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Homicide injury severity in association with the victim-offender relationship
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Forensic Medicine.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5038-7512
Swedish Police Author, Stockholm, Stockholm Regio, Sweden;Swedish Natl Board Forens Med, Dept Forens Psychiat, Stockholm, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Forensic Medicine. Swedish Natl Board Forens Med, Dept Forens Med, Stockholm, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Forensic Science International, ISSN 0379-0738, E-ISSN 1872-6283, Vol. 300, p. 151-156Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 seventies 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 300, p. 151-156
Keywords [en]
Homicide, Injury score, Injury quantification, Offender profiling
National Category
Forensic Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-383634DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2019.05.012ISI: 000470903500030OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-383634DiVA, id: diva2:1316738
Available from: 2019-05-20 Created: 2019-05-20 Last updated: 2019-07-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Homicide Injury Quantification: Measures of injury severity in homicide victims and associations with homicide characteristics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Homicide Injury Quantification: Measures of injury severity in homicide victims and associations with homicide characteristics
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Some previous studies have found that the amount and severity of injuries in homicide victims correlate with different homicide characteristics, such as the victim-offender relationship and drug influence of the offender. If such relationships exist, they may be used by homicide investigators as part of an offender profiling.

Furthermore, injury severity may be helpful in understanding the nature of lethal violence. If the injuries change over time or differ between regions, this may say something about the underlying causes and thus help society to take preventive measures. However, measures of injury severity are often missing in homicide epidemiology. This may in part be due to a lack of standardized and accessible ways to quantify injuries in homicide victim.

To address these issues, there is a need for methods to quantify injury severity in homicide victims. The aim of the current thesis was to investigate different types of injury measures and their applicability to homicide victims. The aim was also to use such measures to address research questions related to offender profiling.

Starting off with injury scores used in trauma research and two scores developed specifically for homicide victims, these measures were applied to a general homicide population. Since there is no obvious “gold standard” for injury severity quantification on homicide victims, one had to be defined to validate the applied methods. Out of forensic experience and rational reasoning, the Sum of all AIS scores (SAIS) was proposed as a reference measure. The other scores were then evaluated through their correlations with the SAIS.

In the following study, the injury severity in homicides from different time periods was measured. There were statistically significant increases over time with respect to excessive injuries and the number of lethal injuries per victim. These changes can reflect both a brutalization of homicidal violence, improved trauma care, or shifts in the methods by which people are killed.

Next, the associations between injury severity and homicide characteristics were analysed. No relevant associations between injury severity and victim-offender relationship were found. Neither were there any connections between benzodiazepine influence in the offender and injury severity on the victim. Thus, the studies do not support the use of injury severity scores for offender profiling in a general homicide population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. p. 40
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1578
Keywords
Homicide, Injury score, Injury quantification, Offender profiling
National Category
Forensic Science
Research subject
Forensic Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-383637 (URN)978-91-513-0678-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-08-30, Fåhraeussalen, Rudbecklaboratoriet, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 20, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-06-03 Created: 2019-05-21 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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Tamsen, FredrikThiblin, Ingemar

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