Question

Directions: Refer to the DC Sniper Case at:...

Directions:  Refer to the DC Sniper Case  at: (https://bja.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh186/files/Publications/SniperRpt.pdf) to answer each of the following questions.

  1. Discuss at least three things that complicated the investigation component of this case.  Be specific using facts from the case itself, in addition to the laws that may have complicated the case. How were these complications minimized or overcome?

Answer & Explanation
Verified Solved by verified expert

Discuss at least three things that complicated the investigation component of this case.  Be specific using facts from the case itself, in addition to the laws that may have complicated the case. How were these complications minimized or overcome?

 

            One of the challenges in this case was the fact that it involved several agencies and was multi-governmental in character. Because the shootings occurred in many jurisdictions, including Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, a number of authorities from those states were engaged in the investigation (Murphy et al., 2004). Furthermore, all the main federal law enforcement agencies, as well as police units from two separate states, were on the lookout for the suspects. As a result, as each of these creatures came with their own set of talents and resources, the case's complexity increased.

 

            Another major issue in this case was that it was an ongoing investigation, since the shootings continued even as authorities sought to apprehend the offenders. The initial ten shootings shook the nation, and they were quickly followed by a three-week run of killings. Law enforcement officers were racing to solve the early shooting incidents in order to limit further deaths. They had to respond to new murder scenes with the dead stacking up while simultaneously attempting to offer other services that they needed (Murphy et al., 2004). They were in an unusual setting that was both detailed and lively, unlike anything they had ever seen before. It was also difficult to keep common fears at bay. Members of the public were disturbed by the unexpected nature of the shootings, and exaggerated media coverage only exacerbated the situation. People interviewed by the media indicated that they felt like possible victims every time they left their homes.

 

            The investigation was complicated by the media. The scope of coverage expanded from local to nationwide. The investigators overcame this by publishing their own information and updates. For example, when Chief Moose summoned Channel 9 and the Washington Post, another issue would be the large number of people involved in the case. There were 200-300 detectives swarming a crime scene at one time, as well as many voices conveying what should be done. The presence of many jurisdictions in the case makes it difficult to determine who is in control. They overcame this by delegating authority to individuals such as Chief Moose, FBI Gary Bald, and ATF Special Agent Mike Bouchard.

Step-by-step explanation

            The investigating authorities must improve their emergency management, case management, and incident management abilities. When a shooting occurred, emergency management was concerned with getting to the scene as soon as possible, case management with the actual criminal investigation, and incident management with assuaging public concerns by disseminating information to the media (Murphy et al., 2004). The agencies were able to alleviate any issues by participating in these efforts concurrently.

 

Reference

Murphy, G., Wexler, C., Davies, H., & Plotkin, M. (2004). Managing a Multijurisdictional Case: Identifying the Lessons Learned from the Sniper Investigation. Police Executive Research Forum.