Today’s Investigative Special Report September 3, 2012 “Dealing With Today’s Law Enforcement Specialized Investigations” “What Is The Response By Law Enforcement When There Is No Evidence?”

By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

In the major crimes division in law enforcement agencies the responsibilities of the multiple criminal investigation units face the problem that a crime has occurred and there was no evidence left at the crime scene.
Soldiers of the United States Army Criminal In...
Soldiers of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Division inspecting a crime scene. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Generally, the perpetrator commits a crime and during the commission of the crime there is physical, biological, or trace evidence left at the crime scene. Some type of evidence which may link the perpetrator to the crime. Eventually, being identified, located, arrested, prosecuted, and put in prison.

With the assistance and availability to the numerous police television shows, books, journals, articles, research, and other forensic crime scene topics the perpetrator can obtain the necessary information of what to do and not to do when committing a major crime.

There is no such thing as a perfect murder as sooner or later the perpetrator will make a mistake either about the crime he committed or being apprehended for committing another crime. The domino effect occurs when the perpetrator utilizing his general method of operandi is connected to similar crimes which have occurred over a period of time. Sometimes there is evidence linking him back to the other crimes, but sometimes confessing to the majority of crimes or the crime he was just apprehended for committing.

The need to be recognized for what he had done comes out of knowing where and when the perpetrator believes others should know what he has done. He wants his activities, actions, success, ingenuity, initiative, and Robin Hood type criminal actions known to his family and friends.

The need to tell someone becomes a strong internal desire. So desirable that the perpetrator may commit another crime for the notoriety amongst his social network, maybe bragging about a crime he didn’t commit. The possibility that he will be caught may come about because he simply can’t keep his mouth shut.

Being intelligent and competent in how to handle a crime scene to commit a crime probably comes easy to him. Unfortunately, the evidence he leaves not at the scene but hours later is when he talks about his criminal accomplishments.

The show the “Dumbest Criminal” always brings a big laugh as it demonstrated just how some criminals fail to provide for a plan if something goes sideways during the commission of the crime. The perpetrator can never predict what the victim or witness will do while the crime is occurring.

Recently, two perpetrators entered a specialized business where you can rent a desk and computer i.e. an Internet café. Unfortunately, for these two individuals a man in his 70’s was armed with a handgun and began firing at them. These two individuals attempted to run out th
Rigoberto Alpizar crime scene photo
Rigoberto Alpizar crime scene photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
e same door they came in and were shot as they tried to flee.

It goes to show you that sometimes there is justice, which occurs when a perpetrator is made to take responsibility during the commission of the crime he is committing or just committed.

There are many reasons why perpetrators commit the crime and then later are apprehended and then confess. The linkage from committing the crime, leaving no evidence to connect them to the crime, then later telling others he committed the crime, then the perpetrator is apprehended for committing the crime by law enforcement, begs you to ask many questions about why someone would go to all the trouble of covering their tracks, but later confessing to the crime to others?

The suggested answer to the above question comes down to the emotional state of mind which is created after the perpetrator committed the crime. Anxiety is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary in several ways: a: painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill b: fearful concern or interest c: a cause of anxiety; 2: an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it.

The reason and definition of ‘anxiety’ may be one of the reasons why a perpetrator would want to tell someone they committed a crime is the need to relieve themselves of the anxiety and stress that the crime has impacted their soul. The need to reduce their anxiety and stress is psychologically a necessity, significant, and healthy steps for the perpetrator.

There are a variety of reasons what stress and anxiety mean to an individual. When you are stressed and full of anxiety, you may have problems with your abdomen, have headaches, and muscle tightness or pain. Further, your stress and anxiety may create an unhealthy reaction until it is relieved or reduced. Signs of stress and anxiety could be a faster heart rate, skipped heartbeats, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling, dizziness, frequent need to go to the bathroom, dry mouth, and problems swallowing.

These psychological and physiological responses create situations where the perpetrator needs to find reasons to tell someone about the crime they committed. By telling anyone what they did may be the avenue where they feel better about themselves, either for boasting reasons, being hailed as a mastermind, being recognized for committing a crime and not being caught, and most importantly the need to feel good about what they did; relieving the stress and anxiety.

It is an oxymoron that the perpetrator, who has the knowledge of how to commit a crime, leaving no evidence or leads for law enforcement to pursue him and eventually apprehend him, would then have anxiety and stress issues after being successful.

English: A crime scene photo admitted into evi...
English: A crime scene photo admitted into evidence shows the wooded area where Caylee Anthony's body was found. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The reasons are explainable by the studies and research which have been performed on anxiety and stress providing a multitude of reasons why individuals do what they do. Perpetrators are no different. Their minds and bodies react under anxiety and stress which may have not been present when they committed the crime. However, they committed the crime and now they are concerned that they made a mistake and the police will track them down, apprehend them, prosecute them, and put them in prison for the rest of their lives.

The final question is if the perpetrator knew that the anxiety and stress would be a factor after committing the crime, then why commit the crime in the first place. Nobody said criminals are reasonable, logical, intelligent, and competent. It doesn’t take a genius to commit a crime, but it does to keep their mouth shut.

Law enforcement sometimes is forced to wait for the perpetrator to slip up and either commit a similar crime or tell someone they have been committing crimes and then telling those in the perpetrator’s social network that the police don’t know it is him who is behind the spree of crimes. The average citizen will make the telephone call to the police for several reasons. The most important reason may be the crime is a major and serious one and a concerned citizen would report it to law enforcement or by reporting the crime there is a reward for turning the individual in. Loyalty isn’t what it once was.

Description: Larry-Daly_01

Lawrence W. Daly           
Puyallup, WA

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