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Crime Scene Calling Cards

A signature is defined as the name of a person as written by himself or herself: a distinctive mark or characteristic indicating identity. Signatures are not solely the purview of murderers but are also often used by serial rapists and stalkers. The signature provides the offender with a greater sense of power, control, and fantasy fulfillment. Signature killers leave evidence at the scene of the crime that indicates identifying personality traits and behavioral patterns. Most signature killers are serial murderers. Some signature behaviors are postmortem activities, for example, mutilation, dismemberment, and sexual activity with a dead victim; but often, the distinctive pattern occurs prior to or during the actual act of murder. The information derived from such evidence becomes one of the ...

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