Homicide Center

Research Briefs

Staged Hunting Mishaps and Criminal Homicide

In May 1988 a lesbian couple, camping along the Appalachian Trail were shot by a cave-dwelling mountain man who came across them engaged in intimate activity. One victim died at the scene and the other suffered serious injuries. When approached by the authorities the offender initially claimed the shooting had been a simple hunting accident. …

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Accidental Discharges by the Police

With the enactment of new laws and a national debate on whether teachers should be armed, the Center for Homicide Research examined the issue of accidental discharges by schoolteachers. Researchers found that one group of current firearm users were also experiencing accidental discharges – the police. Firearm advocates propose that teacher training should match that …

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Sex Strikes: Boycotting Sex as a Homicide Prevention Tactic

Sex Strikes, or withholding sexual activity as a means of stopping homicide has been used around the world. Little has been written about this as a homicide prevention strategy, yet it has been enacted in many countries around the world. This brief pulls together information about its origin, implementation, and success. To access the brief, click …

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How to Locate Missing Vehicles in Suspected Homicide Cases

The Homicide Center is re-titling this research brief to better describe its content. When people go missing under suspicious circumstances, it is often easier to track and locate their missing motor vehicle rather than their person. Written by an emergency communications center supervisor, this brief outlines strategies for helping to locate difficult-to-find missing vehicles. To …

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Third Parties in Conflict: Factors in Creating A Peacemaker Homicide Outcome

Homicides in many instances involve more than an easily delineated victim and offender. This brief discusses patterns of third parties in conflict and examines peacemaker homicides specifically. How many peacemaker homicides occurred in Minnesota between 2006 and 2015 and what patterns exist there? What can be done to prevent peacemaker homicides? To access the brief, …

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When is Deadly Force Self-Defense a Legal Defense to Homicide

One of the most well-known legal defenses, the claim of self-defense, if successfully asserted and proven, acts as a justification to what would otherwise be considered criminal activity. This brief identifies the variance among state jurisdictions in determining what constitutes self-defense. Issues relevant to homicide researchers are also addressed. To read the brief, click here. …

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What Happens to a Vehicle that is Towed or Impounded?

Homicide and missing person cases many times involve the disappearance of a vehicle related to the investigation. This paper will address the points an investigator must consider when searching for or trying to identify the location of a vehicle related to a case. One difficulty in developing information on this topic is that while states …

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