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blueburner
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01:00:33 PM Mar 19th 2012
edited by blueburner
Law Enforcement Profiler as Borderline Criminal: This is a recurring trope is in much of film and literature. The venerated Profilers are depicted as borderline criminals who could snap and go bad, although usually they suffer some kind of mental disturbance instead. These Profilers, in fact, often share disturbing traits with the criminals they pursue—like working in basements, shunning people, paranoia & sexual quirks. This also refers to the Thin Blue Line trope, in that it's a thin line between good and evil. Take Will Graham in Manhunter who, at the beginning, is recovering from a psychic break but wades back in again, confident he has better skills to protect himself. Even Clarice in the final Hannibal novel (changed for the film) does end up going over to the other side as Hannibal's partner. In a way, this is related to the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde kind of potential transformation, where the character's dark side eclipses the good side, and it's only with the greatest amount of willpower and awareness that the Profiler doesn't cross over.

Another example of a Profiler or first-rate detective sharing traits with the criminals they pursue is Tightrope, featuring Clint Eastwood, as a detective pursuing a serial killer whose kinky world he's quite comfortable in. Eastwood's character loves prostitutes and bondage and this trait-sharing threatens to expose him.
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