Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Scripps Study Reveals Potential Work of Serial Killers

Youngstown, Ohio Begins Review of Unsolved Homicides

A Scripps Howard News Service study based upon computer records of 525,742 homicides committed from 1980 to 2008 has pointed to the possibility of serial killers at work in several regions across the U.S.

The FBI provided most of the data. But Scripps supplemented the data using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain detailed records of 15,322 killings that local police did not disclose to the federal government's entirely voluntary crime reporting system.

The study identified 161 clusters in which 1,247 women of similar age were killed through similar means. At least 75 percent of the cases in each cluster were unsolved at the time they were reported under the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Report program.

The Scripps study prompted police in Youngstown, Ohio to begin a fresh review of decades-old files and evidence storage boxes related to several homicides.

"In the early 1990s, we thought we had a serial murderer running around. Yes, we definitely thought we had one," Captain Rod Foley of the city's homicide squad told Scripps.

Foley is contacting other police departments, looking for any physical evidence from a series of suspected rape-murders in his area that could be shipped to Ohio authorities for DNA analysis.

"We had a suspect back then," Foley told Scripps. "We thought he had a pattern. He would rape them. Sometimes he'd shoot them or do some other things to them."

Many killings go unreported and remain missing persons. Sometimes victims are not even reported missing. Homeless, drug addicted, mentally ill men and particularly woman engaged in risky behavior never make it onto police investigation reports. Crime victim surveys and the FBI crime report may not be providing a true picture of violent crime, specifically homicide.

To read more: http://www.scrippsnews.com/content/serial-killings-study-prompts-police-launch-investigations

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