NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Norwich University’s Dr. Elizabeth Gurian has published “Serial and Mass Murder: Understanding Multicide through Offending Patterns, Explanations, and Outcomes” (Routledge, 2021).
Gurian is an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice and associate director of Norwich University’s School of Criminology & Criminal Justice. She teaches about criminal violence and courts and mentors undergraduate students; her research focuses on multicide (serial and mass murder). She holds a doctorate in criminology from the University of Cambridge, a Master of Science in criminal justice from Northeastern University, and Bachelor of Science in human physiology from Boston University.
“At its basic level, this book compiles decades of homicide research together in one source,” Gurian said. “More broadly, I explore offending and outcome patterns of serial and mass, lone actor and mass shooter, male and female, and solo and partnered offenders.
“I am grateful for the student help I have had over the years via Norwich University's Apprenticeship Program,” she added. “These students have worked directly with me to enhance my research by exploring additional research areas, including victims categorized as the ‘less dead,’ weaponry used by lone-actor terrorists, and serial killers who kill multiple victims in one incident over the course of their offending.”
This book reframes the study of multicide (that is, serial and mass murder) to use objective measures, and aims to expand our understanding of multicide offending through descriptive and inferential statistical analyses of different homicide patterns of the offenders. Criminal homicide and multiple murders are rare occurrences that typically account for a very small percentage of all violent crimes in most countries. Despite this low occurrence, homicide continues to be an area of intense study, with a focus on subjective measures and classifications. The research and analysis, based on a database of more than 1,300 cases, contributes to the criminological study of violence and draws distinctions between types of offenders (partnered and solo, serial and mass, male and female, etc.) from a range of different countries and across decades.
Traditionally, studies of homicide focus on male offenders and theories of offending are then applied to females and co-offenders. The research presented in this book reveals that women and partnered offenders have very different homicide patterns from men. Looking at the history of multicide offending, this book uses descriptive and inferential statistical analyses to compare differences in offending and outcome patterns across multicide offender types.
This exploration of the multidimensionality of homicide at an international level is useful for scholars and students interested in criminal justice, criminology, psychology, sociology or law.
“Criminology Professor Elizabeth Gurian’s new book reflects the absolute ideal of the Norwich model of teaching and learning,” College of Liberal Arts Dean Dr. Edward Kohn said. “As a true teacher-scholar, Professor Gurian consistently brings into the classroom her world-renowned and data-driven expertise in multicide. By utilizing undergraduate students to assist with the book’s research, Professor Gurian shared her knowledge with countless students while offering them an invaluable experience in the Norwich style of hands-on learning.”
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