The developmental and criminal histories of subgroups of sexual murderers engaging, or not engaging, in post mortem sexual interference, compared to rapists

Tamsin Higgs, Ewa B. Stefanska, Adam J. Carter, Kevin D. Browne

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PurposeIdentifying factors that may predict sexual aggression in the context of directly sexual murder, indirectly sexual murder, and non-fatal outcomes is necessary for advancing a field lacking a substantiated multifactorial theoretical model.MethodsEighty-nine sexual murderers engaging in post mortem sexual interference were compared to 92 non-post mortem sexual interference sexual murderers and 72 rapists on developmental factors, adult lifestyle, and criminal history. An overall model was built using a series of multinomial logistic regression analyses.ResultsUnlike rapists, both groups of sexual murderers experienced a lack of success in sexually intimate relationships. Perpetrators of post mortem sexual interference were rarely necrophiles, but having a history of sadistic behaviors or interests uniquely predicted sexual murder involving post mortem sexual interference. Chronic violent and sexual offending was characteristic of rapists. Psychopathy, measured using the screening version of the Psychopathy Checklist (Hart, Cox, & Hare, 1995), was not predictive of any outcome.ConclusionResults support criticism of existing theoretical models; that they do not apply to non-sadistic sexual murder. Findings are discussed in relation to gaps in theoretical understanding of sexual murder, and concerning implications for forensic policies and practice.

© 2017, published by Elsevier. The attached document (embargoed until 02/11/2019) is an author produced version of a paper, uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-101
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017

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