The current study investigates whether investigative awareness is a distinctive feature of sadism and examines if it is possible to identify different types of sadistic offenders based on the severity of an offender’s sadistic behaviour. The study addressed these two research questions through a series of binary logistic regressions and two-step hierarchical cluster analysis utilizing a sample of 350 cases of sexual homicide from Canada. Results from the logistic regression indicate that sadistic offenders are more likely to use forensic awareness strategies at the crime scene, pre-select deserted locations to commit their offense and have an unsolved case in comparison to non-sadists. The cluster analysis show that three groups emerge: 1) a non-sadistic group, 2) a mixed group that show some evidence of sadistic behaviour, and 3) a sadistic group that have high levels of sadistic behaviour. Implications for both clinical and investigative purposes are discussed.
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Thesis advisor: Beauregard, Eric
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