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Crime Dynamics News

Lethal Predators and Future Dangerousness

Wednesday 26 January 2005 in Crime Dynamics 5 Comment(s)

In the summer of 1978, police in East Lansing, Michigan, arrested a baby-faced criminal justice student and youth minister witnesses had seen running from a house following the assault and rape of a 14-year-old girl and the stabbing of her 13-year-old brother. Fortunately, both children survived and ably assisted police during the investigation. The subject, then in his early 20s, was no stranger to Lansing police officers when they arrested him.

The Dynamics of Domestic Abuse

Thursday 28 February 2002 in Crime Dynamics 6 Comment(s)

While on their honeymoon, 23-year-old Mike becomes verbally abusive to his wife, Mary, after she suggests that he has had enough to drink. Mary is surprised by Mike's behavior and his hostile reaction to her. Soon after, however, he apologizes, and because he has always been so kind and gentle, Mary believes him when he tells her that this will never happen again. Several months later, a similar episode occurs. This time, Mary takes the blame, telling herself that these types of incidents are normal in a new marital relationship. She resolves to do things that will make Mike happy and avert confrontations.

The Staged Crime Scene

Monday 19 November 2001 in Crime Dynamics 3 Comment(s)

©1996 Vernon J. Geberth, Practical Homicide Investigation
LAW and ORDER Magazine, Vol. 44, No. 2, February 1996

The purpose of this article is to alert investigators to the phenomena of The Staged Crime Scene. Staging a scene occurs when the perpetrator purposely alters the crime scene to mislead the authorities and/or redirect the investigation. Staging is a conscious criminal action on the part of an offender to thwart an investigation.

Violent Crime Scene Analysis: Modus Operandi, Signature, and Staging

Thursday 9 August 2001 in Crime Dynamics 7 Comment(s)

By John E. Douglas, Ed.D. Special Agent, Chief of the Investigative Support Unit FBI Academy and Corinne Munn, Served as Honors Intern FBI Academy Most crime scenes tell a story. And like most stories, crime scenes have characters, a plot, a beginning, a middle, and hopefully, a conclusion. However, in contrast to authors who lead their readers to a predetermined ending, the final disposition of a crime scene depends on the investigators assigned to the case. The investigators' abilities to analyze the crime scene and to determine the who, what, how, and why govern how the crime scene story unfolds. To ensure a satisfactory ending, that is, the apprehension and prosecution of the violent crime offender, investigators must realize that the outcome depends on their insight into the dynamics of human behavior. Speech patterns, writing styles, verbal and nonverbal gestures, and other traits and patterns give shape to human behavior. These individual characteristics work in concert to cause each person to act, react, function, or perform in a unique and specific way. This individualistic behavior usually remains consistent, regardless of the activity being performed. Since the commission of a violent crime involves all the dynamics of "normal" human behavior, learning to recognize crime scene manifestations of behavioral patterns enables investigators to discover much about the offender. It also provides a means by which investigators can distinguish between different offenders committing the same types of offense. There are three possible manifestations of offender behavior at a crime scene--modus operandi, personation or signature, and staging. This article addresses each of these manifestations in order to demonstrate the importance of analyzing a crime scene in terms of human behavior.

The Criminal Sexual Sadist

Wednesday 8 August 2001 in Crime Dynamics 3 Comment(s)

Robert R. Hazelwood, M.S. Park Elliott Dietz, M.D. Janet Warren, D.S.W.
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, February 1992 Any investigator who has taken a statement from a tortured victim or who has worked the crime scene of a sexually sadistic homicide will never forget the experience. Human cruelty reveals itself in many kinds of offenses, but seldom more starkly than in the crimes of sexual sadists. This article describes the more commonly encountered actions of sexual sadists and differentiates sexual sadism from other cruel acts. It also describes the common characteristics of sexually sadistic crimes and offers investigators suggestions that they should follow when confronted with the crimes of the sexually sadistic offender.

Anatomy of a Lust Murder

Saturday 4 August 2001 in Crime Dynamics 2 Comment(s)

By Vernon J. Geberth, M.S. ©1998 Vernon J. Geberth, Practical Homicide Investigation LAW and ORDER Magazine, Vol. 46, No. 5, May 1998
"Lust murders are homicides in which the offender stabs, cuts, pierces or mutilates the sexual regions or organs of the victim's body. The sexual mutilation of the victim may include evisceration, piquerism, displacement of the genitalia in both males and females and the removal of the breasts in a female victim (defeminization). It also includes activities such as "posing" and "propping" of the body, the insertion of objects into the body cavities, anthropophagy (consumption of blood and/or flesh) and necrophilia."

Domestic Violence Lust Murder : Law and Order Magazine

Saturday 4 August 2001 in Crime Dynamics 10 Comment(s)

A Clinical Perspective of Sadistic and Sexual Fantasies Intergrated into Domestic Violence Dynamics
Vernon Geberth

In a sex related homicide inquiry an investigator examines the actions and activities of the offender during the crime to determine his “signature,” and attempts to understand how that person’s mind “played-out” the sexual act. Clinically speaking, there is a
very thin line between sexual fantasy and reality. Sexual perversions are premeditated in the obsessive fantasies of the offender. An offender who is not psychotic may experience a “psychotic episode” relating
to a temporary condition brought on shortly or in response to an extreme stressor. Sex is a stressor.When an individual becomes thoroughly vested in sexually sadistic fantasy and begins to draw and script these fantasies, an insidious amalgamation develops where fantasy and reality become blended.

State of New Jersey v. Steven Fortrin

Monday 30 April 2001 in Crime Dynamics 13 Comment(s)

Crime Dynamics analysed by FBI in Capital Murder Case. 1998-1999. Complete Decision. In these consolidated, accelerated appeals in this capital murder case, pursuant to R. 2:2-4 we granted defendant's motions for leave to appeal from two pre-trial evidential rulings. The Law Division judge held other-crime evidence can be admitted against defendant during his trial, pursuant to N.J.R.E. 404(b), on the contested issue of identity. We affirm that ruling. The judge also ruled that through use of a "linkage analysis," a former F.B.I. agent, modus operandi and ritualistic crimes expert, can testify at a trial pursuant to N.J.R.E. 702 that the same person who committed a subsequent crime also committed the crimes in this case. We reverse that ruling.


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