skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 221996 Find in a Library
Title: Homicide Investigations: Identifying Best Practice
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:77  Issue:2  Dated:February 2008  Pages:1-9
Author(s): Timothy G. Keel M.S.
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 9
Document: HTML
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study compared the homicide investigation techniques of 55 law enforcement agencies across the Nation in order to determine which investigative techniques yielded the highest clearance rates.
Abstract: A common theme of homicide investigations that produced the arrest and charging of a suspect (clearance) was teamwork. All detectives, commanders, crime lab personnel, and prosecutors know that it takes a highly dedicated group of individuals with an array of skills and knowledge in order to collect and analyze the evidence needed to identify and arrest a homicide suspect. Most departments have strong teamwork within their own squads and probably within their own shifts; however, it is more difficult to coordinate all the players needed to complete a successful investigation. Other important investigative features were mentioned by responding agencies, although they were not apparently significantly related to higher clearance rates. These included an initial response of a minimum of two detective teams, each composed of two persons; case reviews and followups within the first 72 hours of initiating the investigation; antigang squad involvement in the investigation; the use of task forces that drew on the resources of other agencies; and close cooperation between the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on the homicide victim and detectives assigned to the case. The author concludes that no single set of investigative procedures will guarantee a higher clearance rate for homicide units; however, an examination of investigative features of units whose clearance rate is consistently above average can provide guidelines for an agency's own homicide investigations. All of the agencies surveyed met 2 criteria: more than 25 homicides per year over a 5-year average and submission of crime data for the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. 2 figures and 13 notes
Main Term(s): Police management
Index Term(s): Clearance rates; Homicide; Homicide investigations; Investigative techniques; Police effectiveness
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.