Serial killing is a specific type of a crime; hence, the investigation process is different than in other cases. There are several kinds of data that can be sued in a process, and UCR data is one of them. It can generate a reliable source of crime statistics on the FBI website. The designed database is being used by the law enforcement agencies for finding out the proper statistics. And along with that, the agencies contribute to the database with their findings.
NCVS data are based on respondent reports on different types of individual criminal incidents filed by different persons. According to Maxfield and Babbie (2011) “NCVS is a good example of a descriptive panel study” (p.67). It gives details about the victim, location, witnesses, police involvement and, most importantly, if there is any relationship between the victim and the offender. The data is more complete than the UCR data, as it deals more prominently with an incident and a criminal. While, on the other hand, a self report survey can be a questionnaire.
While investigating serial killings, investigators face several questions. Firstly, one has to understand if the killings can be attributed to serial killing. And after that, there should be investigation itself. In the process there must be a link-up between earlier crimes, and UCR and NCVS data can help ascertain it. We can say that a serial killing investigation is more of an experiment. Hence, there should be a research question as well we have to keep a fixed eye on the result.
For any serial killing case study, one can look at the Zodiac killing incidents or some of the recent school shootings, but one should keep in mind that every crime is different from the next one. Crime investigation is possible only when one reads minds of a criminal. Different types of survey data are readily available in the different law enforcement agencies and they can be used in different cases. But to find out the killer, one has to investigate it with proper care, not only studying reports in a department. Only then a case will be completed. So, along with the data, the active investigation can solve crimes.