Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation: Practical and Clinical Perspectives, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation

Practical and Clinical Perspectives, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Vernon J. Geberth

CRC Press

704 pages | 395 Color Illus.

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Hardback: 9781439826553
pub: 2010-06-24
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429246241
pub: 2010-06-24
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Remember: Do it right the first time. You only get one chance.

—Vernon J. Geberth, M.S., M.P.S., 1980, Homicide and Forensic Consultant, Author of Practical Homicide Investigation®, and the Series Editor of Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations.

In Practical Homicide Investigation, renowned author and investigator Vernon J. Geberth provided thousands of law enforcement professionals with invaluable techniques for investigation of sudden and violent death. Now he shares his practical and clinical expertise related to the unique characteristics of sex-related homicide and death investigations.

Renowned for being THE definitive source on these types of cases, this volume has been revised and expanded to provide additional case histories to emphasize the essential procedures and techniques on which to build a solid, prosecutable case.

This comprehensive volume is an incredible compilation that exhausts the subject. Vern's remarkable experience and unmatched expertise have given him unparalleled insight into the investigation of sexually deviant crimes and the psyche of those who perpetrate violent sex related crimes.

—Michigan Assistant Attorney General Donna Pendergast

Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation is truly a chronicle of practical and clinical case studies, combined with invaluable investigative guidelines, that takes the reader to another level of knowledge in this unique field. It represents an accomplishment that no other author has yet achieved.

— Legendary criminal profiler Robert K. Ressler, commenting on the First Edition

In typical Vernon Geberth style, we do not merely read of sexual murder…We are thrust into the horror…transported to the crime scene. We live it, smell it, experience it and feel it.

—From the Foreword by Larry Welch, Retired Director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation

What’s New in the Second Edition:

  • A completely revised chapter on human sexuality and sexual deviance: Research versus Reality
  • A completely revised chapter on the Significance of Fantasy in sex-related events
  • A completely new chapter on the infamous 30-year BTK investigation
  • New case histories and/or research added to fourteen of the fifteen chapters
  • New research developed from the Working Group of Human Asphyxia (WGHA)
  • A revised chapter on Criminal Personality Profiling and Investigative Analysis
  • An analysis of the typology of offenders and the "Signature Aspect" of specific crimes
  • A total of 386 full-color photographs and illustrations representing an additional 126 new photos
  • Vernon Geberth discusses the book in a video on the CRC Press YouTube channel.

    Vernon Geberth was recently interviewed for an article entitled, The Hunt for a Serial Killer: Revisting the Gilgo Beach Murders.


    As the definitive treatise on sex-related deaths, Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation: Practical and Clinical Perspectives, Second Edition belongs on the shelf of anyone from any discipline in the forensic sciences involved in the investigation and prosecution of these cases.

    —Barbara C. Wolf, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, District 5, Florida

    Vernon Geberth has done it again with his definitive tome Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation: Practical and Clinical Perspectives, Second Edition, which addresses violent sexual assault investigations and has expanded this benchmark text to new levels. … Vern's remarkable experience and unmatched expertise have given him unparalleled insight into the investigation of sexually deviant crimes and the psyche of those who perpetrate violent sex-related crimes. This book is a must read for every prosecutor and investigator who hopes to gain some insight into the hows and whys of these horrific crimes as well as practical advice as to how to approach these investigations and prosecutions.

    —Donna Pendergast, First Assistant Attorney General-Criminal Division, Michigan Department of Attorney General

    Geberth, with his forty years of law enforcement experience, as a homicide commander and now as a nationwide homicide and forensic consultant, has well served the nation and indeed the world.

    —Judith A. Reisman, Ph. D., author, scientist, researcher, educator, lecturer and expert witness on matters concerning human sexuality and human behavior

    … far and away the most detailed and informative resource a homicide and sex crimes investigator could wish for. …If I can’t have Geberth himself standing next to me at a crime scene, at least I know that his works will never be more than an arm’s reach away.

    —D/Sgt. Eric Schroeder, Michigan State Police, Violent Crimes Unit

    … remains the ONLY source combining clinical evaluation with case studies, practical experience and a 21st century approach to dealing with such cases. … As a police officer eight years and a prosecuting attorney for the past 26 years, I have never come across a more insightful, job related book.

    —Jim Yontz, Deputy District Attorney, 18th District Attorney’s Office, Centennial, Colorado

    … Vernon’s willingness to share his unsurpassed expertise and experience have allowed him to provide the most complete, enlightening, contextual, and current work available (a classic upon the date of publication) that empowers every law enforcement officer, educator, investigator, consultant, attorney, and judge to Get it right the first time. We should all be grateful.

