Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Investigating Attention-Motivated Fabricated Crimes

Every year there are a dozen or so incidents involving fabricated crimes that make national headlines because the motive behind the reported crime fascinates the general public. Recently a woman in Vancouver, Washington reported that she was the victim of an acid attack, where a black woman threw acid onto her face. After an extensive investigation which first focused on trying to find the perpetrator and then explored the possibility that the claim was falsified, the woman was eventually confronted and confessed to staging the attack herself. Her reported motive for doing so was because she was unhappy with her appearance.

There are a number of possible motives for making a false claim of being a crime victim. The most common is to conceal another crime such as a homicide, theft, or infidelity. However, when the "victim" receives psychological gain as a result of reporting the crime, it falls into the category of an attention-motivated crime.

The Investigation - While all reported crimes must be initially approached as legitimate, many false reports are considered suspicious at the start. Perhaps something does not make sense within the victim's account, or physical evidence does not support the description of the crime. In the previously mentioned case, for example, it was considered suspicious that there were chemical burns only on the woman's face, and none on her clothing. In addition, the woman's eyes were supposedly protected by sunglasses which were miraculously purchased shortly before the attack, even though the woman was not in the habit of wearing sunglasses.

What are possible indications of a fabricated claim?
What is the significance of crisscross scratch marks on a victim?
What are the common characteristics of individuals who fabricate a claim for attention?

1 comment:

David Richy said...

This is excellent helpful information about the crimes. It is effected every business and life style.