The Importance of Modus Operandi example

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The Importance of Modus Operandi

Modus Operandi is a term meaning how a criminal commits a crime. “It is used by law enforcement agencies to refer to a criminal’s pattern of behavior, or his or her way of committing crime” (“Modus Operandi”, n.d.). It is known that knowing MO of the criminal is one of the best ways to find him and solve the case. For example, MO has a great significance in property and violent crimes, especially serial ones. During crime scene analysis investigators can connect different cases using the similarities of the methods criminals use. Some criminal uses the same weapon for attacks or a burglar has the same way to invade the house in most of his crimes. This method saves much time. However, it is important to remember that MO behavior is affected by time so investigators should never place too much significance just on it (Douglas, Munn, 1992).

Solvability Factors

Factors that can influence on the course of the case but are not under control of investigators are solvability factors. The existence of such factors proves that not all cases have equal possibility to be solved. Sometimes significant details can be lost before the investigation. For instance, the emails with the threats sent to the victim can be evidence and help to find the attacker. However, if the email is accidentally deleted, the important evidence will be destroyed. Solvability factors can have a huge impact on an investigation, which is why it is crucial for law enforcement officials to use case screening and try to get as much information as possible from the scene of the crime. The probability of solving the case decreases with time. “Experience has shown that some investigators are better prepared, through experience, education, training, and motivation, to handle certain types of cases” that include solvability factors (“Case screening and case management for investigations (police)”, n.d.).


Case screening and case management for investigations (police). Retrieved 22 February 2017, from

Douglas, J. & Munn, C. (1992). Violent Crime Scene Analysis: Modus Operandi, Signature, and Staging. Crime & Clues. Retrieved 22 February 2017, from

Modus Operandi. Retrieved 22 February 2017, from …

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