Criminal motivation

Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Petherick, W. A. & Turvey, B. E. (2008). Criminal motivation. In B. E. Turvey (Ed.), Criminal profiling: An introduction to behavioural evidence analysis (pp. 273-307). Massachusetts, United States: Academic Press- Elsevier Science. ISBN: 9780123741004

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2008 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1602

© Copyright Elsevier, Inc., 2008


In criminal prosecution, the determination of motive is not necessary. While this may be a legal reality, the failure to make this determination is a significant investigative shortcoming, and any investigation that has failed to yield the motive behind the crime is subsequently incomplete. The determination of motive can only be inferred by reasoning from the facts developed during an investigation. In some cases, motive is readily apparent; in others, it is hidden from view. When the latter is true, a thorough investigation is required to put it all together.

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