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A Test of Two Typologies of Sexual Homicide

Lindsay A. Sewall, Daniel Brian Krupp & Martin L. Lalumière.

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment; February 2013, vol. 25, no. 1, 82-100.

 

Abstract

Published typologies of sexual homicide lack theoretical grounding and empirical support. They also conceptualize the phenomenon of sexual homicide as somewhat discrete, though offenders are not typically specialists. Here, we propose a model that situates the phenomenon of sexual killing into broader categories of antisocial behavior, positing three types of perpetrators of serial sexual homicides: competitively disadvantaged, psychopathic, and sadistic offenders. Using biographical data of 82 serial sexual homicide offenders, we tested our model as well as the influential organized/disorganized model. Principal components analysis produced five components consisting of offender and offense characteristics, and cluster analysis revealed three distinct groups of perpetrators (sadistic offenders, competitively disadvantaged offenders, and slashers), as well as a fourth, heterogeneous group; this cluster solution, however, may be unstable. In summary, there is only mixed support for either model.

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