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Title: An exploration of offender psychopathology in the context of investigative profiling of homicide : a multivariate approach
Author: Abreu Minero, Valeria
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 0738
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Recent studies on offender profiling suggest research should focus on possible differences between individuals, who commit the same type of crime in different ways. Specific crime scene behaviours have been shown to differ in relation to the offender's psychiatric diagnosis. However, information on offender psychopathology has been relatively ignored in studies made for investigative profiling purposes (i.e. offender profiling). The current thesis sought to explore the potential use of information on offender psychopathology for the purposes of offender profiling. For this, the dominant offending patterns underlying homicides by individuals with mental illness were investigated. Chapter 1 of this thesis critically presents a brief overview of the different approaches within offender profiling research through recent decades and its two main assumptions. Research on homicide by individuals with mental illness is critically reviewed, and the link between offender psychopathology and the manner in which the offence is committed is explored. Chapter 2 presents a systematic review of previous studies reporting significant associations between a homicide method and the offender's psychiatric diagnosis. Two consistent associations were identified across studies: schizophrenia and sharp instruments; and mood disorders and strangulation/suffocation/drowning. Additionally, the review revealed that up to 96% of offenders with severe mental illness experienced psychiatric symptoms at the time of the crime. Chapter 3 describes the methodology, data source, sample and variables selected for analysis and the statistical methods used in Chapters 4 and 5 of this thesis. Data was obtained from the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Mental Health (NCISH). The sample consisted of 759 homicides in England and Wales from 1997 to 2014 committed by individuals with mental 7 illness, who were in contact with Mental Health Services in the year preceding the offence and who had an available psychiatric report. In order to examine the interrelationships between offence and offender variables, a multivariate approach using Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) and Hierarchical Agglomerative Clustering (HAC) was used. Chapter 4 investigates the possible inference of the offender's mental illness based on the analysis of homicide crime scene behaviours. Whether meaningful patterns could be identified among four crime scene behaviours is explored using MCA. Three homicide patterns are identified: female intimate homicide; male conflict homicide; and child homicide. The findings suggest that each pattern is associated with one or more mental illnesses: schizophrenia; personality disorder and alcohol/drug dependence; and depression and bipolar disorder respectively. Chapter 5 investigates the structure of offenders' histories and their associations with aspects surrounding the offence. Offenders were classified on the basis of similarities in their mental health histories and offending patterns. Three typologies were identified: Externalising, Psychotic and Depressive. These typologies represent the salient offence facets that are most revealing of the psychological processes inherent in the homicides of individuals with mental illness. Overall, the results suggest that information relating to offender psychopathology may help to understand the aetiology of the offences, and therefore contribute to offender profiles.
Supervisor: Barker, Edward ; Dickson, Hannah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available