Getting the Perpetrator Incorporated and Prioritized in Homicide Investigations: The Development and Evaluation of a Case-Specific Element Library (C-SEL)

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Sep 3;17(17):6430. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17176430.


Homicide investigators in the digital era have access to an increasing amount of data and the processing of all persons of interest and pieces of evidence has become nearly impossible. This paper describes the development and evaluation of a case-specific element library (C-SEL) that can be used to incorporate and prioritize persons of interest in homicide investigations. In a survey, 107 experts in the field of criminal investigation assigned an initial score to the elements. Each element was extended with underlying factors that can be used to adjust the initial score based on the relevance and credibility of the source. A case study was conducted using three Dutch real-world cases to evaluate the methodology. The results look promising and are better than four methodologies currently used in practice.

Keywords: C-SEL; criminal investigation; homicide; incorporation; perpetrator; person of interest; prioritization.

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual*
  • Elements
  • Homicide*
  • Humans


  • Elements