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20 Homicide Stud. 3 (2016)

handle is hein.journals/homcst20 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Article

                                                                    Homicide Studies
                                                                 2016, Vol. 20(l) 3-24
Getting       Away       W   ith   Murder:                    @2014 SAGE Publications
                                                              Reprints and permissions:
An    Examii nation          of  Detected              sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav
                                                         DOI: 10.1177/1088767914553099
Hom      icides Staged          as   Suicides                       hsx.sagepub.com
                                                                      *SAGE



Claire   Ferguson' and Wayne Petherick2




Abstract
Staged crime scenes  involve an offender deliberately altering evidence to simulate
events to mislead investigators. Despite likely occurring more often than reported
in the literature due to success in offender deception, the exact frequency of staged
crime  scenes is unknown. In an attempt  to bridge this gap, a legal database was
searched for detected staged scenes. A total of 1 15 cases were examined, and this
study reports on I 6 staged suicides that were examined through descriptive analysis.
Findings indicate the frequent involvement of firearms, hanging, or asphyxia, and that
offenders are usually known to victims, although not necessarily intimately.


Keywords
criminology, death investigation, staged crime scene, murder, suicide, physical evidence



Introduction

For centuries, lying about and manipulation of physical evidence has been used by
offenders to escape culpability for criminal behavior, with evidence being altered to
render the illusion that something else occurred. As a result, investigators charged with
determining how  a crime occurred and who is responsible have long tried to combat
these efforts through investigative techniques and strategies. However, to date, these
efforts have been largely ad hoc with unknown error rates. As such, it is still unknown
what proportion of staged scenes are actually detected and how accurately.
   In one of the earliest scholarly discussions of crime scene staging, Hans Gross dis-
cussed defects that indicate things have been done to present the scene as something
it is not. Gross (1924) states that


'University of New England, Armidale, Australia
2Bond University, Robina, Australia
Corresponding Author:
Claire Ferguson, Criminology, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales 2351, Australia.
Email: cfergus4@une.edu.au

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