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JBP: Vol. 2 No. 2
December 2001


Letter from the Editor

The Integrity of the Discipline
by Brent E. Turvey, MS



Signature in the Courtroom: Whose Crime is it Anyway
by Michael McGrath, MD

Abstract: So-called offender signature is central to the field of criminal profiling, providing the basis for linking crimes to each other and to an offender. This concept has been introduced into the courtroom and has been upheld at times on appeal. This article explores the notion of signature and discusses its application in the courtroom with specific reference to the case of New Jersey v. Fortin, where such testimony was not upheld on appeal. The concepts of individuation and identification, as they relate to signature, are also reviewed. It is the author’s contention that signature evidence, while often having investigative utility, at times lacks probative value.


Frame-By-Frame Analysis: An Interview Technique
by Det. John J. Baeza, NYPD (ret.) & Det. John O. Savino, NYPD

Abstract: Frame-by-Frame Analysis (FFA) is term used by the authors to reference an interview concept that all criminal investigators can benefit from when interviewing a victim and, at times, even a suspect. The best way to understand this concept is by comparing it to a movie. If we watch a movie in real time we may understand what is going on but we might not observe all of the details. However, if we run the same movie in slow motion, frame-by-frame, we may better recognize the details of the action as it occurs. The criminal investigator must use this concept if they wish to capture all the details of a crime during a given interview. Knowing the details of a reported crime is crucial to linking cases, solving crime, and prosecuting crime. It is also key to separating false reports of crime from those that are genuine.


Sexual Homicide: Literature Review and Research Findings, Part 1
by Brent E. Turvey, MS

Abstract: This work provides a comprehensive literature review of the sexual homicide research findings. It is the goal of Part 1 in this 2-part paper is to review and discuss the body of research relating to sexual homicide within the existing forensic, psychiatric and criminological literature. This will entail addressing the following questions: First, what defines a sexual homicide, and are there any agreed upon evidentiary thresholds? Second, how abundant and competent is the literature on sexual homicide? And third, what are the backgrounds of those involved in examining and interpreting sexual homicides, and are they commensurate? This literature review lays a contextual foundation for the research published in the forthcoming “Sexual Homicide: Research Review and Findings, Part 2.”

This paper, in both of its parts, will provide investigators, behavioral scientists and forensic scientists with additional tools to assist in accurately recognizing, investigating, and assessing sexual homicides, while preparing the ground for further and better research into this type of crime.


Journal of Behavioral Profiling: Volume 2, Number 2, December 2001
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