    —Joseph A. Bobak IV, Professor of Criminology and Forensic Science, Mount Aloysius College

    Vernon Geberth has written a definitive guide to aid investigators on these most difficult cases.

    —Lt. Ken Landwehr, Commanding Officer, Wichita, Kansas Police Department, Commander of the BTK Task Force

    Vernon combines his years of experience, analysis, and research then puts it between the cover of his textbooks affording the investigator the convenience of one-stop shopping for the most innovative investigative techniques available. His work saves the investigator hours, if not years, of independent research that would be necessary to gather this volume of information related to sex-related death investigations. As a homicide investigator, having this textbook as a resource when working sex-related death cases will ensure that you proceed with confidence as a murder cop appointed to the imperative mission of seeking and delivering justice for our victims. … As one of the BTK Task Force supervisors, I can assure you that Vernon’s consultation during our investigation that led to this serial killer’s arrest was invaluable.

    —Larry Thomas, Assistant Director, Kansas Bureau of Investigation (Retired)

    In this second edition of Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation [Vernon Geberth] repeated that which should be repeated, revised material requiring revision, and added considerable new material, including 126 new graphic photographs and many new case studies. Of particular interest to many in this colorful, heavy second edition … will be Geberth's new Chapter 13 and his excellent description therein of the serial murder saga of BTK in Kansas, 1974 to 2005, and the masterful direction of the BTK Task Force, March 2004-February 2005, that eventually brought the arrogant serial sexual killer Dennis Rader to justice.

    —Larry Welch, Director, Retired, Kansas Bureau of Investigation

    This book is an essential guide to understanding and solving sex-related homicides and death investigations … a book all law enforcement officers should read.  We should all be grateful to Vernon Geberth, and the experts he acknowledges, for imparting their expertise and knowledge solely to assist us in seeking justice. 

    —Leslie D’Ambrosia, Special Agent, Criminal Profiler, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami, Florida


    This newly released edition is not just a re-print or repackaging of outdated material. Mr. Geberth is constantly researching, updating and charting new territories, when it comes to homicide investigations. Sex Related Homicide and Death Investigation is a book every criminal investigator should read cover to cover, and refer to, from time to time, as an excellent source of investigative strategies. Mr. Geberth’s credentials continually establish him as a leading authority in death and homicide investigations, as well as sex related crimes.

    —Detective Mark J. Czworniak Chicago Police Department, Area 3 Three Homicide / Sex Crimes Unit

    Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation: Practical and Clinical Perspectives Second Edition is a must-read and is the best resource for anyone involved in sex-related death investigations: police, lawyers, judges, and mental health professionals. What they don’t know about the subject, they had better find out, and this book does just that for them. Geberth continues to learn, and thankfully he continues to share his experience and knowledge with us in his books.

    —Marvin Skeen, Chief Criminal Investigator, Homicide Investigation Tracking System, Washington State Office of Attorney General

    Geberth has succeeded in the impossible, and has improved and updated the most outstanding and comprehensive treatise on the subject of sex-related homicide and death investigations. Revised chapters and new case histories, including the infamous 30-year BTK investigation, make this a most valuable resource addition to those dedicated law enforcement professionals, with the profound duty and responsibility of investigating and prosecuting sex-related homicides.

    —Philip G. Schnelwar, former Homicide Bureau Chief, Bronx County District Attorney's Office

    Vernon Geberth has provided law enforcement and the forensic community with a complete comprehensive guide to the successful identification, evaluation and investigation of death and sex-related homicide.  His methodical approach to all aspects of major case investigations is displayed in each chapter as the author meticulously details in depth case histories, procedural techniques and an extensive sex-related crime scene check list.      

    —Raymond Pierce, Detective First Grade (Ret.), Criminal Profiler, New York City Police Department’s Detective Division

    … represents a significant advance in our knowledge of sexually violent offenders and the investigation of sex related homicides, which is supported by scientific research and factual evidence. … Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation: Practical and Clinical Perspectives, Second Edition is now an essential part of the armamentarium of professionals involved in the investigation of sex-related deaths.

    —Richard E. Ovens, Psy. D., Director, Employee Assistance Program, New York State Police

    I have come to rely on Vernon's practical approach and the details that he provides in putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. I use his practical techniques when running a homicide investigation and expect the same of my team. Thank you, once again, for providing an outstanding textbook to give us the edge in our fight against those that prey on their fellow man.

    —Michael R. Wagg, Chief Criminal Deputy, Douglas County Sheriff's Office

    The book goes beyond mere description and is absorbing and intense. … a must for anyone involved in sex-related homicide investigation. It is also a valuable adjunct to any law enforcement officer who wishes to expand his repertoire of knowledge about criminal investigation and the motivation and behavior of people who commit sex abuse and murder.

