Added: October 3, 2015 – Last updated: October 3, 2015


Authors: Claas T. Buschmann, Marion Unger, Juliane Jarmer, and Michael Tsokos

Title: Sexual homicides in Berlin, 1990 – 2010

Subtitle: -

Journal: European Journal of Forensic Sciences

Volume: 2

Issue: 3

Year: July-August 2015 (Received: April 28, 2015, Accepted: May 28, 2015, Published: July 15, 2015)

Pages: 7 pages

ISSN: 2148-5798 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 2149-0317 – Find a Library: WordCat


Keywords: 20th Century, 21st Century | European History: German History | Victims: Homicide



* ResearchGate (Free Access)

* ScopeMed (Free Access)



Claas T. Buschmann, Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Charité - Universitätsmedizin BerlinResearchGate

Michael Tsokos, Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Abstract: »Background: Sexual homicide is set apart from other forms of homicide because of its primary sexual intent. The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate sexual homicides with regard to forensic and criminological aspects, using findings on the crimes, perpetrators, victims, their relationships, motifs, and sequence of events to provide an in-depth analysis of sexual homicide in Berlin. Methods: Sexual homicides in a 20-year period were examined in a retrospective analysis of autopsy reports and, if available, police and prosecutor investigation files, and court documents (n = 43,450). Results: A total of 41 sexual homicide cases (0.09%) were identified, with 41 victims and 31 offenders. Ten cases remained unsolved. In most cases, a single offender killed a single victim. It was found that 48.8% of the victims and 54% of the offenders were intoxicated at the time of the offence. In 48.4% of cases in which perpetrators were identified, the victims and offenders had known each other for a long period prior to the crime. Victims: The victims were 31 women (76%), 5 men (12%), and 5 children (12%; 3 girls and 2 boys [5-17 years]); 85% were German. The average age was 37.8 years, and 46.3% of the victims fell into a category of “low risk” of becoming a victim of a violent crime. In 80.5% of cases, the victim was found at the crime scene, and more than one-third of victims were killed in their own home. In the majority of cases, death was caused by multiple injuries most commonly blunt trauma (66%), penetrating trauma (46%), strangulation (44%), and genital and anal injuries. The majority of extragenital injuries were to the head and neck. Offenders: Of the offenders, 78% were aged between 20 and 35 years. Four offenders sexually manipulated the victim’s body after death. In nine cases, the victims’ injuries indicated a pattern of “overkill.” Offenders frequently displayed unfavorable social background characteristics. Conclusions: Sexual homicides are still rarely encountered in forensic autopsies. Certain patterns of offenders’ behavior can be highly characteristic, i.e., carrying the murder weapon before the incident, using excessive force (“overkill”), sexual manipulation of the body, removal of evidence, purposeful alteration of the crime scene (“staging”), expressions of remorse (“undoing”), or disposal of the body. Appropriate interpretation of these behavioral patterns can aid offender profiling and identification.« (Source: European Journal of Forensic Sciences)


  Introduction (p. 1)
  Methods (p. 2)
  Results (p. 2)
    Victims (p. 2)
    Risk of Becoming a Victim of a Violent Crime (p. 2)
    Offenders (p. 2)
    Relationship between Victim and Offender Prior to the Crime (p. 2)
    Offenders' Behavior after the Killing (p. 2)
    Sexual Homicides (p. 3)
      Temporal distribution (p. 3)
      Crime scene (p. 3)
      Victim clothing (p. 4)
      Injury pattern and cause of death (p. 4)
      Sexually motivated postmortem alterations (p. 4)
    Individual Cases (p. 4)
      Case 1 (p. 4)
      Case 2 (p. 5)
      Case 3 (p. 5)
      Case 4 (p. 5)
      Case 5 (p. 5)
  Discussion (p. 5)
  References (p. 7)