How sexual murderers thwart investigations

Authored by: Jonathan James , Eric Beauregard

Routledge International Handbook of Sexual Homicide Studies

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9780415791489
eBook ISBN: 9781315212289
Adobe ISBN:


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The objective of this study was to identify the factors associated with the duration of criminal investigations and determine whether these factors influence the seriality of sexual murderers. To this end, the modus operandi of 47 sexual murderers, and data on the investigation of 62 sexual homicides (homicides committed by a serial sexual murderer = 24; homicides committed by a non-serial sexual murderer = 38), were analysed. Organized behaviours, typical of serial sexual murderers, were not all associated with a longer criminal investigation. However, it was possible to develop a model of the duration of investigations, and predict the seriality of sexual murderers, by taking into account the decisions of murderers and investigators.

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