Date of Degree

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor

Louis Schlesinger

Committee Members

William Gottdiener

Philip Yanos

Ali Khadivi

Charles Amrhein

Subject Categories

Psychology

Abstract

Despite its having been the subject of clinical and scholarly inquiry for more than two centuries, empirical research regarding the phenomenon of sexually-motivated homicide remains limited. In particular, relatively few prior studies have focused on perpetrators' criminal and antisocial backgrounds, and these often examine only the data found in official arrest and conviction records, which frequently provide incomplete accounts of offenders' histories. Even fewer researchers have investigated whether temporal patterns exist in the offense histories of sexual murderers. The current study included data on 46 serial and 93 non-serial perpetrators of sexually-motivated homicide, obtained from a large archive. Data collection and coding methods were selected to allow for the use of comparative and multivariate statistical analyses to determine whether the serial and non-serial offender groups differed significantly on the measured variables. Results indicated that multiple offense types were found more frequently in the backgrounds of serial sexual murderers than in non-serial offenders. Few sexual murderers in either group produced temporal patterns in their offense histories. Subsets of victim, offender, and historical variables were used to develop predictive models that could be helpful in distinguishing serial from non-serial sexual homicide offenders. Implications for clinical practitioners, researchers, and law enforcement agencies are discussed.

Comments

Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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