Catherine McCarty seems to have contracted tuberculosis over the next several years, and the family relocated to New Mexico territory. At age 14 or 15, Billy the Kid was orphaned after Catherine died of tuberculosis and his stepfather abandoned the family.
Over the past week, I’ve been delving into homicide investigation textbooks and scholarly papers in order to better understand the circumstances which might support a belief that a crime scene has been staged. That is, the verbal, behavioral, and physical evidentiary circumstances by which a criminal offender attempts to mislead and misdirect the investigators from the most plausible suspect. While intentional staging may be present in any kind of crime (from property crime to accusations of physical assault), I’ve been interested in the sort where a murder might be made to look like it wasn’t one.
According to crime scene staging researchers, staging is a common offender behavior. Frequently murders might be covered up through arson, made to look like suicides, sexual homicides, or accidental deaths. Another common kind of staging is that related to a “game playing” suicide which is made to look like a murder. The usual perpetrator of a staged homicide scene is a white male with an intimate history with the victim.
According to textbook homicide investigation procedure, in order to rule out staging, it is absolutely important as a death investigator to approach every equivocal death case as a potential homicide until it can be reasonably be proven not to be one. It is important to work up a victimology on all decedents in order to understand potential offender motivations. It is important to evaluate all coincidences and categorically rule them out as artifacts of intentional offender behavior. In equivocal death cases, only when questions like this have been answered can questions of crime scene staging be put to rest.
In relation to this blog, I found it interesting that an understanding of “weaponized suicide” conspiracy narratives and the responsible “offender behavior” (loosely the serial disinformation efforts of Russia and its proxies) can be enhanced by an understanding of these concepts.