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An investigation into summary data of solved North American serial killer cases to identify trends within murder and disposal locations and time between estimated death and recovery

Raymer, Cody (2019) An investigation into summary data of solved North American serial killer cases to identify trends within murder and disposal locations and time between estimated death and recovery. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Homicide investigations require significant resources and personnel from multiple departments, therefore, it is critical to be thorough and explore all lines of enquiry to ensure that these cases do not turn cold. Many factors have been identified that are associated with increased solvability. These include, efficient use of the first 48-hours, body disposal locations, forensic awareness of the offender and decomposition rates. The aim of this review was to explore the extent at which these factors affect solvability and their resulting forensic and criminological implications, regarding time frames and methods for evidence collection, ability to apprehend and link offenders by understanding the types of killers they are through forensic awareness strategies. In the absence of these cases being solved, this review also addresses the major discrepancies noted within the structure of cold case reviews. The literature ultimately determined that further research into body disposal location, particularly, bodies disposed of in water vs. non-water environments and discovery of body since estimated time of death (within 48 hours or over 48 hours) is required. This will be carried out by investigating 54 North American serial murderers and 125 of their respective victims, active between 1920 to 2016, to identify if there are any statistically significant trends between the aforementioned variables, when broken down into indoor and outdoor cases and 8 specified time series.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
United Nations SDGs: Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Supervisor(s): Keatley, David and Chapman, Brendan
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/46933
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