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: 98230 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Homicide Crime Scenes and Patterns of Criminal Behavior Final Report
Corporate Author: US Dept of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
FBI Acad
United States of America

Boston City Health and Hospitals Dept
United States of America
Project Director: A W Burgess; R K Ressler
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 164
Sponsoring Agency: Boston City Health and Hospitals Dept
Boston, MA 02118
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Dept of Justice
Quantico, VA 22134
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 82-IJ-CX-0065
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This quantitative and descriptive study examined the validity of differentiating characteristics used by FBI Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) agents to classify serial sexual murderers.
Abstract: Subjects were 36 convicted, incarcerated sexual murderers, 29 of whom had engaged in serial killings. Data also were collected on 118 of their victims. This was the full data set; random selection was not used. Data included psychiatric, criminal, pretrial, and prison records, court transcripts and interviews. Analysis of data indicates that objectively quantifiable differences in crime scene patterns could be used to distinguish organized from disorganized sexual murderers. Organized offenders were likely to plan out the crime, be in a skilled occupation, follow crime events in the media, be intelligent, have precipitating stress, and have been angry and depressed at the time of murder. Disorganized offenders were likely to know the victim, live alone, be sexually inhibited, and have been frightened and confused at the time of the crime. These offenders also were likely to come from backgrounds that included parental hostility and sexual problems, low-birth order, and unstable paternal employment. The majority of offenders showed a dysfunctional family background (bonding failures, psychological problems, physical abuse, substance abuse, sexual problems), early development of a violent sexualized fantasy life, and early development of exploitive, aggressive, and sexual behavior. Phases two and three of the study will examine differentiating variables in a larger sample and develop a model for profiling these offenders. Five references are given; tabular and other research data are appended.
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Crime patterns; Criminal methods; Forensic psychology; Offender profiles; Serial murders; Sex offenses
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.