Homicide injury severity in association with the victim-offender relationship.

Affiliation

Uppsala University, Department of Surgical Sciences, Sweden. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

There are previous studies that have found associations between specific injury patterns and different victim-offender relationships (VORs) in homicides. We have used quantitative injury severity scores to further investigate this issue. The amount and severity of injuries were assessed in 178 Swedish homicide victims, retrospectively included from the years 2007-2009. We analyzed whether different injury measures could be used to predict the VOR. In addition to a deeper understanding of violent behavior, such associations may be of help to homicide investigators for offender profiling. The victims' injuries were assessed with eleven different methods. The cases with known VORs were divided into four categories: partner, relative, acquaintance, and stranger. The injury severities were then compared between these categories. No relevant differences were found. Thus, the current study does not support the claim that the VOR can be predicted from the injury severity in a general homicide population. These findings are in contrast to the results of some previous studies but confirm those of others.

Keywords

Homicide,Injury quantification,Injury score,Offender profiling,