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Crim 340 notes Week 8

by: Katelyn Vogel

Crim 340 notes Week 8 Crim 340

Katelyn Vogel
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
GPA 3.05

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About this Document

These notes cover the topic of Homicide.
Criminal Investigations
Dr. Richards
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katelyn Vogel on Tuesday March 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Crim 340 at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania taught by Dr. Richards in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see Criminal Investigations in Criminal Justice at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

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Date Created: 03/15/16
    Crim 340: Criminal Investigations    Homicide    Overview  ● Statistically, murder is the least significant of the violent crimes, yet it receives extensive  media attention  ● This crime may appear to be occurring more frequently, but it is actually declining  ● Males are most often the victims and the perpetrators in homicides  ● Males are 10 times more likely to commit murder than are females    Death Classifications  ● Categories of Death  ○ Natural   ○ Accidental   ○ Suicide  ● Homicide  ○ Criminal   ○ Noncriminal  ● Degrees of murder    Elements of a Crime  ● Overview  ○ Premeditation  ■ Even under the influence of alcohol  ○ Intent  ○ Heat of passion  ○ Culpable negligence of depravity  ■ Known responsibilities are ignored when an accident occurs  ○ Negligence  ■ Accident that happens on your property    Challenges to Investigation  ● Issues with Homicide Investigations  ○ Pressure by the media and the public  ○ Difficulty in establishing it was a homicide  ○ Identifying the victim  ○ Establishing the cause and time of death                  Crim 340: Criminal Investigations    Equivocal Death  ● Interpretation  ○ Homicide, suicide, or accidental death  ○ Sudden in­custody deaths (SICD)  ○ Intentionally vague facts  ○ Posing and staging    Suicide  ● Overview  ○ Often presents as a homicide  ○ Reason for an apparent suicide must be determined  ○ Observable signs of depression  ○ Preserve all evidence until the medical examiner rules whether or not the death is  a suicide    Suicide: Warning Signs  ● Unrelenting low mood  ● Increased use of alcohol or drugs  ● Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means  ● Acting recklessly  ● Withdrawing from activities  ● Isolating from family and friends  ● Sleeping too much or too little  ● Visiting or calling people to say goodbye  ● Giving away prized possessions  ● Aggression    Suicide: Mood Consideration  ● Depression   ● Loss of interest  ● Rage   ● Irritability  ● Humiliation  ● Anxiety    Suicide: Discussion Before the Fact  ● Killing themselves  ● Having no reason to live  ● Being a burden to others  ● Feeling trapped  ● Unbearable pain  ● Anxiety        Crim 340: Criminal Investigations    Richard Cory​by Edwin Arlington Robinson (1897)    Suicide  ● Suicide by Police  ○ Wants to die but does not want to pull trigger  ○ The shooting officer may suffer emotionally  ● Suicide of Police Officers  ○ About 97% involve their own duty weapon  ○ Rate is higher than general population  ○ Highest rate: 2 ­ suicide           3 ­ divorce  Lowest rate: 1 ­ drug/alcohol abuse  ● People are more prone to commit suicide on holidays    Which is the “probable” suicide attempt? “Down the Lane”    Preliminary Items  ● Determining that death has occurred  ○ Heartbeat  ○ Respiration  ○ Brain activity  ● Collecting and Moving the Body  ○ Move the body carefully  ○ Slide a sheet under the body to catch evidence  ● Focus of the Homicide Investigation  ○ Specificity  ○ Element of surprise  ○ Haste    Victim  ● Discovering the Victim  ○ No body in some cases  ○ Various technology used  ● Identifying the Victim  ○ Spouse, parent, friend  ○ Or relative  ○ Fingerprints, DNA  ○ Dental records    Time of Death (TOD)  ● Recent Death  ○ Normally the easiest determination to make        Crim 340: Criminal Investigations      ● Death ½ hour to 4 days prior  ○ Body temperature  ○ Rigor mortis  ○ Postmortem lividity  ○ Partial restriction of pupils  ○ Preserve any vomit  ● Days After Death  ○ Decomposition  ○ 30 isolated compounds  ● Effects of Water  ○ Body initially floats because of air in the lungs  ○ Dead body usually sinks in water  ○ Unrestricted will rise to surface    Factors Suggesting Change in Routine  ● Check telephone calls  ● Check dates on mail  ● Check expiration dates on food  ● Determine all facts to estimate TOD    Medical Examination/Autopsy  ● Exhuming Body for Medical Examination  ○ Follow strict legal procedures  ○ Obtain permission  ○ Photograph the area  ○ Proper persons at opening   ○ Identification  ○ Examination    Unnatural Causes of Death and Method  ● Causes  ○ Gunshot wounds  ○ Stabbing wounds  ○ Cutting wounds  ○ Blows from blunt objects  ○ Asphyxia  ○ Autoerotic death  ■ Physical pain for sexual pleasure              Crim 340: Criminal Investigations      Witnesses  ● Information Sources  ○ Struggles often create noise  ○ Attract the attention of neighbors or passersby  ○ Neighborhood canvases  ○ Homicide hotline  ○ Anonymous tips    Subjects  ● Mass Murderers  ○ School and workplace similarities  ■ Profiles  ■ Targets  ■ Means   ■ Motivation  ● Serial Killers  ○ Killing of three or more separate victims  ○ Often quite intelligent  ● Lust Murderers  ○ Sex­related homicide  ○ Organized and disorganized offenders    Cold Cases  ● Volunteer Cold Case Squads  ○ Retirees  ○ Cold case cowboys  ● Benefits of a Cold Case Unit  ○ Clearance rates increase  ○ Guilty brought to justice    Death Notification  ● Overview  ○ Deliver with a two­person team  ○ Wide range of emotional and physical reactions  ○ Family members should be allowed to see the body  ○ Viewing a body at the scene may compromise the investigation 


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