Blind-Sided: Homicide Where It Is Least Expected

Blind-Sided: Homicide Where It Is Least Expected

Blind-Sided: Homicide Where It Is Least Expected

Blind-Sided: Homicide Where It Is Least Expected

Synopsis

While print and broadcast media are filled every day with homicide accounts, the general public seems most disturbed by crimes attributed to individuals who otherwise seem "normal." Murders by those perceived to be historically non-violent often appear to erupt with no warning whatsoever. Moffatt argues that certain key predictors of a predisposition to violence are usually present. Citing case studies of workplace, school, and domestic homicides, he debunks the myth that these murders happen "out of the blue." He also includes valuable information on predicting and preventing future tragedies.

Excerpt

Over the past several years I have discovered the numerous roadblocks to studying homicides. Police departments, while they can be very helpful, often make it difficult or impossible to get information on homicide cases. Most of the assistance I have received in collecting information has come from my students at the FBI National Academy, an eleven-week training program for law enforcement officers from around the world, based at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Aside from these students I have rarely received any cooperation from law enforcement agencies. This happens for several reasons. First, police officers and administrators are very busy. Even when they have good intentions, they simply do not have the time to look up, copy, and send cases to me. Second, if cases have not been fully adjudicated, all agencies are reluctant to release information for fear that outside involvement may compromise them in court. More than once I have been asked by detectives to assist in an active homicide case and then been "uninvited" by superior officers. Finally, and perhaps most frustrating, some agencies do not see any value in this type of research and simply refuse to assist. For example, I spoke with one county sheriff several years ago as I began this line of research. I explained that I was researching the cause of homicide and I wanted to interview an inmate. His response was, "I don't mean to sound rude, but don't we know what causes homicide already?" This officer . . .

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