In recent years, law enforcement officials have been utilizing advanced technology in order to capture criminals who might have otherwise evaded the law. We have all seen suspects' pictures on the news or on wanted posters in the post office, and there is even a popular television show titled America's Most Wanted (AMW) that deals solely with capturing those suspects that have managed to avoid law enforcement officials. This crime fighting method has been demonstrated to be advantageous. For example, in 1993, Mark Curriden reported that of the 541 cases AMW had aired, 347 had been solved, and 236 were solved due to tips from viewers. This is significant because 64% of the cases that were aired had been solved with 44% of the cases being solved with the assistance of the public. Without this process, many criminals would remain unpunished for the crimes that were committed. Although the show is beneficial, it remains unclear exactly which features of the process contribute to its success. Using data collected by AMW on a captured suspect, the process will be examined. Through assessment and statistical analysis, perhaps a clearer view of the process will develop. Further, by obtaining a better idea of how and why the process works, it becomes possible to improve it, and capture a greater percentage of suspected criminals.
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference
©2003 by the University of Northern Iowa
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA
Dietz, Angie; Strey, Elizabeth; and MacLin, Otto H.
"Looking for Mr. Bad Guy: How Tipsters Tip,"
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference: Vol. 7:
1, Article 27.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/csbsproceedings/vol7/iss1/27