III. Method

  • Tia A. Hoffer
  • Joy Lynn E. Shelton
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)


Inclusion criteria requirements for the study were the following: (1) The offender was under investigation for a child sex crime at the time of his death, (2) the offender was aware that he was being investigated, and (3) the offender’s death was officially ruled a suicide or involved a suicide-by-cop scenario, as determined by a coroner, medical examiner, or through investigative records. A child sex crime was defined as receiving, possessing, distributing, or producing child pornography, traveling to have sex with a minor, or sexually molesting a child(ren). One hundred and six active investigations between 1998 and 2010 were examined in this study. Cases were primarily identified through the FBI’s internal Automated Case Support (ACS) database with additional cases provided by local and state law enforcement agencies. Cases represented 39 FBI field offices and 32 states. The method of identifying subjects included using query terms such as “suicide,” “death,” “killed,” and “self-harm.”


Query Term Child Pornography Arrest Warrant Close Associate Suicide Note 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tia A. Hoffer
    • 1
  • Joy Lynn E. Shelton
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal Bureau of InvestigationQuanticoUSA

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