Whiter Than White: The Art of Delaying Detection in Sexual Killers

Ewa Stefanska, Adam J. Carter

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The study investigated whether different types of sexual homicide perpetrators are more or less skilled at delaying detection. A newly proposed direct/indirect typology was used alongside information about the time of arrest, the frequency of specific precautions as well as the impact of forensic strategies used by the perpetrators to examine skill at delaying detection. The results indicated that the time from the killing to the arrest, as measured in days, was longer for the direct than the indirect sexual killers. Despite the fact that the direct aggressors were better at delaying detection, overall the indirect and the direct offenders did not differ in the frequency of use of most of the precautions. However, different forensic awareness strategies were more efficacious for the direct and the indirect offenders. These results are discussed in relation to the crime scripts for the two perpetrator groups.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


  • sexual homicide,
  • forensic awareness,
  • police detection,
  • avoiding arrest,
  • typology

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