To read this content please select one of the options below:

Sadism in sexual homicide offenders: identifying distinct groups

Kylie Reale (School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada)
Eric Beauregard (School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada)
Melissa Martineau (Department of Polygraph Training Unit, Canadian Police College, Ottawa, Canada)

Journal of Criminal Psychology

ISSN: 2009-3829

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether it is possible to identify different types of sadistic offenders within a sample of sexual homicide offenders (SHOs).


The study addresses this research question through the use of two-step hierarchal cluster analysis and binary logistic regression utilizing a sample of 350 cases of sexual homicide from Canada.


Results from cluster analysis show that three groups emerge: a non-sadistic group, a mixed group that show evidence of some sadistic behavior and a sadistic group that have high levels of sadistic behavior. Additionally, the sadistic cluster was more likely to destroy or remove evidence at the crime scene than the mixed and non-sadistic cluster and was more likely to leave the victim’s body at a deserted location than the non-sadistic cluster.


This is the first study to examine the dimensionality of sadism within a sample of SHOs.



Reale, K., Beauregard, E. and Martineau, M. (2017), "Sadism in sexual homicide offenders: identifying distinct groups", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 120-133.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles