Globalization of serial and investigative tools brenda ross


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Globalization of serial and investigative tools brenda ross

  1. 1. Globalization of Serial Murder 1Globalization of Serial and Investigative Tools Globalization of Serial Murder: Investigative Tools and the Globalization of Data Brenda Ross Kaplan University CJ266 Deviance and Violence Professor Calvin Shaw September 16, 2012
  2. 2. Globalization of Serial Murder 2 Serial murder is not just a problem in the United States; it is in fact a global problem. In the United States, the local jurisdictions have the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and their Behavioral Analysis Unit to provide profiles and expertise in solving these types of crimes. They also held a Symposium on Serial Murder to help law enforcement learn new techniques involving a Multi Disciplinary Approach. This Symposium involved mental health experts, investigators in the law enforcement field, scholars, and representatives of the media who have as separate groups, been studying this phenomenon for years (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2005). The 187 member countries of Interpol, held a Symposium on Homicide and SerialRape in 2008, and have come to the conclusion that there should be more internationalcooperation and sharing of information on these types of crimes (Investigation, 2008).While a lot of serial killers tend to stay in their comfort zones, there are predators whoroam from state to state, or even country to country because of their job or hobbiesroutinely, These criminals are harder to catch because of the multiple jurisdictions,customs, and state or country government differences. A good example of other countries investigative tools is Andrei Chikatilo fromRussia, and Pedro Lopez to discuss foreign investigations while comparing what theirlaw enforcement did in relation to what the FBI describes as “successful” techniques toinvestigate this type of violent crime. While the phenomenon of serial murder is morepublicized in the United States, with countless books, television shows, and movies, thisviolent crime happens all over the world. The investigative techniques, and the way thatthe crime is perceived varies from country to country. Depending on local customs,
  3. 3. Globalization of Serial Murder 3cultures, and whatever advances in technology are present or lacking in that particularsociety. These same differences in cultural society also influence the techniques thatthe killer uses along with their motivations to kill (Gibson, 2006) the wide public interestin serial murder began in White chapel London in the late 1880’s with Jack the Ripper’scrimes which were never solved, and continues today. Unfortunately, most of the public’s knowledge of these crimes is based onproductions made in Hollywood, where they usually enhance the facts of the crimes tosell more tickets instead of portraying the actualities of the crimes. Public pressure tosolve these crimes appears in the form of elected officials leaning on the investigators.Pressure from the media arrives in the form of sensationalized coverage of the crimes,along with conjecture produced and aired by so called experts which are discussed laterin this essay. Law enforcement personnel are subject to misinformation fromprofessionals employed as pathologists, investigators, and prosecutors by takingexperience from a single case, and trying to advise law enforcement with results andcircumstances from their experience (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2008). The present problem is the “talking issue”. These people publicly state theiropinions as fact, and are given credibility by the media. They portray themselves asexperts, appear often on television and in the news, and hypothesize the reasons aparticular offender commits these heinous crimes or on the character or physical traitsof the offender. The sad truth, however, is that none of these people have access to theconfidential facts surrounding the case. The badly chosen commentaries just promotemore misunderstanding about the subject, and can actually damage law enforcementattempts at solving the case at hand (Gibson, 2006)I have always wondered about the
  4. 4. Globalization of Serial Murder 4many show on television about law enforcement. Some of the information just doesn’tseem real Professionals attending the Serial Murder Symposium all agreed that there is nogeneric blueprint of a serial murderer; however, they did notice several traits that theyall seem to possess. These are: a need for sensation, a pronounced deficiency inremorse or feelings of guilt, controlling nature, and impulsive or predatory behavior.Because these traits are dependable indicators of psychopathic personality disorder, itwas noted of the importance of law enforcement and any other persons involved in thecriminal justice system to have an understanding of psychopathic personlities and therelative nature that this contributes to investigating serial murder. (Investigation, 2008) Iagree with the way the Serial Murder Symposium and how it explains the average(Lohr, 2008) The Symposium participants recognized several successful analytical proceduresto investigate a serial murder case. These are as follows:  Identification- The identification of a series of murders is the first and foremost step, and can prove to be the most challenging step due to the multiple jurisdictions and transient nature of the offender and the crimes.  Leadership- The challenges of investigation crimes such as these is greater than that of most homicides because of added pressure from elected officials, the public, victims’ families, and the media. Because of this, members of the Symposium concluded that the most important aspect of the investigation remains to be the analytical role because that is
  5. 5. Globalization of Serial Murder 5 what will catch the offender, and all other functions of the investigation are secondary. A firm grasp must be maintained on the chain of command in order to have a successful investigation, as the added pressures become a factor of the job. Task Force Organization- Lead agency must be established to take on the main role in the investigation, all other law enforcement organizations must have agents on the force, following this, a head and co-head investigator is assigned to the case, from here, other officers and liaison personnel are assigned tasks to perform for the head investigator. There must be a clear line of communication between administrators and investigators and maintain a definite rapport while keeping up with their own tasks assigned on the case. Resource Augmentation- While it is sometimes better to have fewer people involved in an investigation, other personnel may be required to complete tasks for the investigation either permanently or temporarily, however the former is recommended over the latter to provide stability to the investigation. The role of the head investigator is to run the investigation while the role of the administration is to provide the investigative team the tools and support they need to complete the task. Communications- Daily briefings, face to face case briefings, and submitting ViCAP reports are effective communication measures. Data Management- Reports should be compiled as soon as the investigation provides information to ensure that all agencies and parties
  6. 6. Globalization of Serial Murder 6 involved have real time information, ideally the reports would be generated by a computer. The FBI Rapid Start program is an effective tool in data management.  Analytic Tools- Crime analysts assigned to the head investigators to provide information sorting, charting, and analyzing functions.  Autopsy- An autopsy provided by the coroner or medical examiner is essential for these types of crimes. Symposium participants focus analytical procedures to investigate a serialmurder cases. They came up with this list solve every other crime of serialmurder. I just don’t believe that every case should be solving exactly the same.Investigations of serial murder in the United States tend to have a clear plan andinvestigative tools are used which have been ascertained by a group of peoplewho have dealt with offenders of this type. (Investigation, 2008) Interpol also had a 2008 conference on Homicide and Serial Sexual Crimes,that involved 36 countries altogether. The main focus of this conference was todiscuss the fact that serial murder and rape are global problems, needing aglobal solution and cooperation exceeding national boundaries. The conferencealso addressed the need for global databases for countries to collect DNA andfingerprints and be able to run them globally instead of nationally. Thisconference begins to address the issue of serial murderers having comfort zonesacross multiple jurisdictions, countries, and cultures, laying the groundwork forfuture globalization if data, through the utilization of Interpol (Noble, 2008).
