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+ - Database links Truckers to Serial Killings

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Hanging in a cubicle in the FBI office near Quantico, Va. is a map of the United States covered in red dots representing some of the 500-plus cases in the Highway Serial Killings Initiative database. The pattern in roadside body dumps and other evidence has prompted investigators to speculate that the mobility, lack of supervision and access to potential victims that come with the job make it a good cover for someone inclined to kill. "You've got a mobile crime scene," one investigator said. "You can pick a girl up on the East Coast, kill her two states away and then dump her three states after that." Since the program began, more than two dozen killings have been solved and Michael Harrigan, who oversees the program says the program helps local police "connect the dots" to slayings outside their jurisdictions. Though many of the dots on the map now appear connected to one another by similarities such as the killers' modes of operation, the vast majority are not connected to any known suspect and the program's success depends largely on local police departments' voluntarily providing data on seemingly random killings, sexual assaults and other violent crimes to the FBI where analysts can query the computer to spot patterns that might otherwise go unnoticed. "You can't connect the dots if you don't know what the dots are.""
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Database links Truckers to Serial Killings

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