Marriage link found in study of violent killings

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The Independent Online
PEOPLE who are married or divorced are more likely to commit murder, according to a study released yesterday.

This was one trend found in a preliminary analysis of 82 murders in England and Wales, all of which involved a single victim and single offenders. Researchers hope it work will help to narrow down lists of suspects.

Gabrielle Salfati, of Liverpool University's department of psychology, identified three types of murder and likely offender profile.

In the first group, labelled Violent Theme, the murderer often kills in a rage and is extremely vicious. In many of these cases, the killer has a violent background and has been married or divorced.

The second group, the Vulnerable Victim Theme, usually involves attacks during a burglary, the offender using his hands to kill. He is often unemployed, knows the victim and lives locally.

In the final category, Forensic Theme, the offender removes evidence that could identify him. A blunt instrument, used against the head or face, is usually the murder weapon.

Only a tiny proportion of child molesters are 'professional' paedophiles and most abusers do not have a criminal record, a study has found. The report, disclosed yesterday, also revealed that girls aged 9 to 12 and boys aged 5 to 7 were most at risk.