Suicide Among Child Sex Offenders
By providing empirical data and multidisciplinary considerations, the book increases awareness of child sex offender suicide among the various entities which come into contact with this population of offenders. This book attempts to bring awareness of this potentially high risk population to better inform the law enforcement, corrections, and mental health communities of the unique risk factors for suicide among CSOs and provide a more effective crisis response. The Federal Bureau
of Investigation (FBI) Behavioral Analysis Unit III- Crimes Against Children
reviewed and analyzed 106 male Child Sex Offenders (CSO) who committed suicide during the course of a child sex crime investigation. Of the 106 CSOs, 79% were child pornography traders/collectors, 43% were child molesters, 21% were travelers, and 18% were child pornography producers. Analyses also revealed that nearly all were Caucasian and the majority were married, employed, and died via self-inflicted gunshot wound. Of particular interest was that in 26% of the
cases, the offender killed himself within 48 hours of his awareness of the
investigation; and in nearly half of the known cases, the offender had
past/current military service and a criminal history. In addition, 68% left a suicide note, which is substantially higher than the general suicide population. Analysis of the notes revealed common aspects and themes including cognitive distortions, burdensomeness, shame, and self-blame. The most frequently cited reason for the suicide in the note was the child sex crime investigation.
General Suicide Research.
Literature on Suicide Notes.
Literature on Child Sex Offender Dynamics.
Research on Child Sex Offenders and Suicide.
Methdology and Results.
child Sex Offender Characteristics.
Child Sex Crime Investigation Characteristics.
Application of Interpersonal Psychological Theory to child Sex Offender Suicide.
Analysis of Suicide Notes left by Child Sex Offenders.
Considerations for Law Enforcement.
Considerations for Prosecutors.
Considerations for Mental Health and Community Service Providers.
Future Research Directions.
Limitations of the Study.
¿Suicide Among Child Sex Offenders addresses an issue which presents unique challenges to those responding to child abuse allegations. The child sexual abuse field is still quite new within the context issues intersecting criminal justice, child protective services, medical professionals, and mental health professionals. Subsequently, the rapidity of research in all areas of this field has increased dramatically over the past twenty years. Within this scope is a relatively more obscure issue which affects all of the professionals and familial individuals involved in these cases ¿ the suicide of child sex offenders. Almost every professional involved in this work has, at one time or another, had one or maybe a limited number of cases where the alleged offender committed suicide. However, given the relatively low incidence of this response by offenders, almost all information gleaned in these cases is anecdotal, and thusly of little use in understanding the true scope of the issue. This extremely informative book, written by highly qualified professionals from the FBI¿s Behavioral Analysis Unit, provides a comprehensive review of child sexual offender and suicidal behavior information. This provides a great context for the reader to understand the nexus of these domains and the informative findings which have come about as a result of this work. This book is a thought provoking and fairly easy read for professionals working within this field ¿ providing interesting findings from this population and suggesting meaningful responses for both criminal justice and multidisciplinary team members involved in child sexual abuse cases.¿
Chris Newlin, MS, LPC
National Children's Advocacy Center
"Suicide Among Child Sex Offenders: The title alone is attention grabbing. Separately, the topics should be interesting to a wide audience, and combining the two has rarely been done, which is exceedingly clear from the authors¿ review of the handful of studies on the subject. However, the title might seem misleading to some readers. The book actually addresses the topic of suicide among a sample of men who were being investigated because of allegations of child molestation or related charges. The authors are affiliated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) III¿Crimes Against Children. For this project, they reviewed data in their database from 106 child sex offenders who committed suicide during the course of being investigated for a sex crime. The key findings are summarized in this short volume from the Behavioral Criminology series that is part of Springer Briefs in Psychology. The series is concerned with applying behavioral research to the understanding of violent crime and criminal behavior. This particular volume fits nicely in the series of varied topics intended to provide researchers and practitioners with background information, new findings, and best practices.
Overall, the book is an easy and interesting introduction to the topics. As the authors conclude, the nature and size of the sample preclude generalizations. The findings and interpretations would be strengthened by comparisons with suicide rates among persons who are under criminal investigation for serious charges other than sex offenses."
Richard D. McAnulty
August 14, 2013
Vol. 58, Release 33, Article 7