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Gender Bias in the Smiley Face Killer Theory

A theory attempting to explain the drowning deaths of intoxicated, young, white, college males is taken to task based on empirical data. The claim that women do not drown is shown to be the result of methodological or sampling biases. Researchers gathered 200 cases of dead women pulled from rivers. A surprise finding relates to several victims who were murdered, and yet no claim of serial killing. Of these female victims, 43.7% “were killed by an intimate or sexual partner.”

To read the brief, click here.


The Center for Homicide Research offers one of the finest internship programs in the United States. Distanced-based electronic internships begin in Fall of 2020. Qualifying students come from undergraduate, graduate and law schools.

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