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Hidden homicides: how many murders go unreported?


About this ThinkIn

Why do so many women’s sudden and unexpected deaths go uninvestigated?

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This ThinkIn is part of a live Tortoise investigation into the number of violent deaths that take place in domestic settings that never make it to official crime statistics. We will hear from the specialist researchers who are compiling new data that tells a shocking, dark story and raises vital questions about how and why so many women’s sudden and unexpected deaths, most often in their own homes, go uninvestigated.

Editor: Basia Cummings, Editor, Tortoise

Our included experts include:

Dr Jane Monckton Smith is senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Gloucester. She is a forensic criminologist specialising in homicide, stalking and coercive control. Her research is focused around interpersonal violence and homicide prevention.

Frank Mullane is CEO of AAFDA which provides specialist and expert advocacy to families after fatal domestic abuse. Frank helped ensure Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) became law and continues to work closely with the Home Office to enhance the methodology. He is a frequently published writer on domestic abuse and an honorary fellow of the University of Gloucestershire.

Julie Aunger. Following the death of her daughter, Julie has just won a 2 year battle with her local Community Safety Partnership to hold a ‘domestic abuse related death review’. This review will follow the ‘domestic homicide review’ guidance and will be published so that the lessons learned can be used to make a difference to vulnerable young women in future.

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This ThinkIn is part of a live Tortoise investigation into the number of violent deaths that take place in domestic settings that never make it to official crime statistics. We will hear from the specialist researchers who are compiling new data that tells a shocking, dark story and raises vital questions about how and why so many women’s sudden and unexpected deaths, most often in their own homes, go un-investigated.


Watch now

Read up
EditOR and invited experts

David Taylor
Editor and Reporter

Dr Jane Monckton Smith
Senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Gloucester. She is a forensic criminologist specialising in homicide, stalking and coercive control. Her research is focused around interpersonal violence and homicide prevention.

Frank Mullane
CEO of AAFDA which provides specialist and expert advocacy to families after fatal domestic abuse. Frank helped ensure Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) became law and continues to work closely with the Home Office to enhance the methodology. He is a frequently published writer on domestic abuse and an honorary fellow of the University of Gloucestershire.

Julie Aunger
Mother of Katie, who was found dead along with her violent ex boyfriend. Four weeks earlier he had told Julie that ‘he could easily kill Katie with drugs’. Julie has just won a 2 year battle with her local Community Safety Partnership to hold a ‘domestic abuse related death review’. This review will follow the ‘domestic homicide review’ guidance and will be published so that the lessons learned can be used to make a difference to vulnerable young women in future.