Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Law enforcement efforts in homicide cases focus on swift and accurate apprehension of a suspect. A new investigative technique developed at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Academy. called criminal profiling, now exists to assist in the classification of homicide cases and thereby directs the investigator's attention to certain types of suspects. The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether teaching homicide classification based on the case method as compared to a traditional teaching approach would enhance law enforcement officers' ability to identify key crime scene indicators used to classify homicide cases by primary intent. The sample included 82 National Academy students coming to the FBI Academy for training. Evaluation of the efficacy of the curriculum model was through a quasi-experimental design testing two sets of learners using (a) a traditional training approach or (b) a contemporary case method profiling training approach. The independent variable was the case method teaching unit; the dependent variables were the three most important crime scene indicators used in the homicide classification. The null hypothesis that there would be no differences between the case method and the traditional method of teaching crime classification to law enforcement officers was rejected. When compared to the expert profiler group. the case method group was closer in agreement and misclassified fewer cases than the traditional teaching group. The results of this study have both training and investigative implications. First, the results of the testing of two teaching approaches to law enforcement officers will provide data regarding adult learners’ processing of new information for learning: that is, the use of a conceptual model designed to increase the adult learner's awareness of how to include and exclude crime scene information for making a decision about suspects versus the use of a pragmatic case approach based on eliciting the perceptual cues of adult learners. Second, the results will hopefully increase accuracy of classifying homicides which will lead to the faster identification of suspects and solution of crimes.

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