Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 44-51

First online:

Crime Scene Staging in Homicide

  • Louis B. SchlesingerAffiliated withDepartment of Forensic Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Email author 
  • , Ashley GardenierAffiliated withJohn Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • , John JarvisAffiliated withBehavioral Science Unit, FBI Academy
  • , Jamie Sheehan-CookAffiliated withJohn Jay College of Criminal Justice

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A nonrandom national U.S. sample of 946 homicide crime scenes--supplied by the FBI Behavioral Science Unit for purposes of research--was studied to delineate the prevalence, types, levels, and motives for staging in domestic, nonserial sexual, serial sexual, and general felony homicides. Stagers were found to be a relatively small group who employ a variety of methods to alter the crime scene in an attempt to redirect the investigation away from themselves as logical suspects. Results also suggest that different types of homicides have different staging rates based primarily on the relationship (or connection) between offender and victim. Implications for investigations and understanding this type of crime scene behavior are discussed.


Homicide Staging Crime scene Investigation