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Comparison of Methodologies Used in Homicide Investigations to Collect, Prioritize, and Eliminate Persons of Interest: A Case Study of Three Dutch Real-World Homicide Cases

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Author: Sutmuller, A.D. · Hengst, M. den · Barros, A.I. · Gelder, P.H.A.J.M. van
Source:Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice
Identifier: 843626
Keywords: Criminology · Homicide investation · Criminal investigation · Methodology · Categorization · Data collection · Defence Research · Defence, Safety and Security


This paper provides a comparison between four methodologies that assist criminal investigators in homicide investigations. The Person of Interest Priority Assessment Tool, Trace Investigate and Evaluate, Rasterfahndung, and Analysis of Competing Hypotheses are compared on their performance in the collection, prioritization, and elimination phase of homicide cases in today’s digital era. Three recent Dutch homicide cases are used. The use of categories during collection can assist criminal investigators in the early inclusion of the perpetrator into the investigation, however, in this digital era, the number of persons of interest becomes too large to humanly handle. All four methodologies use techniques to assign weight to pieces of evidence; further research is required to evaluate the effectiveness of these techniques when the amount of pieces of evidence explodes. The use of pre-set elimination categories shows the least promising result leaving most persons of interest not-eliminated by the currently used methodologies.