Mapping matters: geoprofiling application in South African serial rape investigation

Friedo Herbig*, Dion Blair Glass

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Generally, the application of geographic profiling (also known as geoprofiling) is under-researched and its scientific and theoretical foundations, as well as the existing research evidence of its effectiveness, claimed to be inadequate and questionable. Notwithstanding, the present study explored the role of geographic profiling, in the context of the South African serial rapist, by scrutinising, amongst others, the locations of their crime sites. The basic theoretical assumptions underlying geographic profiling, their empirical validity, methods of constructing geographic profiles, and geographic profiling’s accuracy were also probed. Findings presented pioneering criminological insights on how serial rapists navigated to and from their crime sites, which could potentially assist national and international crime investigators with the prediction of subsequent offence locales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-371
Number of pages22
JournalCrime, Law and Social Change
Issue number4
Early online date8 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Geographic Profiling
  • Serial Rapists
  • Commuter
  • Marauder
  • Convex Hull
  • Anchor Point


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