Detecting a decline in serial homicide : have we banished the devil from the details?

Yaksic, E, Allely, CS ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7640-9505, De Silva, R, Smith-Inglis, M, Konikoff, D, Ryan, K, Gordon, D, Denisov, E and Keatley, DA 2019, 'Detecting a decline in serial homicide : have we banished the devil from the details?' , Cogent Social Sciences, 5 (1) .

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Abstract

The current research provides perspective regarding the true prevalence of serial murderers in modern society and addresses the conflict between the evidenced decline in serial homicide and the viewpoint that the phenomenon is increasing. The likelihood that serial murderers are responsible for most unresolved homicides and missing persons is examined in the context of a declining prevalence. A mixed methods approach was used, consisting of a review of a sample of unresolved homicides, a comparative analysis of the frequency of known serial homicide series and unresolved serial homicide series, and semi-structured interviews of experts. In failing to become serial killers, aspiring and probable serial killers and spree killers have impacted the rate of serial murder by not reaching their potential. The past decade contained almost half the cases (13%) that existed at the 1980s peak of serial homicide (27%). Only 282 (1.3%) strangled females made up the 22,444 unresolved homicides reviewed. Most expert respondents thought it unreasonable that any meaningful proportion of missing persons cases are victims of serial homicide. Technology, shifts in offending behavior, proactive law enforcement action, and vigilance of society have transformed serial killing and aids in viewing offenders as people impacted by societal shifts and cultural norms. The absence of narrative details inhibited some aspects of the review. An exhaustive list of known unresolved serial homicide series remained elusive as some missing persons are never reported. Future research should incorporate those intending to murder serially, but whose efforts were stalled by arrest, imprisonment, or death.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router **Journal IDs: eissn 2331-1886 **History: issued 10-10-2019; published_online 10-10-2019
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Cogent Social Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 2331-1886
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Depositing User: Publications Router
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2019 11:34
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2019 10:33
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/52777

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