you. I'll definitely be back soon!!! It has been our honor... Bye Erica... See you soon.

EricaM: bye Jim and thank you and John for joining the chat!
Jim_Clemente: Any time...

Hardkorr: good night to you both

EricaM: Good night gentlemen!

Jim_Clemente has left.

jill: Okay lets switch gears and talk to our new show runner.

Erica’s chat begins

jill: Hi Erica!

EricaM: Hi!

jill: Thanks for setting up that chat for us. They are great.

EricaM: Oh my gosh, I'm so glad they were available! They're fantastic!

jill: While I was talking to them on the phone I was wondering if I was being profiled.

EricaM: I'm sure you were... they don't really switch it off!

jill: What are you looking forward to most for season 7?

EricaM: wow, great question. Having the band back together. I see that clearly... and my hope is that it comes to fruition.

jill: I think you'll have the whole crew back

EricaM: that's the hope. i just want to start telling more stories that we all love! To get into our heroes lives -- to laugh when we can. to see our team breathe and smile. did you guys like the hotch/rossi/jack soccer game last week?!

jill: That was fantastic

Hardkorr: I think that’s a given Erica

EricaM: it made me smile for days

jill: We need more of those moments

EricaM: I read your reactions... those moments are for you. And for Thomas who looks great, especially when he gets the chance to smile!

jill: We are doing pens for Garcia again this year so Kirsten can use them again in episodes. We want to start having fun again

EricaM: That's great. she'll love that. and so will we. Yes, we've got a clean slate. Looking forward to you all meeting the writing staff. We've got some great people coming to play. I try to write to the real-life jeopardy instead of who got shot in the dark?

jill: You wrote JJ which was a wonderful episode.

EricaM: I was so gutted when i wrote that and i think it came out on the page!

jill: And now we have JJ coming back and that is just sweet!

EricaM: During the read thru, AJ couldn't read the final quote so I read it but had tears in my eyes as i did. And we have our JJ back!!! yes!!!

scoutfinch75: More of a plea rather than a question... can we please have a Rossi storyline in season 7?

EricaM: yes yes yes! He has so many lives we can explore and we will!
outlawten: What do you think about the idea of having a Criminal Minds soundtrack? I know alot of us would love to see that happen! We're hoping to meet an ex-wife... done

RaniaC: now that AJ is back would you consider bringing Josh Stewart back for an episode? I think he's great!

EricaM: yes, JJ will be dealing with a lot this season. and her home life will be a part of that.

Cephalophile: Any chance we might see Gina or Anderson again? There are those of us who miss seeing them pop up from time to time. : )

EricaM: yes we want to bring back all of those "regulars"

raineinmd: In the early seasons there were some special effects done with the blue screen, it made giving the profile very cool. Any hope to bringing that special effect back?

0_Boot_Mod_Debbie: I loved that.

EricaM: Most likely... used sparingly.

Daisy: 1) will there be a conclusion to reid's heahaches in s7 2) when will be know for sure about paget coming back or not - thank you

robinotl: When do you start writing episodes for season 7... or have you already started?

EricaM: The writers room starts May 31. We've got some ideas floating around, but will start in earnest then.

klbutler219: Any possibility of Criminal Minds ever going international for an episode?

EricaM: I'd love to go international. we tried one year... maybe we can make it happen.

Hardkorr: Any theme yet for next season?

EricaM: Not quite the theme yet although we'll inherit some drama with hotch & jj being the 'secret keeper' of prentiss' "death"

Hardkorr: I so want to see that explored

CheetoBreath: me too!

Hardkorr: could make for great story-telling

EricaM: that'll be some drama -- especially after they all had their therapy sessions with hotch!

christyzachman: If a fan had an idea of a storyline for an episode for the show, would you consider it and how could they inform you of it?

EricaM: We're legally not allowed to hear story pitches -- it bums me out because my mom has them all the time and i'm like, "mom! I can't!"

00_watchmod_SSA_Carpenter: Going back to "to hell ... and back" are all those people in OPP uniforms actual police officers with the OPP?

EricaM: No but our amazing costumers sure do a great job, don't they?

jill: We have wanted to chat with them for years but they are shy!

EricaM: they are and they're BUSY. it's amazing

00_watchmod_SSA_Carpenter: Wow! That crest looked exact and everything!

EricaM: I'll see if they can do a chat earlier in the season

jill: Erica, We are going to say thanks now but if you have a second please give me a call

EricaM: Okay! Thanks you guys. See you soon!

jill: Goodnight and thank you to the mods