  7. 7. Globalization of Serial Murder 7 Take the case of Pedro Lopez nicknamed “The Monster of the Andes”, whowas said to have killed over 300 girls in Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru beginningin 1978 upon his release from prison. Pedro was born in Columbia, to a harshupbringing with a domineering prostitute mother whom he later blamed for all ofhis problems. (Gibson, 2006) In fact when Pedro was only eight years old he was caught having sexwith his sister and his mother kicked him out telling him to find his own way in life.He ended up on the streets of Bogota after a year of sleeping in alleyways,terrified of strangers because an older man tricked him into believing that he wasoffering him help, and instead sodomized him for days before turning him backout on the street. When he was in his late twenties he ended up in jail in Bogota.When he was released in 1978 he went to Peru, where he began stalking andmurdering girls from the various Indian Tribes located there. When the Indiansturned him over to the authorities, they deported him back to Ecuador becausethey reasoned that they didn’t have time to waste investigating Indian deaths Thedeath of the Indians is consider less dead in my opinion. Simply because ofwhom they were no one care to investigate their deaths so it went further. During the time that Lopez was travelling Ecuador, he would make frequentstops in Columbia as well. Authorities were noticing the rise in cases of missinggirls in the area, but all dismissed the fact to a rise in human sex slave trafficking.It was not until a major flood in 1980 in Ambato Ecuador, when four bodies wereunearthed by flood waters that authorities thought any differently. A few days
  8. 8. Globalization of Serial Murder 8after the flood, Lopez tried to abduct a 12 year old girl. Local merchants chasedhim down and held him until police could come get him. (Lohr, 2008) When confronted with some evidence and an interview with an informant thathad gained his trust earlier, Pedro confessed to 100 murders in Columbia, 110 inEcuador, and over 100 in Peru. If the tools proposed by the FBI and Interpolwere in place when these murders were committed, these countries would havehad access to profiles, information, fingerprints and DNA profiles. Armed with thisinformation, the police in Peru might not have simply deported him, becausebefore they spent costly hours investigating, they could have looked at (Lohr,2008)information gathered on this suspect, and made the decision that gettinghim off of the streets would have been well worth their time. I think violence thisact of violence could have been prevented if the less dead weren’t ignored. Thenagain I understand that other countries handle cases very different. (Lohr, 2008) Another case worth looking at is the case of Andrei Chikatilo in Russia.The globalization of information could have helped in another way to prevent theloss of life in this gruesome manner. The first body was only bones mostly. Itwas discovered by someone just walking in the woods. Although he wasconvicted there was more bodies discovered after he committed suicide. Theyhad a lot of physical evidence to convict Andrei Chikatilo. (Ramsland) After the killing spree of Chikatilo, Russian authorities have the ability tostudy the phenomenon of serial murder in depth, and the permission to conferwith specialists from other countries including our own Federal Bureau ofInvestigation. If the measures discussed in the Symposium in the United States,
  9. 9. Globalization of Serial Murder 9and the conference held by Interpol would have been in place at the time of thefirst semen discovery, information about the rare person who would secrete oneblood type, and actually register another may have been shared knowledge, andChikatilo would have been caught much earlier in his murderous spree. Theother noteworthy aspect of this case is that had the public been made aware thatthere was a killer in their midst, people would have been more watchful andwould have noted more of the strange behaviors associated with this killer. It iscrazy to believe that it takes a gruesome murder to make law enforcement better.(Ramsland) In conclusion, law enforcement in our country and in other countries isbeginning to understand the value of sharing information for study, or crossreference in an active investigation. Pressures from the media, elected officials,and the public caused by the heinous nature of these crimes, enables them tobe viewed as high profile cases and makes them harder to investigate, and tokeep public fears at bay, due to the multitude of erroneous information comingfrom both the media and the public’s perception of these offenders. Modernpolice work is challenging. Criminals have access to advanced technology andmethodologies to make them better able to plan and commit crimes. To matchthe pace of criminal activity, law enforcements investigative work has becomemore sophisticated and more agencies are employing analysts to help solve thepuzzles of these complex investigations. That just makes law enforcement jobthat much harder. The investigative analytic approach encourages an
  10. 10. Globalization of Serial Murder 10investigator to work methodically and thoughtfully toward successfulinvestigations and prosecutions (Ramsland).
  11. 11. Globalization of Serial Murder 11Works CitedGibson, D. C. (2006). Serial Murder and media circuses. Westport : Greenwood Publishing.Investigation, F. B. (2008). Serial Murder: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives for Investigators. RetrievedJanuary 10, 2010, from Federal Bureau of Investigation:, D. (2008). Pedro Lopez: The Monster of the Andes. . Retrieved January 10, 2010, from TruTV:, K. (n.d.). The Devils Trail. Retrieved 12 10, 2010, from TruTv: