No-Body Homicides : The Evolution of Investigation and Prosecution book cover
1st Edition

No-Body Homicides
The Evolution of Investigation and Prosecution

  • Available for pre-order on April 14, 2023. Item will ship after May 5, 2023
ISBN 9781032440705
May 5, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
250 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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USD $44.95

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Book Description

For over 300 years, murderers in the United States and Canada could avoid prosecution by successfully disposing of the body of their victim. No-Body Homicides: The Evolution of Investigation and Prosecution examines how police and prosecutors have become more successful in obtaining convictions for homicide when the remains of the victim are unavailable as evidence. Based on an examination of over 600 cases in the United States and Canada, this book shows the length some killers will go to avoid punishment and the determination of police and prosecutors to bring them to justice.

No-Body Homicides provides the reader with a historical overview of prosecutions in which a killer destroyed or hid the body of the victim. It explains why prosecutions were once extremely rare, and how legal, attitudinal, and technical changes have made them more common. The book also explores how the logic of no-body homicide prosecutions differs from body-present homicides. It allows police and prosecutors to draw on the accumulated experience of hundreds of prosecutions. For criminology students, it provides fascinating insights into the process of investigating and prosecuting homicides – as well as a glimpse into the motivations and practices of killers who are so determined to avoid punishment that they remove the bodies of their victims.

No-Body Homicides will be of practical interest to police or prosecutors confronted with a missing persons case that could be sinister. It is also written to be appropriate as a supplementary text in an undergraduate criminology class or for an aficionado of "True Crime."

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Homicides and Missing Bodies
  2. Gone but not Dead
  3. Opening the Door to Prosecuting No-Body Homicides
  4. "Till Death Do Us Part": Intimate Partner Homicides and Body Disposal
  5. Missing Are the Children: Disposing the Most Vulnerable
  6. Societies Expendables: Sex Trade Workers and No-Body Homicides
  7. Killing in Volume: Serial Killers and Body Disposal
  8. Murder Incorporated and Its Imitators: Criminal Gangs and Body Disposal
  9. Mid-Live Crisis, Murder, and Body Disposal
  10. Deadly Synergies: Combinations Causing Homicide and Body Disposal
  11. Black Box Explanations and Prosecuting No-Body Homicides
  12. Explaining Success: Why Have No-Body Convictions Become More Common
  13. Bodily Secrets: Negotiating Over Disclosure of Body Locations
  14. "Only in Canada, Eh?": Mr. Big and No-Body Investigations
  15. Prosecutorial Misfires: Unsuccessful Prosecutions in No-Body Cases
  16. Results and Prospects for No-Body Homicide Prosecutions
  17. Appendix: "True Crime" Accounts of No-Body Homicides
  18. Index

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Mark Stobbe teaches Sociology at Lakeland College in Lloydminster, Canada. He is the author of The "Mr. Big" Sting: The Cases, The Killers, the Controversial Confessions and Lessons From Remand.


"A very strong addition to a rapidly growing and evolving field of criminology: no-body murder investigations and prosecutions."

Thomas A. (Tad) DiBiase, author of No-Body Homicide Cases: A Practical Guide to Investigating, Prosecuting, and Winning Cases When the Victim Is Missing