Chapter 20

Establishing Motive

The Why of Investigation


This chapter focuses on the factor of why in the investigative process, or the area of motive—the logic or reasoning that constitutes the root cause of the criminal act—noting that while the factor of motive is more important in the public sector than the private, the answers to the question of why can often lead to answers to the question of who. The chapter focuses on motivation related to detection strategy, three motives for theft (need or desire, rationalization, opportunity), hidden motives, and how response to an incident bears a relation to the perception of the motive for it. The chapter concludes the case study of “Thefts from Old Midtown Church.”


Motive; why; detection ...

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