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Predicting Serial Killers' Home Base Using a Decision Support System

Canter, David V., Coffey, Toby, Huntley, Malcolm and Missen, Christopher (2000) Predicting Serial Killers' Home Base Using a Decision Support System. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 16 (4). pp. 457-478. ISSN 07484518

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The effectiveness of a geographical decision support tool (Dragnet) forlocating the base of serial offenders was compared across 570 modelscomprised of a range of negative exponential functions, buffer zonecomponents, and normalization parameters. The models were applied to thebody disposal locations within each series for 70 U.S. serial killers. Twonormalization parameters were compared for all functions. The test ofeffectiveness was a specifically defined measure of search cost. Whenapplied to the Dragnet predictions it was found that the specially developednormalization parameter (QRange) produced the optimal search costs. Theoptimal search cost was also found to be for a function that did not includeany buffer zone. The optimal, average search cost across the whole samplewas 11% of the defined search area. Fifty-one percent of the offendersresided in the first 5% of the search area, with 87% in the first 25%. Allresided in the total defined search area. These results support thepotential for operational tools using such procedures as well ascontributing to our understanding of criminal's geographicalbehavior. The applicability to other forms of serial crime is considered.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > International Research Centre for Investigative Psychology
Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2010 12:50
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 22:02


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