Dr. Katherine Brown

"Child abduction murders: A description of the victims, offenders, and factors affecting investigations"
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in the Marvin K. Peterson Library.


Child abduction murders are incredibly difficult to solve and deeply impact our society and law enforcement officials involved in the investigation. A considerable amount of scholarly material on murder exists; far less is available on the murder of abducted children. This lecture will provide an overview of descriptive information about the victims, offenders and other factors affecting the investigations of child abduction murders. The characteristics of the victims as well as the characteristics, motives and actions of offenders will be discussed. A description of the victim-offender relationship, the offender's motivation and victim selection process, the victim's cause of death and offender's post-offense behavior will be presented. Finally, information relevant to successful investigations will be discussed including witnesses, canvasses and searches, and investigative steps taken within the first 48 hours will be provided.

Biographical Information

Dr. Brown is an assistant professor of Criminal Justice in the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven where she teaches courses related to investigation, research methods and statistics. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Government with a minor in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993, and received both her Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology in 2005, and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Criminal Justice in 2008 from Sam Houston State University. Dr. Brown's research interests include: child abduction murder investigation, crime scene investigation, serial murder, crime scene assessment, forensic evidence and other solvability factors affecting murder investigations. Her most recent publications have been featured in several books, and the Journal of Forensic Sciences. Dr. Brown is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Vidocq Society, which is an exclusive organization devoted to solving cold case homicides and unsolved deaths.