Policy Document Serial Sex Offenders

PolicyDocument: Serial Sex Offenders

Thereare several misconceptions regarding sexual offenders, victims, andsexual offenses in the society. A lot has been discovered about thesepopulations and behaviors in the recent times and this finding isbeing employed to create more effective interventions.

Sexoffenders are a diverse population rather than a single group. Serialsexual offenders commit multiple offenses and do not belong to anyone diagnostic group.

DescriptiveModel of the Hunting Process

  • The concept of hunting pattern put forth by Beauregard, Rossmo and Proulx describe the methods by which the serial murder offenders search and attack victims. According to Beauregard, Rossmo and Proulx:

  • The hunter carries his crimes within his neighborhood.

  • Hunters often operate from the home base and hunt for appropriate prey in the locality that falls within their awareness space (452).

  • By contrast, poachers operate outside their city of residence or neighborhood.

  • The stroller meets its “victims through routine activities” (454). The crimes of stroller are spontaneous although some are planned in advance.

  • The trappers hold a position or occupation where victims bring themselves.


Beauregard,Rossmo and Proulx also identify varied types of attack methods theoffenders use against their victims.

  • The stalker secretly follows their victims and attacks when opportune moment presents itself. Thus, the activity space of the victim influences the sites of attack, killing and victim release.

  • Predators unleash attack immediately upon meeting its victim.

  • The ambusher attacks its victim in someplace where the offender has total control.

Theidea of Beauregard, Rossmo and Proulx of hunting patterns identifiesthe prevalent victim-search-and-attack method combinations, such astrapper/ambusher, trapper/raptor, hunter/ambusher, and hunter/raptor.

-Rationalchoice theory holds that offender weigh the cost, efforts, benefitsand rewards involved before deciding to commit an offense. Theperspective postulates that offenders commit crime because it givesthe most successful means of satisfying desired benefits. Based onthis perspective, it is considered vital to study crime scene, victimcharacteristics and choice structuring properties so as to highlightthe unique nature of varied person-criminal interactions.

-Beauregard,Rossmo and Proulx (453) have identified nine main factors thatinfluence hunting process of serial sex offenders.

  • The first factor is the routine activities of victims and offender.

  • The authors have also discussed about selection of victims and hunting ground.

  • Offenders approach victims using different techniques such as gifts, tricks, games, and drugs.

  • Crime site-serial sex offenders use more than one strategy to bring their victims to crime site. They may use direct, threats, money, or persuasion to lure the victims.

  • Strategy for enticing the victim include gifts, persuasion, money, threats and physical violence

  • Attack location choice-the scene of attack and the screen of crime are usually the same. However, the offenders are likely to move the victim between the locations of attack to location of crime if the attack occurred in the victim’s residence.

  • Strategy for committing the offense: violent methods are used to commit crimes, such as threats, intimidation, physical violence, drugs and alcohol.

Whereto release the victim: victim release result from victim escape,resistance or interruption by witnesses. The offender may alsorelease the victim after meeting his interests or if the location istoo busy to attract people.

Beauregard,Rossmo, and Proulx also revealed three kinds of offender scripts thatare core to the hunting process, including manipulative,non-persuasive and coercive.

  • The manipulative script entails the sophisticated rape tract.

  • The coercive script entails the outdoor and home-intrusion rape tract,

  • While the non-persuasive encompasses direct rape tract.

  • These hunting process scripts help better understand victim-offender behavior. Crime scripts embody a complete set of actions and instrumental decisions before, during and after crime commission.

  • Furthermore, this analysis can be applied to geographical profiling and crime prevention. For example, the home-intrusion rape track counters the myth that home is safer than outside for women and suggests that women should regard the home as the major locus of rape in order to take preventive measures.

Inregards to geographical profiling, attack methods and victim-searchmethods of offenders have strong correlation with location types.Thus hunting patterns can help determine which crime areas are themost likely to be the anchor point of the offender. In addition tothat, location familiarity is linked with the awareness space of theoffender and this can aid reconstruct his mental map.

Theoffending-behavioral relationship can function as the foundation forconducting integrated criminal-geographical profiling. The huntingmodel accentuates the concept of geographical profiling. Thegeography of crime has been given little attention in theinvestigation of serial sex offenders.

  • The hunting model, which is based on rational choice theory, shows that sexual offenders do act in rational ways during the crime commissioning. Beauregard, Rossmo, and Proulx also explored the offenders’ decision making process within the framework of rational choice perspective and documented the planned and purposeful nature of the decision making process related to many crimes of sex offenders.

Thetheoretical framework developed by Beauregard, Rossmo, and Proulx canbe useful in investigating the crime-commission process. Byintegrating routine activities, lifestyles and rational choices, itfacilitated the identification of crime scripts. These scripts focuson the aspects of crime preparation, the decisions and acts enablingthe crime to occur.

Themessage put forth by the hunting model is that criminalinvestigations concerned with geographical and psychologicalprofiling of sex offenders should take into account geographical andbehavioral dimensions of crime committed.


Beauregard,Eric., Kim, D. Rossmo, and Jean Proulx. A descriptive model of thehunting process of serial sex offenders: A rational choiceperspective. Journalof Family Violence,22(2007): 449–463