Who is more likely to eventually commit homicide: arsonists, kidnappers, blackmailers or people who threaten to kill?

The interrelationships between serious types of crime have been neglected. Focusing on those convicted of arson (n = 45,915), blackmail (n = 5,774), kidnapping (n = 7,291) and threats to kill (n = 9,816) in England and Wales (1979–2001), we examine the specialization and sequencing of these crimes in relation to the risk of subsequent homicide. All four offences have a heightened likelihood of subsequent homicide compared to the general population. Arson, blackmail and threats to kill have a similar homicide risk (0.8 per cent) after a 20-year follow-up; in contrast, kidnapping has a higher likelihood (1.0 per cent). Sequencing is also relevant, with those convicted of more than one type of serious offence being at higher risk of a homicide conviction. Additionally, there is evidence of specialization (particularly for arsonists) among serious offenders who recidivate.

Source: “Does Serious Offending Lead to Homicide?” from British Journal of Criminology

If you’re curious about this kind of stuff you really should read my post: You just committed murder. What should you do now? Perhaps appropriately, assembling that post nearly killed me.

This is an amazing, accessible blend of crime and economics. If you’re curious about what happens when you end up on the wrong side of justice I recommend this book and this TV series.

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