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Reconceptualizing the notion of victim selection, risk, and offender behavior in healthcare serial murders

Reconceptualizing the notion of victim selection, risk, and offender behavior in healthcare... Purpose – Beginning with the understanding that healthcare serial killers differ from traditional serial killers in terms of victim selection, risk and offender behavior, this paper attempts to reconceptualize how the motivations of healthcare serial killers are understood within the scope of care‐giving environments. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the current literature surrounding serial homicide and serial killers, the paper argues that healthcare serial killers, by virtue of their profession, have an advantage in committing homicides that are less likely to be detected. Findings – It is found that healthcare professionals work in an environment that is conducive to anti‐social behaviour like homicide. More specifically, recurring conditions within the work place (e.g. lack of a reporting system for problem employees, code of silence amongst employees) adds to the ease with which healthcare serial killers can evade capture. Originality/value – Research examining healthcare professionals who kill their patients is limited. The current paper provisionally adds to the current understanding of serial homicide. While offering various explanations as to why healthcare serial killers are difficult to detect, this paper also explores some potential solutions for the monitoring of healthcare professionals and protecting the vulnerable patients in their care. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Criminal Psychology Emerald Publishing

Reconceptualizing the notion of victim selection, risk, and offender behavior in healthcare serial murders

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References (92)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2009-3829
DOI
10.1108/20093821311307776
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Beginning with the understanding that healthcare serial killers differ from traditional serial killers in terms of victim selection, risk and offender behavior, this paper attempts to reconceptualize how the motivations of healthcare serial killers are understood within the scope of care‐giving environments. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the current literature surrounding serial homicide and serial killers, the paper argues that healthcare serial killers, by virtue of their profession, have an advantage in committing homicides that are less likely to be detected. Findings – It is found that healthcare professionals work in an environment that is conducive to anti‐social behaviour like homicide. More specifically, recurring conditions within the work place (e.g. lack of a reporting system for problem employees, code of silence amongst employees) adds to the ease with which healthcare serial killers can evade capture. Originality/value – Research examining healthcare professionals who kill their patients is limited. The current paper provisionally adds to the current understanding of serial homicide. While offering various explanations as to why healthcare serial killers are difficult to detect, this paper also explores some potential solutions for the monitoring of healthcare professionals and protecting the vulnerable patients in their care.

Journal

Journal of Criminal PsychologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 15, 2013

Keywords: Serial homicide; Healthcare serial killers; Criminological theory; Criminals; Risk assessment; Health services sector

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