Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 44–51 | Cite as

Crime Scene Staging in Homicide

  • Louis B. Schlesinger
  • Ashley Gardenier
  • John Jarvis
  • Jamie Sheehan-Cook


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 



The authors would like to express their gratitude to the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit for coordinating access to the data used in this study. The authors' opinions, statements, and conclusions should not be considered an endorsement by the FBI or the Department of Justice of any policy, program, or service.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis B. Schlesinger
    • 1
  • Ashley Gardenier
    • 2
  • John Jarvis
    • 3
  • Jamie Sheehan-Cook
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Forensic PsychologyJohn Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Behavioral Science UnitFBI AcademyQuanticoUSA

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