The Case of the Body in the Bag

While fishing on a river one spring morning, Robert
Donkin slipped through the underbrush that lined the river’s
banks. Nearing the shore, he saw a large canvas bag
floating in the water, held by foliage that leaned over the
river. Upon closer inspection, Mr. Donkin observed what
he believed to be hair floating through the bag’s opening.
Marking the spot of his discovery, the fisherman fetched
the authorities.
Preliminary investigation at the scene revealed a
body in the bag. Unfortunately, it was impossible to identify
the corpse’s sex, age, or race immediately. Forensics
was assigned to identify the victim and estimate the cause
and time of death. While waiting for the forensics analysis,
you, the detective in charge, have gathered the information
shown in the tables concerning victim–offender relationships
from recent reports from the FBI.
Using the information contained in the tables, you
develop a preliminary profile of the victim and offender
by determining the likelihood that the:
1. Offender is at least 18.
2. Offender is white.
3. Offender is male.
4. Victim is a white female.
5. Victim is either white or female.
6. Victim and offender are from the same age category.
7. Victim and offender are from different age categories.
8. Victim and offender are of the same race.
9. Victim and offender are of different races.
10. Victim and offender are of the same sex.
11. Victim and offender are of different sexes.
12. Without knowing the contents of the forensic team’s
report, what is your best prediction of the age, race,
and sex of the victim? Explain your reasoning.
13. What is your best prediction as to the age, race, and
sex of the offender? Explain your reasoning.
Soon after you finished this analysis, the preliminary
forensics report was delivered. Although no identification
had been made, the autopsy suggested that the cause of
death was blunt-force trauma and the body had been in the
water at least 2 weeks. The victim was a white female with
blonde hair, estimated as being in her mid-thirties, showed
no signs of having had children, and was wearing no jewelry.
Age of Offender
Age of Victim Less Than 18 At Least 18 Unknown
Less than 18 124 619 39
At least 18 290 5628 480
Unknown 4 80 21
Sex of Offender
Sex of Victim Male Female Unknown
Male 4710 490 89
Female 1735 150 24
Unknown 50 11 26
Race of Offender
Race of Victim White Black Other Unknown
White 3026 573 53 57
Black 208 3034 12 49
Other 54 28 97 7
Unknown 30 27 4 26
Race of Offender
Sex of Victim White Black Other Unknown
Male 2162 2935 103 89
Female 1126 700 59 24
Unknown 30 27 4 26
Sex of Offender
Race of Victim Male Female Unknown
White 3322 330 57
Black 2964 290 49
Other 159 20 7
Unknown 50 11 26
Sex
Race of Victim Male Female Unknown
White 5067 1883 6
Black 6294 1126 1
Other 301 105 0
Unknown 131 42 34
Source: Uniform Crime Reports: Crime in the United States
Case Study The Case of the Body in the Bag
PROJECT 1
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Based on this new information, you develop a new
offender profile by determining the likelihood that the:
14. Offender is at least 18.
15. Offender is white.
16. Offender is male.
17. Victim and offender are from the same age category.
18. Victim and offender are from different age categories.
19. Victim and offender are of the same race.
20. Victim and offender are of different races.
21. Victim and offender are of the same sex.
22. Victim and offender are of different sexes.
23. What is your best prediction of the age, race, and sex
of the offender? Explain your reasoning.
24. Did your answers to the offender questions change
once you knew the age, race, and sex of the victim?
Explain.
Suppose that 45% of murder victims were known to
be related to or acquainted with the offender, that 15%
were murdered by an unrelated stranger, and that for 40%
of victims relationship to their killer is unknown. Based
on all the information available, complete your offender
profile for this case.

 

 

 

Sample Solution

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