Offender Interaction With Victims in Homicide: An Analysis of Crime Scene Behaviours

C. Gabrielle Salfati, University of Liverpool

Homicide grows out of a transaction between individuals. This transaction is a product of the individuals and their relationship. More may therefore be understood about the nature of homicide, by examining how the offender acts towards the victim during the crime. It is proposed that different forms of interpersonal transactions, and thus variations in homicide 'styles', will be reflected in the murder crime scene itself, through the victim the offender chooses and the behaviors they do onto the victim. An analysis of the co-occurrences of the actual behaviors used by offenders at 247 single offender-single victim homicide crime scenes indicated a descending structure moving on a continuum from high-frequency impulsive behaviors, where the offender reacts in an impulsive way towards the emotions engendered through the conflictful inter-personal relationship with the victim, to low-frequency behaviors, where the offender interacts with the victim much more at a removed level, both physically and emotionally.

(Return to Program Resources)

Updated 05/20/2006