You are on page 1of 7

Final Essays

Final Essays

Jake J. Koppenhaver


Professor Brown

February 9, 2008
Final Essays
Final Essays

Discuss in detail the results of Groth's study involving patterns for various types of rape.

During Groth’s study of 170 men convicted of sexual assaults against adult, and 178

whose crimes were against children, three key patterns emerged:

• Gang Rape: Most cases of gang rape included only one victim (90 percent), and the ma-

jority of offenders were young, between 17-27 years of age. Also note that a small per-

centage (nine percent) of cases involved more than one victim.

• Elderly Rape: All offenders studied by Groth in this category showed early adjustment

difficulties in life, and findings show that these offenders are most likely to be young,

white, single males (the offenders studied were between the ages of 12 and 38, however

43 percent were in their twenties).

• Child Rape: Groth found that the child rapist is likely to come from a “disadvantaged”

background, and often class issues are indicative of these subjects. He also found that of-

ten the offender is young, usually under 40 years of age, and the act itself is lacking emo-

tion, showing that it is some drive other than sexual gratification, possibly psychological.

Of these three patterns, Groth went on to classify three different motivations for rape:

• Power: Fifty-five percent of those studied were “power rapists,” committing the act in an

effort to exert power over the victim. In doing so sexually, the offender usually feels in

complete control over the victim’s life. While consensual partners are usually available,

the power rapist offends against an unwilling participant out of a need to prove qualities

such as strength, control, and authority.

Final Essays

• Anger: Forty percent are classified by Groth as “anger rapists,” whose crimes can usually

be determined by the physical brutality involved in the crime. Anger rapists generally

prefer to use rape as their own personal weapon, seeing it as an ultimate crime. The anger

rapist usually pushes, punches, beats, or does more damage, to his victims.

• Sadistic: Sadistic rape cases, the remaining five percent, often are indicated by mutilation

of the body or corpse, especially certain specific body parts which have become a

fixation for the sadistic rapist. The feelings of hatred, torment, and anger have become

eroticized in the offender.

Explain in detail the characteristics of the following gunshot wounds: contact wound, near

discharge wound, and distant discharge wound.

The different types of contact wounds in investigation help reconstruct crime scenes and

can help determine foul play as related to homicides and suicides. Contact wounds are caused by

direct or near direct contact with the barrel of a weapon during discharge of a round (or other

projectile or group of projectiles, such as in the case of various shotgun and pre-fragmented

handgun rounds). Contact wounds are usually determined by the amount of burning on the skin,

as during the tiny explosion inside the barrel, intense heat and gaseous discharge exits the

weapon. Generally speaking, contact wounds occur when the weapon is fired within a few inches

of the body. Near discharge wounds occur when the weapon is between six to 36 inches,

depending on the type of weapon used (being a handgun or long gun). Near contact wounds are

usually indicated by stippling present on the skin. Distant discharge wounds occur when the

weapon is farther away than the distance to cause a contact or near discharge wound.
Final Essays
Discuss in detail the physical evidence indicators of the following types of death by asphyxi-

ation: smothering, manual strangulation, ligature strangulation, hanging, and autoerotic


Deaths involving smothering usually are indicated by bruises on the skin and face,

scratches, etc., as excessive force is usually used in these cases despite the fact that the offender

is already likely to be stronger than the victim. Manual strangulation is a strangling that is done

with the bare hands, and is usually not the leading offense in strangling homicides. Manual stran-

gulation involves wrapping the hands around the throat and squeezing, something difficult to do

to a healthy adult while their hands are free unless caught from behind, done so while they are

intoxicated or somehow restrained. Bruising on the victim’s neck and throat often indicate the

size of the offender’s hand, as the pressure leaves an imprint. Ligature strangulations are far

more common, and involve using a foreign object (such as a rope, scarf, chain, etc.). Due to the

pressure needed to strangle someone in this manner, like manual strangulation, ligature strangu-

lation would leave a unique imprint of bruising on the victim’s neck and throat. Other signs of

strangulation would be petechial hemorrhages and the victim biting their own tongue.

A death by hanging is essentially ligature strangulation, often used in suicides due to the

difficulty in strangling one self manually. In rare occurrences, hanging deaths could be staged in

order to divert attention from murder; however detailed investigation and autopsies can uncover

these. Another form of hanging death is caused by the practice of autoerotic asphyxiation. Often

performed by young males, a ligature is tied around the neck during masturbatory and sexual

practices in the belief that lack of oxygen can heighten sexual pleasure and orgasm. These deaths

are almost always accidental and have key indicators, such as the victim being nude at the time

of discovery, and other sexual objects in the area.

Final Essays
Compare and contrast the phenomena of serial killers and crime spree mass murderers.

Many people confuse the terms ‘serial killer’ with ‘mass murderer’ when in fact the two

are radically different. Serial killers, often sensationalized by the media, are examples of an or-

ganized mind. They pick their victims based on a certain criteria and have a distinct modus op-

erandi. Take for example Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer. Targeting prostitutes and other

lower class women in the South Seattle suburban areas, he would pick them up under the pre-

tense of solicitation of prostitution, kill them, and bury or dump their bodies along the bank of

the Green River and its surrounding areas. All of his victims were female, presumably having

nobody that would miss them enough to report them missing, and prostitutes and drug addicts.

Crime spree mass murderers, on the other hand, exhibit the qualities of an unorganized

personality. Victims are generally not individually selected, even though a pattern of activity may

be selected. Take for example recent shootings at courthouses. In one such case, the offender

opens fire at a courthouse killing his wife and son, and then as he would soon be apprehended by

the multitude of officers in the area, he opens fire at them. He may or may not have planned this

to completion, seeing past the preliminary goal. He does not choose each bystander based on cri-

teria, he just opens fire, killing whatever moves in his vision.

List and explain six methods of forcible entry commonly used by burglary offenders.

• Pulling: Involves using a tool to remove the entire locking cylinder out of a door in order

to gain entry. A common tool used is an auto tool called a dent puller (“slap hammer”).

• Glass Cutting: Using a glass cutter in order to make an opening in a window or door in

order to reach inside to gain entry.

• Entry Through Window: The most common way to gain entry through a window is to

break it, however this can cause a lot of noise. A suspect may affix tape or something
Final Essays
underneath the glass to reduce the noise, however a more direct way of gaining entry

through a window with minimal noise is using a tool such as a screwdriver or crowbar to

pry the window open. This is indicated by splintered wood or a broken latch.

• Brute force: This is possibly the most obvious form of burglary, and involves using force

to open the door instead of manipulating any locking mechanisms or latches. The

quickest and most effective way of doing this is kicking the door near the locks, applying

most of the force to that section of the door.

• Smash and Crash: Often referred to as “smash and grab” burglaries, a suspect will break a

door or window (sometimes with a nearby object such as a rock) and quickly grab what

he can from a store or home before fleeing. Very little finesse is needed in the

commission of this crime.

• Slipping: Using a flat, thin item such as a credit card, “jimmy,” or other similar object, a

burglar can gain access through a simple door. Often the presence of a deadbolt or slide

lock will protect against this entry method.

Final Essays


Osterburg, James & Ward, Richard (2004). Criminal Investigation: A Method for Reconstructing

the Past. University of Illinois: Anderson Publishing.

You might also like