Thursday, April 9, 2009

FBI uses analytics to solve crimes

The Federal Bureaux of Investigation (FBI) publicly announced this week their Highway Serial Killings initiative, to raise awareness among law enforcement agencies and the general public about an important issue: murdered women have been dumped along the highways.

According the FBI: “In 2004, an analyst from the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation detected a crime pattern: the bodies of murdered women were being dumped along the Interstate 40 corridor in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

The analyst and a police colleague from the Grapevine, Texas Police Department referred these cases to our Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, or ViCAP, where our analysts looked at other records in our database to see if there were similar patterns of highway killings elsewhere.

The ViCAP is part of FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime and a national repository for violent crimes. The database—which contains information on homicides, sexual assaults, missing persons, and unidentified human remains—is available to law enforcement throughout the country over a secure Internet link on Law Enforcement Online (LEO).

ViCAP analysts have created a national matrix of more than 500 murder victims from along or near highways, as well as a list of some 200 potential suspects. Names of suspects—contributed by law enforcement agencies—are examined by analysts who develop timelines using a variety of reliable sources of information."

The FBI also released the Highway Serial Killings initiative is helping to solve cases. This is a good example of use of analytics.

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