    —Ronald Turco, M.D., past president of The American Academy of Psychoanalysis and The Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians, former (Reserve) Police Homicide Detective – Beaverton, Oregon, current consultant to multiple police agencies including the Oregon State Police SWAT Team

    I have known Vernon Geberth for over 35 years. He was my number one Homicide Commander in Bronx County, New York City. He always showed dedication, competency, and commitment to excellence. Guided by his principle, "Remember, we work for God", he broke the toughest cases with passion and fervor, along with his comprehensive knowledge and expertise on how to apply it.

    Vernon never followed the crowd. He was a leader who made it his mission to know every state-of -the-art technique, and never hesitated to develop and apply new strategies when necessary. His enthusiasm and skill motivated his subordinates to reach for their highest potential.

    New York City's teeming population with its accompanying epidemic of sex related crimes demands the level of expertise and practical skill that Commander Geberth provides. His book, focusing on both practical and clinical issues, brings into clear view the knowledge gleaned from his extensive and varied experience. This book also provides a vast compendium of sex related cases derived from his experience in leading workshops and seminars.

    His spectrum of experience, brought into sharp relief in this work, should be seen as a prerequisite for all law enforcement professionals in this field.

    —Edwin T. Dreher, Deputy Chief, NYPD

    The case studies and pictures provide the student a realistic understanding of the true capacity of the offender … an endless source for theoretical application.

    — Christina Lane, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Behavior & Law, College of St. Rose, Albany, NY

    … the definitive academic source for learning the essentials of sexual homicide investigation. This text brings the practice of investigation to life in the classroom, and provides students with the closest thing possible to first hand field experience.

    — Dr. Christopher Kunkle, Forensic Psychologist, Associate Professor, College of St. Rose, Albany, New York

    Vernon Geberth has done it again! With over 40 years of law enforcement experience, and a series of acclaimed crime investigation treatise,s Geberth continues his role as the consummate crime analyst pulling together one of the best reference sources for law enforcement, prosecutors and forensic examiners.

    In his 2nd edition of Sex Related Homicide and Death Investigation, he has added vital discussions on emerging trends and case histories that jump from pages replete with forensic analysis and graphic crime scene photography to illuminate uncharted waters for those who work daily to combat crime in their communities. There is no better source than Geberth for his cogent analysis of the mind of the criminal offender.

    If you can’t have Vernon standing by to guide you each step of the way, put this "thriller" in your library without delay!

    —District Attorney Nola Tedesco Foulston, 18th Judicial District of Kansas, Chief Prosecutor of Dennis Rader, the BTK serial killer

    Read this book. Make Geberth the angel on your shoulder; you know, the one who tells you, even when she is not really there, to change course when you are wrong and to keep going when you are right. If you are a police investigator, this book belongs in your left hand … the best practical guide to investigating sex-related deaths.

    —Frank Horvath, Ph.D. in Journal of Forensic Sciences

    "This second edition of Sex Related Homicide and Death Investigation by Vernon Geberth—pioneering criminal profiler and leading authority on crimes involving various paraphilias— is not just "a" noteworthy book on the subject of sex-related offenses. It is THE book on the subject … A masterpiece from a master."—Dr. Gary Brucato, Ph.D., Externship Director, The Center of Prevention & Evaluation (COPE), Instructor in Clinical Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry), Columbia University of Psychiatry, New York, New York

    Table of Contents

    Human Sexuality and Sexual Deviance: Research and Reality

    Human Sexuality

    What Are the Goals/Objectives of the Human Brain?

    Artificial Human Estrus

    Mammalian Monogamy

    The Sociosexual Template

    Human Sexual Arousal and Response System

    Father of the Human Sexuality "Field"

    Human Sociosexual Arousal and Response System

    Sexual Deviance

    Appendix: Paraphilias Quick Reference

    The Investigative Significance of Fantasy in Sex-Related Incidents

    Human Sex Drive

    Photographs and Magazine Pictures

    Fantasy Drawings and Their Significance in Criminal Investigative Analysis

    Fantasy Writings of Sexual Sadists

    Consenting Partners Used to Reinforce the Fantasy

    Fantasy and Linking Criminal Events

    Prosecution Presentation of Psychosexual Evidence

    Domestic Violence Lust Murder: A Clinical Perspective of Sadistic and Sexual Fantasies Integrated into Domestic Violence Dynamics

