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‘I saw the man who killed Anna Lindh!’: An archival study of witnesses' offender descriptions
Göteborgs universitet, psykologiska institutionen.
Göteborgs universitet, psykologiska institutionen.
Göteborgs universitet, psykologiska institutionen.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human and technology. Göteborgs universitet, psykologiska institutionen.
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2013 (English)In: Psychology, Crime and Law, ISSN 1068-316X, E-ISSN 1477-2744, Vol. 19, no 10, p. 921-931Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An archival study was conducted using offender descriptions reported to the police by witnesses (N=29) of the murder of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in 2003. All descriptions had been collected within a month after the attack, and each witness had been interviewed between one and five times. Description accuracy was established using photographs of the perpetrator, captured by CCTV cameras minutes before the attack. Contrasting previous archival studies, offender descriptions were quite unreliable (42% of reported attributes were incorrect), and this pattern held for both basic features (e.g., height, age) and more detailed attributes (e.g., clothes). The completeness and accuracy of descriptions increased after (vs. before) images of the perpetrator had been published in the media, but only with regard to the perpetrators’ clothes. We acknowledge the potential effects of co-witness influence and post-event information.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2013. Vol. 19, no 10, p. 921-931
Keywords [en]
offender descriptions; police interviews; post-event information; recall accuracy; co-witness influence
National Category
Psychology Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Engineering Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68906DOI: 10.1080/1068316X.2012.719620OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-68906DiVA, id: diva2:1210006
Available from: 2018-05-25 Created: 2018-05-25 Last updated: 2018-06-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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