Using behavior sequence analysis to map serial killers’ life histories

Keatley, David, Golightly, Hayley, Shephard, Rebecca , Yaksic, Enzo and Reid, Sasha (2018) Using behavior sequence analysis to map serial killers’ life histories. Journal of Interpersonal Violence . ISSN 0886-2605

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


The aim of the current research was to provide a novel method for mapping the developmental sequences of serial killers’ life histories. An in-depth biographical account of serial killers’ lives, from birth through to conviction was gained and analysed using Behaviour Sequence Analysis. The analyses highlight similarities in behavioural events across the serial killers’ lives, indicating not only which risk factors occur, but the temporal order of these factors. Results focused on early childhood environment, indicating the role of parental abuse; behaviours and events surrounding criminal histories of serial killers, showing that many had previous convictions and were known to police for other crimes; behaviours surrounding their murders, highlighting differences in victim choice and modus operandi; and, finally, trial pleas and convictions. The present research, therefore, provides a novel approach to synthesising large volumes of data on criminals and presenting results in accessibly, understandable outcomes.

Keywords:serial killers, homicide, Behaviour Sequence Analysis, Criminology, Forensics
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:30380
Deposited On:19 Feb 2018 09:44

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