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J Forensic Sci. 2002 Mar;47(2):395-8.

Spousal homicide and the subsequent staging of a sexual homicide at a distant location.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, USA. jrmeloy@cts.com


The case of a 63-year-old man who killed his 52-year-old wife and then staged a sexual homicide at a distant location is reported. A review of all evidence, a forensic psychological interview, and psychological testing indicated that the murder was the result of a narcissistic rage reaction during which the subject beat his wife to death with a paint can, a clothing iron, and a rock. He then drove her body to a field 87.3 miles away, and positioned it in a manner that exposed her breasts and her underwear. He turned himself into the police two days later. There is no controlled empirical research on staging, although this single case supports the criminal investigative theory that staging exists, and is done to deliberately mislead homicide investigations (Douglas et al., 1992).

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