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Leading research in staged homicides

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

Thanks to an intrepid Final Days listener in D.C. named Laurel Hausler, I learned about new research in the field of staged homicides. Below are links to two studies that examine features of staged homicides, including staged suicides. There is also an excellent book, which was just published in June 2021. All three are authored by Dr. Claire Ferguson of Queensland, Australia. I am making arrangements to speak with Dr. Ferguson on my upcoming August 24, 2021 episode. I wanted to give everyone a chance to review her work before the episode came out.

Her 2015 study examined 115 staged homicides in the U.S. to determine common elements. According to Dr. Ferguson’s research, features of staged suicides included weapon arrangement and simulating self injury to the victim, rearranging the body, and removing valuables. This is the first peer-reviewed, published study to examine the specific features of these scenes, and is the largest sample studied to date.

Staged homicides: An examination of common features of faked burglaries, suicides, accidents and car accidents

Ferguson, Claire (2015) Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 30(3), pp. 139-157.

Getting away with murder: an examination of detected homicides staged as suicides

Ferguson, Claire & Petherick, Wayne (2016) Homicide Studies, 20(1), pp. 3-24.

Detection Avoidance in Homicide Debates, Explanations and Responses

Copyright Year 2021

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