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Why do people bite each other?
Author: Steve Gaskin,
Former Detective Chief Inspector,
New Scotland Yard
When you see this sign it means a question is
Due to the nature of Forensic Psychology and
Crime Scene Investigation, some parts of the
content come with a health warning.
Answers to our questions can be found at our
“closed” invitees only page
Just scroll through the presentation and enjoy
The majority of murders committed in the UK are “domestic”. In other words, a male suspect killing his
The chances of a police officer catching a burglar in the “act”, is 1 every 10 years!
Identical twins, do not have identical fingerprints.
The first criminal DNA profile disproved the involvement of a male suspect.
Extensive studies show that residential burglars often do not travel more that 500 meters from their
addresses to commit offences.
Both the British Crime Survey and the Home Office Official Crime Statistics show a substantial drop in
crime in 2013.
There are three jury verdicts in Scotland:- “guilty”, “not guilty” and “not proven”.
Every person’s ear print, lips prints and teeth marks are different.
It an offence to feed birds in Trafalgar Square!
10. In 2011/2012, 47% of all assaults involved alcohol!
• Why do people bite at crime scenes?
• Explore the three main reasons why people bite (motivation)
• Give your opinion on a psychological “biting” case
• Compare bite marks found at a crime scene and compare them against 3 suspects
• Where to look if you want more!
There is surprisingly, little research around
Biting people can be broadly classified into
three areas. I will talk them through, in
order of “seriousness”.
At this point, I would like to point out this
makes disturbing, but fascinating reading.
There is an example, later, of a “real life”
case, for you to think about and decide why
they did it.
The “anger-impulsive” bite is said to often result from frustration
and incompetence in dealing effectively with conflict situations
(arguments etc) and is often driven by anger.
This may account for the disgraceful behaviour of the footballer
Luis Suarez. It is bizarre and ironic that his reward has been a
transfer to another club, where his wages will be astronomical!
This can also be seen by brothers and sisters biting each other.
Often displayed in anger, jealousy and the inability to cope with
the situation or episode.
Did you, or one of your
siblings, bite each other. What
was the reason?
Answer on the next page
The sadistic bite is said to satisfy the need for power, domination
and control. This maybe accompanied by tying up the victim;
again suggesting the need to dominate and control. One of the
most infamous serial killers in the USA, Ted Bundy, was a classic
example of sadistic biting.
It can be noted, the causing of physical pain is not in itself the
reason for the biting. As an investigator this would cause some
Our research suggests the principle reason
of sibling biting is:- (a) cause physical pain?
(b) jealousy? (c) attention seeking
behaviour? Did you get it right?
The ego-cannibalistic person bites, in an attempt to satisfy some
internal desire, by annihilating, consuming, and absorbing the life
from the victim. The fictional film Silence of the Lambs is a
perfect example of this. All of these categories indicate a level of
violence. From this investigators can infer the mental state of the
offender. This category, in particular would have almost certainly
hastened an early press conference; appealing to the public for
Right picture depicts a “Level 4” Bite Mark, an injury unlikely to
have been caused by anything else but a human bite. A “Level 5”
Bite Mark is where human flesh has been ripped away from the
Level 4 Bite
• DCI Gaskin was on his way home after a long day at Harrow Road Police
Station, in London. A middle aged woman, has not been seen for several days.
On arrival her front door was forced; the victim was found murdered, face
down, on a bed. Her body had been profusely bitten.
• It later transpired her neck had been professionally broken
BEFORE READING ANY FURTHER; WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS HAPPENED SO FAR?
HINT: One of the top ten facts will help with answering this!