“Most homicides are cleared for the simple reason that people are typically killed by someone they know. If there is no relationship between the offender and the victim, the crime is usually much more difficult to solve.” – Richard H. Walton, author of “Cold Case Homicides: Practical Investigative Techniques”
Killers are predators laying in wait.
The hunt for their victims can be broken down into two parts: the search for a suitable victim and the method of attack, according to Richard H. Walton, author of “Cold Case Homicides: Practical Investigative Techniques.”
The most commonly used victim search method of criminal predators is the hunter. This type of offender specifically sets out from their residence to look for victims.
Poachers travel outside of their home city, or operate from an activity site other than their residence in the search for targets.
Trollers are opportunistic offenders who do not specifically search for victims, but rather encounter them during the course of other, usually routine activities. Their crimes are often spontaneous, but many sexual predators fantasize and plan their crimes in advance so they are ready and prepared when an opportunity presents itself.
Trappers have an occupation or position that results in potential victims coming to them. They may also entice victims into their home or other location they control by tricking or luring them.
Once the victim has been targeted, criminal predators may use several attack methods. Raptors, upon encountering a victim, attack almost immediately. Stalkers follow and watch their targets waiting for an opportunity to strike. Ambushers attack victims they have brought or drawn into their “web” – someplace where the killers have a great deal of control, most often their homes or workplaces. The bodies are usually hidden somewhere on the offender’s property. Many ambushers select marginalized individuals whose disappearances are rarely linked, even when missing person reports are made to the police, notes Walton.
If you were the lead detective on the Roger Ellison case, what type of killer would you be looking for? What attack method was used? Post your theories to my blog or click on the Contact page to send me an email.
Coming up: Roger Ellison’s sister speaks out