Database is tracking down killers based on an algorithm

An algorithm is finding connections between crimes and revealing patterns.

Data collection and computer coding can go a long way. Thanks to numbers, statistics, and an algorithm, math is doing what forensics can't, and a database is doing what detectives haven't been able to do.

Seven years ago, former journalist Thomas Hargrove introduced eye-opening data and founded the Murder Accountability Project, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., which created an algorithm from not only FBI homicide data, but also from police departments nationwide—and now is the most complete homicide database in the nation.

His data determined there could be about 2,000 serial killers at large in the United States.

The database uncovered that someone in Atlanta has been strangling and murdering women since the 1970's. This database revealed a cluster of strangulation murders, a scary pattern likely pointing to a serial killer who goes after women.

Read here: THE HUNT: ATLANTA'S HIDDEN SERIAL KILLERS

Check out the database here: Murder Accountability Project

You can find trends based on several things like what when, where, and who the victim is.

Here's an example: Looking at murders from 1976 to 2016 in the Tampa Bay area by shotgun with only female victims, the database find 90 percent of the time, law enforcement had their suspect.
 

 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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