School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)


Albert L. Pace


murder, homicide, killer, offender, adult, male, black, white, missing, person, behavior, motive, victim, body, investigation


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Studies involving murder are often focused on one offender group or a specific victim type. Due to focused research on this topic, there is a need to explore homicidal research between two offender groups in order to compare deviant behaviors of persons who commit murder. The comparison of adult black male offenders and adult white male offenders, their motivations for murder, and what offenders do with their victims’ bodies is explored in the study. A total of 300 solved homicide cases, which consists primarily of adult male and female victims, and several child murders was collected. Such murder motivations of the offenders included domestic, robbery, sexually assault and other types of motivations. These events occur within the United States between 1972 and 2022, and were analyzed based upon 11 different variables, including victim gender and race preference, offender death methods, victim concealment, disposal locations, and whether victims’ bodies remained at the crime scene, or were moved to a secondary location for disposal purposes. The results reveal remarkable differences between the two offender groups. A discussion of motivations, and how white males are “expressive” killers and black males are “instrumental” killers is discussed. Victim race and victim disposal locations are the most predictive variables, which showed compelling outcomes. White males selected white victims almost exclusively, and often moved their victims’ body away from the crime scene. In comparison, black males murdered mostly black victims, but also some white victims, leaving both race victims primarily at the crime scene.

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