n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Modus operandi, signature and fantasy as distinctive behaviour : fundamental considerations in the case linkage of child rape cases

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



This article explores the intricacies of modus operandi, signature and fantasy as distinctive behaviour in stranger rape cases involving child victims that were reported in Port Elizabeth, which were analysed by means of a rape matrix. The authors identified distinctive behaviour of offenders in two possible rape series' involving child victims. Consequently, the authors probe whether a more comprehensive investigation, which reflects an understanding of modus operandi, signature and fantasy behaviour, could have determined if both rape series were perpetrated by the same offender. The article, furthermore, explores examples of reported cases to illustrate how modus operandi, signature or fantasy can manifest amongst offenders, and, should this behaviour recur in a subsequent case, could be indicative of the same offender committing the crime. The findings suggest that the presence of these distinct behaviours in conjunction with aspects such as the geographic location and time of the rapes could be indicative of serial rape activity. The results obtained from the child rape cases in this study contribute to a practical understanding of how distinctive behaviour, indicative of serial rape activity, can be identified by practitioners, who provide response and investigative service to sexually abused children in a professional capacity, such as police officials, social workers and psychologists.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error