‘The police have given up’: An empirical examination of covictims’ beliefs about cold case homicide investigations

Paul Stretesky, Kathryn Cope, Tara O'Connor Shelley, Michael Hogan, N. Prabha Unnithan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

While the experiences of homicide covictims are studied with some frequency, relatively little is known about the forms and determinates of secondary victimization among cold case homicide covictims. This work examines the widespread perception by cold case homicide covictims that police have given up trying to solve their loved one’s murder by drawing upon a symbolic interactionism perspective. Specifically, a random sample (n = 65) of cold case homicide covictims is studied to determine if, and how, different forms of communication may be important in their perceptions that the police are no longer investigating the murder. Ordered logistic regression analyses indicate that perceived importance of the information communicated, frequency of police contact, and satisfaction with communication efforts by police decrease covictims’ perceptions that police have given up on the investigation. These inverse correlations persist despite statistical controls and have important implications for the bereavement of covictims and for crime rates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-154
JournalViolence and Victims
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

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