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The Organized/Disorganized Typology of Serial Murder: Myth or Model?

By David V. Canter, Laurence J. Alison, Emily Alison and Natalia Wentink


Despite weaknesses in the organized/disorganized classification of serial killers, it is drawn on for "offender profiles," theories of offending, and in murder trials. This dichotomy was therefore tested by the multidimensional scaling of the co-occurrence of 39 aspects of serial killings derived 100 murders committed by 100 U.S. serial killers. Results revealed no distinct subsets of offense characteristics reflecting the dichotomy. They showed a subset of organized features typical of most serial killings. Disorganized features are much rarer and do not form a distinct type. These results have implications for testing typologies supporting expert opinion or to help understand variations in criminal acts, as well as the development of a science of investigative psychology that goes beyond offender profiling

Topics: BF, H1, HN
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1037/1076-8971.10.3.293
OAI identifier:

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