The patterns of homicide offence characteristics and their associations with offender psychopathology

Valeria Abreu Minero, Hannah Dickson, Edward Barker, Sandra Flynn, Saied Ibrahim, Jennifer Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
388 Downloads (Pure)


Previous research suggests different crime scene patterns reflect differences in the background characteristics of the offender. However, whether differences in crime scene patterns are related to offender psychopathology remains unclear. We hypothesise that schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depressive illness will each associate to a specific homicide crime scene pattern. Homicide data were obtained from the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness. Our sample comprised 759 homicides committed by offenders in contact with mental health services in the year preceding the offence and with an available psychiatric report. We used joint correspondence analysis to examine patterns between different methods of homicide, circumstances of homicide, victim gender, and victim age groups. Three homicide patterns were identified: male conflict homicide, intimate female homicide, and child homicide. Additionally, each homicide pattern was associated with one or more mental illnesses. Results are discussed in terms of the possible role of psychopathology in “offender profiling” research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-318
JournalJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Issue number3
Early online date30 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


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