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Matrix forecasting and behaviour sequence analysis: Part of the timeline toolkit for criminal investigation

Keatley, D.A. and Clarke, D.D. (2020) Matrix forecasting and behaviour sequence analysis: Part of the timeline toolkit for criminal investigation. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology . In Press.

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Solving serious crimes such as sexual assault, rape, and murder takes a considerable amount of investigation time. Despite efforts, many crimes may be unsolved, and go ‘cold’. These cases are typically extensive and reviewing the material can be prohibitively time consuming. The current manuscript proposes the combination of two methods, or ‘tools’, for timeline analyses: Matrix Forecasting and Behaviour Sequence Analysis (BSA). Matrix Forecasting provides a clear and comprehensive approach to outlining predictions investigators make, the rationale underlying these predictions, the accuracy, and the evidence. Matrix Forecasting also outlines areas for future investigation, for example, if new technology becomes available or new test results are returned. The BSA provides a statistical, visual pathway map that outlines the proposed or proven steps in a crime. The combination of these methods provides a new approach to mapping criminal investigations and has been effectively used in several real-world cold case reviews. To illustrate the benefits of this combined approach, a real-world example, the Jeffrey MacDonald, aka Green Beret Killer case, will be analysed using Matrix Forecasting and BSA to show the benefits of the method in terms of providing a quick-guide for future review and solvability factors.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Law
Publisher: Springer US
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