Special Issue: In Pursuit of Justice: Advancements and Challenges in Homicide Closure Research
Success or failure in “solving” homicides is often taken as a general barometer of police effectiveness. Clearance rates vary significantly over time, as well as across and within different countries. Whilst significant advancements have been made in the past couple of decades in documenting clearance rates and the many factors that impact investigative outcomes, there is much left to learn.
Despite a growing body of knowledge and major advances in forensic science and technology, homicide clearance rates have declined significantly in some parts of the world since the 1960s. This fact alone highlights the importance of understanding how and why homicides are solved. Furthermore, the research literature is dominated by quantitative analysis of police data from North America. The paucity of research on homicide closure in the global south, for example, limits our ability to understand diverse offense, community, organizational and political contexts that impact investigative outcomes.
This special issue on advancements and challenges in homicide closure research aims to distill contemporary knowledge on the realities, innovations, and challenges of identifying and charging homicide suspects. We also seek to advance knowledge of the most rigorous methodologies that can be applied to study homicide investigation and closure. This special issue will consider for inclusion original quantitative and qualitative research, as well as case studies and commentaries. It is our aim to try to capture insights from diverse regions of the world with distinct investigative challenges. Preference will be given to manuscripts that present original research.
All submissions will be peer reviewed. Manuscripts must follow the editorial guidelines set forth by Homicide Studies. Estimated publication of the issue is August 2025.
To be considered for inclusion in this special issue, please submit a 500-word abstract outlining the topic, methodological approach, and relevance to the special issue by 1st March 2024.