The FBI’s organized/disorganized typology has been used extensively as a tool to classify sexual homicide and develop offender profiles. The classification approach, while ground-breaking and valuable to the field of criminal profiling, has not gone without criticism. It has been critiqued for its lack of empirical evidence, yet few studies have attempted to test its validity. This study examined the organized/disorganized model to determine if support exists for two discrete offender types among a sample of 350 Canadian cases of sexual homicide. Variables related to crime scene characteristics and the offender’s modus operandi were tested using K-means and latent class analyses. Results from both methods suggest that sexual murderers can be separated into two distinct profiles that share similarities with the organized/disorganized dichotomy in terms of the detection avoidance strategies, control and type of violence used by the offender. The latent class results show further support for the FBI model in relation to the offender’s approach, sexual acts, and post-mortem activities.
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Thesis advisor: Beauregard, Eric
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