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Geographic and Temporal Sequencing of Serial Rape: Final Report Submitted to the National Institute of Justice

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1995
431 pages
In examining serial rape from an investigatory perspective, this study sought to quantify the behavior exhibited by serial rapists and to relate this behavior to patterns in the temporal sequencing and geographic distribution of sex offenses.
Data were collected through the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime on 108 serial rapists who were responsible for 565 rapes. The study examined commonalities and differences between serial rapists, based on various rape taxonomies. Results showed that serial rapists tended to rape strangers, that victims were usually raped in their own homes, and that victims were most often taken by surprise. The most common sexual acts were fellatio and vaginal intercourse, and a knife was the most commonly used weapon. Some serial rapists were interested in mutual interaction with their victims, while other serial rapists focused more on macho forms of behavior and on humiliating and endangering victims. Data clearly suggested that geographic decisions of serial rapists varied systematically in accordance with demographic characteristics and other aspects of crime scene behavior. The distance traveled by serial rapists was influenced by offender race, the presence or absence of ritualized behavior, the use of restraints, rape timing, and the presence of forced entry. Serial rapists did not exhibit random patterns when geographically choreographing their offenses. About half of the quantified behavior of serial rapists remained consistent over the course of successive rapes, while the other half showed minimal or low consistency levels. Detailed data are provided on the study methodology and findings, and directions for further research are noted. Supplemental information on the study is provided in six appendixes. References, tables, and figures

Date Published: January 1, 1995