Staged homicides: An examination of common features of faked burglaries, suicides, accidents and car accidents

Ferguson, Claire (2015) Staged homicides: An examination of common features of faked burglaries, suicides, accidents and car accidents. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 30(3), pp. 139-157.

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A staged crime scene involves deliberate alteration of evidence by the offender to simulate events that did not occur for the purpose of misleading authorities (Geberth, 2006; Turvey, 2000). This study examined 115 staged homicides from the USA to determine common elements; victim and perpetrator characteristics; and specific features of different types of staged scenes. General characteristics include: multiple victims and offenders; a previous relationship be- tween parties involved; and victims discovered in their own home, often by the offender. Staged scenes were separated by type with staged burglaries, suicides, accidents, and car accidents examined in more detail. Each type of scene displays differently with separate indicators and common features. Features of staged burglaries were: no points of entry/exit staged; non-valuables taken; scene ransacking; offender self- injury; and offenders bringing weapons to the scene. Features of staged suicides included: weapon arrangement and simulating self-injury to the victim; rearranging the body; and removing valuables. Examples of elements of staged accidents were arranging the implement/weapon and re- positioning the deceased; while staged car accidents involved: transporting the body to the vehicle and arranging both; mutilation after death; attempts to secure an alibi; and clean up at the primary crime scene. The results suggest few staging behaviors are used, despite the credibility they may have offered the façade. This is the first peer-reviewed, published study to examine the specific features of these scenes, and is the largest sample studied to date.

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ID Code: 82077
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: homicide, staging, crime scene, investigation
DOI: 10.1007/s11896-014-9154-1
ISSN: 1936-6469
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Criminology not elsewhere classified (160299)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Society for Police and Criminal Psychology
Deposited On: 01 Mar 2015 23:11
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 03:28

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