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CJ 355 Criminalistics: Suicide

by: George Maxwell Miller

CJ 355 Criminalistics: Suicide CJ 355

George Maxwell Miller
U of L
GPA 3.7

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About this Document

This discusses the risk factors, causes, and effects of suicide. Also, the investigative considerations as well as the methods of suicide. These notes describe suicide and everything there is to...
Cassandra Rausch
Class Notes
CJ, CJ 355, Criminalistics, suicide, suicide investigation
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by George Maxwell Miller on Thursday March 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJ 355 at University of Louisville taught by Cassandra Rausch in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Criminalistics in Criminology and Criminal Justice at University of Louisville.

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Date Created: 03/10/16
Suicide 3/10/16 11:11 AM Risk factors • Previous attempts • Mental disorders • Alcohol and substance • Family history • Feeling of hopelessness • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies • Loss • Physical illness • Easy access to lethal methods • Unwillingness to seek treatment • Religious beliefs • Local epidemics of suicide • Isolation/feeling cut off from other people Depression • Primary motive for suicide; mood disturbance characterized by feelings of sadness, despair, and discouragement resulting from and normally proportionate to some personal loss or tragedy • Four major clusters o Emotional: sadness, anxiety o Cognitive: negative self-image, low self-esteem o Motivational: lack of abiloity to function or engage in normal activity o Somatic: insomnia, appetite, sex, physical illness • Each affects the individual dependently and independently, and eventually reinforces the depressive effect Other motives • Alcohol, drugs, stress, frustration, fear anger, hostility, guilt Staged scenes • Staging should NOT be used to describe the actions of a family member who covers or dresses their loved one • Occurs when a perpetrator purposely alters the crime scene to mislead authorities. Investigative considerations • Presence of weapons or means of death at scene • Injuries or wounds that are obviously self-inflicted or could have been inflicted by the deceased • Existence of a motive or intent on the part of the victim to take his or her life Methods • Gunshots • Stabbing and/or cutting o Hesitation marks • Chemical automobiles • Bizarre suicides • Suicide by fireplace • Mirror man (drug induced-self mutilation) • Suicide by dry ice • Suicide pacts • More Bizarre Methods (Forklift drowning) Seven major mistakes for suicide investigation • Assuming the case is a suicide based on initial report or dispatch • Assuming the “suicide position” at the crime scene • Not handling the suicide case as a homicide investigation or basic death inquiry • Failure to conduct a complete victimology • Failure to apply the three basic considerations to establish if the death is a suicide • Failure to properly document the suicide note • Failure to take each factor to its ultimate conclusion


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