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An Analysis of Mobility Patterns in Sexual Homicide

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Chopin Julien, Caneppele Stefano, Beauregard Eric,
Project Détection de patterns situationnels dynamiques et implication dans la résolution des crimes sexuels de prédation
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Homicide Studies
Page(s) 1 - 25
Title of proceedings Homicide Studies
DOI 10.1177/1088767919884601


This manuscript—based on a national data set (N = 173)—focuses on extrafamilial sexual homicides and their spatial mobility. The study combines the location of the crime scene and the offender and victims residences’ in mobility crime triangles. The findings reveal that most of the homicide fall within the categories of offender mobility (38.73%) and total mobility (26.59%). Our results also show the validity of the distance decay function, with over 70% of homicides occurring within 10 km of the offender’s residence. On the contrary, data did not suggest the existence of a buffer zone around the offenders’ residence while there was a partial support for a “reverse buffer zone” hypothesis. It appears that under certain circumstances, sexual murderers may perceive their surroundings as a safe environment to commit a homicide. Finally, the study proposes a 4-category spatial typology of sexual homicide (farming, hunting, trapping, picking).