Serial murders are not just part of the United States they also happen globally. There are many investigative tools that are used when working a serial murder case and we will discuss some of those. We will also discuss the problems with the media when it comes to serial murders. We will also talk about how the criticism of the public and media can affect serial murder cases. The crime of serial murder is not just one that in the United States it is a problem that happens globally. In the US we have the help of the Behavioral Analysis Unit as well as the FBI when working a case in any jurisdiction.
To help law enforcement and investigators learn new techniques on how to solve these crimes a symposium was held for two days in 2008 to teach them new techniques. In attendance at this conference were mental health experts, scholars, media experts who have been studying serial murders for yeas and investigators in law enforcement field. The conference was held at INTERPOL headquarters, there were delegates from thirty-seven different countries in attendance at the conference. When working on a serial murder there needs to be more cooperation with other countries when working the cases.
While most serial murders will stay within their comfort zone or home town, some will travel from place to place as well as out of the country to commit their crimes. When working on those types of cases it can be very hard with customs, jurisdictions as well as differences in country and jurisdiction government issues. Serial murders in every culture are viewed differently. The motive as well as methods is different in each culture. The profiles created by the United States law enforcement is often contradicted by the law enforcement in other countries (Hickey, 2006).
During the symposium all that were in attendance did agree on some investigate technique that would be good when investigating a serial murder (FBI, 2005). ? Identification: The primary challenge in the investigation is the initial identification of the homicide. The historical way that they were identified was when there was more than two cases linked. With the rapid growing systems of today as soon as the cases have been reported it is out to the media. Identifying high profiles over more than one jurisdiction still poses a problem to the law enforcement.
The systems used by different agencies poses a big problem when trying to put together a case. All that were at the conference agreed that we need to use the same system to report crimes called the National Law Enforcement Teletype System as well as the systems used by the FBI and the Behavioral Crime Unit. The law enforcement online is another good system to use. ? Leadership: When doing a high profile investigation many problems arise in leadership. They are faces with pressures from victims’ families, media as well as political executives.
The main goal is to catch the offender and arrest and prosecute them. They all agree that the cases should be handled by homicide investigators who know how to work the case and that supervisor need to intervene with higher up personnel. ? Task Force Organization: A lead agency should be established to work on the investigation, and a member from each law enforcement agency that is involved in the case should have a member on the task force. A head and a co-head investigator should be formed and from there lisons are assigned that will take care of task given by the head investigator.
When working the investigation there should be a clear line of communication between investigators and administration. They will also need to keep a rapport as they are keeping up with their own task that they have. ? Resource Augmentation: During the investigation it is often better to use fewer personnel but in some cases more personnel is needed in order to work it. The head investigator is in charge of running the whole investigation and administration is in charge of giving them the resources they need in order to run a proper one.
? Communication: Is a key role in the investigation. Daily briefing’s should be done to keep everyone up to date on events and new evidence. When serial cases involve multiple states communication is paramount to the investigation. These should be held on a face to face basis and not by phone conference so all information is correct and noted properly. Submitting all homicide and missing people reports to the ViCAP system is a must so that if there are any new cases out there they can be linked in the system.
? Data Management: The FBI rapid start system is a good system to use to give real time information in cases that are being worked. In order to solve the case quickly everyone involved in the case should be up to date on all evidence and happenings in the case. ? Analytical Tools: A time line that is done to keep information on the investigation of events that have happened. The crime analysts work closely with the lead investigator to sort, chart and analyzing the case. ? Medical Examiner/Coroners: Are the ones who perform the autopsy on the victims and share information with the lead investigator.
? Training: To affectively work a serial murder case investigators and medical examiners need training and exposure to the wide range of technique that are used to work these types of cases (FBI, 2005). Talking heads is a big problem when working a serial murder investigation. These are people who claim to be experts on the subject but they do not have the actual fact regarding the case. When they go on television to discuss these cases they can often do more damage to the case than they can do good.
When the offender is challenged by discriminating factors and statements they do not know if it is coming from an outside source or the law enforcement and they can react violently to the comments being made. The talking heads can also destroy vital evidence in the case. Pressure comes from political officials to solve these types of cases. Media adds pressure to the investigators by supplying information to the public that most of the time is not correct or the media will add their own thoughts to it as well.
To solve this type of problem with the media it is suggested that one individual from the agency be set to answer any questions from the media and to speak at press conferences so that all information provided is accurate. References FBI. (2005). Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved March 26, 2013, from Serial Murder: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives: http://www. fbi. gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder/serial-murder-july-2008-pdf Hickey, E. W. (2006). Serial murderers and their victims (4th ed. ). Belmont: Cengage Learning. [pic].