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Homicide Investigation Case File Profile: The Los Angeles Police Department Murder Book

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2018
41 pages
The purpose, development, and features of the "Murder Book" of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) are discussed for the benefit of law enforcement agencies who want to improve the design of their homicide investigation case file structure.
Many law enforcement agencies have an unstructured case file system that limits the accessibility of key case investigation documents and compromises the efficiency and effectiveness of the investigation and potential prosecution. In the early 1980's, the LAPD recognized this deficiency in their organization and developed a homicide investigation case-file structure entitled the Murder Book. The uniform structure of the Murder Book enables anyone involved in a homicide investigation - including other detectives, supervisors, and prosecutors - to review and locate key investigative reports, photos, and other materials, Overall, the Murder Book ensures proper documentation of a homicide investigation, facilitates effective case supervision, meets the needs of prosecutors, and supports a cold case investigation. This profile of the Murder Book outlines the construction of an LAPD homicide investigation file and details the content of each section of the book. Examples of documents often contained in the Murder Book are provided. The structure can be used in either a hard-copy format (case binder) or replication in a digital case-management system. Some of the Murder Book's sections can also be used in organizing nonfatal-shooting investigation case files. Appended templates and sample reports

Date Published: February 1, 2018