Staged Crime Scenes: Crime Scene Clues to Suspect Misdirection of the Investigation

Arthur S. Chancellor, Grant D. Graham


In the course of their career, most detectives and forensic practitioners will come into contact with a staged crime scene; a scene altered by the offender to either mislead a police investigation or for other reasons  understood only by the offender.  Staged scenes are possible in nearly every type of criminal offense ranging from property crimes to violent crimes.  To better understand the dynamics and general nature of "staging" this article introduces three new categories of staged crime scenes based on the motive of the offender's scene alteration.  The benefit of understanding these categories is to recognize that the offender's staging actions can be identified through common findings that are often found when crime scenes are altered.


Staging, body posing, depersonlization, primary staging, tertiary staging, premeditated, ad hoc, red flags

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ISSN 1942-7794