Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Master List of Murder

PostedOctober 29, 2017

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LEDE: A new, publicly-available database of murders across the U-S could become a powerful tool to spot serial killers.

Randy Atkins: Can math solve murder? Tom Hargrove, founder of the Alexandria Virginia-based Murder Accountability Project, has developed an algorithm he says can link related homicides.

Thomas Hargrove: What the computer tries to do is to identify murders that have an elevated probability of having a common killer.

Randy Atkins: Hargrove is compiling data from FBI and local police records – going to court to get it if he needs to – and aims to make America’s most complete accounting of murder. Anyone can search it…inputting parameters like geographic area, timeframe, and method of killing on an interactive online map.

Thomas Hargrove: You set those switches and then you’re going to see clusters pop up all over the country of what we believe are murders that ought to be looked at for the possibility of containing serial victims.

Randy Atkins: You can do the sleuthing at With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.