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Criminal Justice/ Special Topics, CRJU 410-001: Serial Rape

Crimes of passion, violent crimes, serial crimes, victims and offenders. This libguide will help you find the information that Bowie State University has to offer for this course.

Definition of Serial Rape

Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse (or other forms of sexual penetration) initiated against one or more individuals without the consent of those individuals. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent.

In the Collection

Peter Smerick FBI criminal profiler and forensic scientist

Inside the Mind of a Sadistic Serial Rapist and Criminal

During the interesting cases session at the 21st ISHI, retired FBI criminal profiler and forensic scientist Peter Smerick explored the mind and world of James Mitchell DeBardelben. While largely anonymous, DeBardelben had one of the most vicious and varied criminal careers in American history. He was an elusive con artist, bank robber, bank extortionist, and professional kidnapper. He was also a sadistic serial rapist and murderer believed to have sexually assaulted hundreds of women over an 18-year span.

Assigned to the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, Smerick is a leading expert in criminal profiling who has consulted and lectured internationally regarding homicides, kidnappings, extortion, stalking and product tampering cases.

Victim's Story

Geographic and Temporal Sequencing of Serial Rape: Final Report Submitted to the National Institute of Justice

Geographic and Temporal Sequencing of Serial Rape:
Final Report Submitted to
the National Institute of Justice



Data were collected through the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime on 108 serial rapists who were responsible for 565 rapes. The study examined commonalities and differences between serial rapists, based on various rape taxonomies. Results showed that serial rapists tended to rape strangers, that victims were usually raped in their own homes, and that victims were most often taken by surprise. The most common sexual acts were fellatio and vaginal intercourse, and a knife was the most commonly used weapon. Some serial rapists were interested in mutual interaction with their victims, while other serial rapists focused more on macho forms of behavior and on humiliating and endangering victims.

Data clearly suggested that geographic decisions of serial rapists varied systematically in accordance with demographic characteristics and other aspects of crime scene behavior. The distance traveled by serial rapists was influenced by offender race, the presence or absence of ritualized behavior, the use of restraints, rape timing, and the presence of forced entry. Serial rapists did not exhibit random patterns when geographically choreographing their offenses. About half of the quantified behavior of serial rapists remained consistent over the course of successive rapes, while the other half showed minimal or low consistency levels. Detailed data are provided on the study methodology and findings, and directions for further research are noted. Supplemental information on the study is provided in six appendixes. References, tables, and figures.