Equivocal Death Investigation

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Equivocal death investigations are inquiries that are open to interpretation. There may be two or more meaning and the case may present as a homicide or a suicide depending upon the circumstances. The facts are purposefully vague or misleading as in the case of a staged crime scene, or the deaths may resemble homicides or suicides, accidents or naturals. They are open to interpretation pending further information of the facts, the victimology, and the circumstances of the event(s) (Geberth, 2006).
Any manner of death can be classified as the following: natural, accident, suicide, homicide, or undetermined. (1) Natural death is caused on its own such as a heart attack or a stroke. (2) accidental death is something that did not happen intentional
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In order to investigate an equivocal death properly, the detective must avail themselves of all the information obtainable by conducting a thorough and in depth victimology and conduct the necessary forensic examinations to establish and ascertain the facts of the case. This includes examination of the weapons for any latent evidence as well as ballistics and testing of the firearms in order to reconstruct and evaluate the event. The number, type, location, and lethality of wounds will be paramount in establishing whether the injuries were self-inflicted or homicidal in nature (Geberth, …show more content…
The perpetrator will try to confuse the investigators by staging a crime scent to make it look like something that it is not (the bodies will be moved, signs that the victims shot him/her self). An example of this could be the victim was found on her living floor with a gun in her hand, so the investigators decide to rule it a suicide. But with closer investigation the victims wounds would not match up or be consistent with her shooting herself.
(2) The second most common type of staging is when the perpetrator attempts to redirect the investigation by making the crime appear to be a sex-related homicide (Geberth, 2006). This is when the person makes the victim look like she died during a rape when in fact she it was a homicide. An example of this could be the police get a call that a man was attacked by another man who had just killed his wife. The police show up and the woman is found lying on her stomach, her pants ripped off and her panties pulled off. The police retrieve an unused condom that is next to her with stab wounds on her