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Waypoint sequencing: Simplifying behaviour sequence analysis for criminal cases

Keatley, D. and Clarke, D. (2021) Waypoint sequencing: Simplifying behaviour sequence analysis for criminal cases. Journal of Criminal Psychology, ahead-of-print .

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While behaviour sequence analysis (BSA) is popular, it is not without limitations, namely, the level of detail required and time taken to run analyses; therefore, this paper aims to outline a novel method, using 30 serial homicide cases as a worked example.


Temporal analysis methods are becoming increasingly popular in applied forensic and criminological research. In recent years, BSA has become a widely used approach.


Waypoint sequencing provides a streamlined version of the traditional BSA approach, allowing for fewer behaviours to be included and providing a clearer overview of the main behaviours of interest.

Practical implications

Waypoint sequencing is shown in the current paper through serial killer research to show how to conduct the analyses and how it is effective in current investigations by expediting the process and allowing quicker analysis to facilitate current investigations.


The current research provides a novel approach to sequence analysis that is more useful in applied settings as it requires fewer behaviours or events than traditional BSA.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Law
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright: © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited
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