    Fantasy and Search Warrants

    Journal of a Serial Rapist: A Case Study


    The Suspect

    The Journal

    Investigative Analysis and Opinion

    Sexual Asphyxia and Autoerotic Fatalities


    Clinical Definition

    Literature Definition

    Sex, Age, and Race


    Atypical Autoerotic Deaths

    Asphyxial Deaths: The Pathology of Autoerotic Death

    Reality of Asphyxial Death: Videotaped Cases

    Equivocal Death Investigations

    Sexual Asphyxia: The Psychosexual Aspects of Autoerotic Activity

    Female Victims of Autoerotic Fatality

    Female Autoerotic Fatality Reported as a Homicide

    Female Autoerotic Fatality Reported as a Suicide

    Atypical Female Autoerotic Case

    Equivocal Death Investigation

    Notification and Advising the Surviving Family of the Mode of Death

    A Case History

    Investigative Considerations

    Determining the Involvement of Sexual Asphyxia: Autoerotic Checklist

    The Crime Scene Investigation

    Legal Considerations

    Document the scene: photos, videotape, and diagrams

    Physical Evidence

    Trace Evidence

    The Concept of Linkage

    The Primary Crime Scene

    Preliminary Steps

    Secure and Protect the Crime Scene and Area

    Specific Duties of First Officers

    Preliminary Investigation at the Scene

    Preliminary Medical Examination at the Scene

    Implementing Crime Scene Procedures

    Direction of Uniform Personnel at the Scene

    Formulating the Crime Scene Search

    The Search

    Release of the Scene

    The Search Process

    Sex-Related Crime Scene Checklist

    Investigative Assessment: Criminal Personality Profiling.

    The Investigative Checklist

    Collection and Preservation of Physical Evidence in Sex-Related Death Investigations


    General Types of Evidence

    Procedures for Collection of Evidence

    Field Test Reagents

    Tests for the Presence of Body Fluids

    Collection of Specific Types of Evidence

    Application of DNA Technology

    Interpersonal Violence-Oriented Disputes and Assaults and Sex-Related Domestic Violence Murders



    Lethality Indicators

    Rape- and Sodomy-Oriented Murders


    Investigative Strategy

    Cold Case Homicide Linked through CODIS

    Categories of Rapists

    Typical Sexual Killer

    Lust Murder and Deviant-Oriented Assaults

    Anatomy of Lust Murder


    Organized Offenders

    Disorganized Offenders

    Case Histories of Lust Murders

    Serial Murder



    Homosexual Serial Killers

    The Serial Killer Profile

    A Clinical Perspective

    Investigative Considerations

    Sex-Related Child Homicides and Child Abduction Cases


    Homosexual Pedophile Murder

    Missing Person Reports Involving Children


    Introduction to Child Abduction

    Public Response

    Standard Operating Procedures

    Additional Investigative Considerations

    Cause of Death

    Investigation Procedures

    The Canvass

    The Search



    Important Sites

    The Amber Alert Plan

    Sex Slave Torture and Serial Murder Case


    David Parker Ray

    Roy Yancy

    Legal Maneuvers

    The BTK Investigation


    The Original Btk Serial Murders

    The Btk Killer Reemerges

    Dennis Lynn Rader: The BTK Killer

    Synopsis of the BTK Confessions

    Search Warrant Evidence


    Investigative Analysis: Criminal Personality Profiling and the Signature Aspect


    Criminal Investigative Analysis

    Crime Scene Forensics

    Criminal Personality Profile

    Investigative Assessment: The Profiling Process

    Clinical Considerations and Descriptions of Behavior

    Crime Scene and Profile: Characteristics of Organized and Disorganized Murderers

    Criminal Personality Profiling: The Signature Aspect in Criminal


    The Frequency and Characteristics of Sexual Posing in Homicides

    Investigative Application of the "Signature" Aspect

    Psychopathic Sexual Sadism: A Clinical Study


    Historical Perspective and Definitions

    Sexual Sadism

    Interview Statement of Serial Killer: A Sexual Sadist

    A Psychology of Evil

    Interview Strategies and Techniques

    Case Documentation Of Psychopathic Sexual Sadism

    Risk Assessment

    Literature Review


    About the Author

    Vernon J. Geberth, M.S., M.P.A., B.B.A., FBINA, is a former lieutenant commander of the New York City Police Department with over 40 years of law enforcement experience. He has personally investigated, supervised, assessed, researched, and consulted on over 8,000 death investigations. In addition, Commander Geberth has been the recipient of more than 60 awards for bravery and exceptional police work and is a member of the Honor Legion of the City of New York Police Department. He is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). Commander Geberth is a nationally renowned lecturer, author, educator, consultant, and expert witness on the subject of death investigations.

    About the Series

    Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations

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    Subject Categories

    BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
    LAW / Forensic Science
    MEDICAL / Psychiatry / General