Defense Date

1995

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Criminal Justice

First Advisor

James E. Hooker

Abstract

The purpose of this work was to compare serial homicides committed by interstate and intrastate offenders and to determine differences in behavior between them. Knowledge of such differences would enable the trained homicide detective to structure his investigation according to the killer's inferred range of action.

This study used homicide data collected by the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP), of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC). VICAP's data was voluntarily submitted by investigators working at the state, local, and federal levels. The VICAP database had information on more than 804 cases of homicides committed by 241 different, serial offenders.

The VICAP data was examined in order to learn whether offender behaviors could reveal a distinction between the

interstate serial offender and the intrastate serial offender. Five variables of conscious or unconscious offender behavior were selected: (1) the victim's occupation, (2) the victim's last known location, (3) the type and kind of restraints used on the victim (if any), (4) the victim's cause of death, and (5) the level of concealment of the victim at the body disposal site. Information from the attributes in these variables could be helpful to the homicide detective in an early determination of the types and kinds of investigative resources that should be applied to the case for a successful resolution.

A hypothesis was formed: there is a detectable difference on the five variables in the behaviors of interstate and intrastate serial killers. The findings supported the hypothesis that there was a detectable difference between the two types of serial killers. An unexpected finding revealed that one type of offender was more deadly than the other, and thus less

likely to leave behind surviving victims. viii interstate serial offender and the intrastate serial offender. Five variables of conscious or unconscious offender behavior were selected: (1) the victim's occupation, (2) the victim's last known location, (3) the type and kind of restraints used on the victim (if any), (4) the victim's cause of death, and (5) the level of concealment of the victim at the body disposal site. Information from the attributes in these variables could be helpful to the homicide detective in an early determination of the types and kinds of investigative resources that should be applied to the case for a successful resolution.

A hypothesis was formed: there is a detectable difference on the five variables in the behaviors of interstate and intrastate serial killers. The findings supported the hypothesis that there was a detectable difference between the two types of serial killers. An unexpected finding revealed that one type of offender was more deadly than the other, and thus less likely to leave behind surviving victims.

Comments

Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

7-19-2018

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