A theory is a model developed by researchers and scientists that covers a group of occurrences in the natural and human environment and has been substantiated by a series of observations and experiments. According to Zima (2007), theories are often generalized and involve a lot of abstract thinking and specific environments. Theories are developed when investigations into a phenomenon are carried out and the results are interpreted. The results will help explain the occurrence of the phenomenon as well as its contributory factors.
When it comes to crimes such as murders, researchers apply different methods of studying the phenomenon in order to come up with theories that can help explain why they happen, who is the most likely perpetrator, and who is the most likely victim. To study murder as a behavior, it is pertinent to determine the type of murder that will be under study since there are different types of the crime. It will also be important to study the individual murder cases in order to come up with a credible link between the murders. A bigger sample of murder cases will help establish a pattern and assist the researchers in coming up with a credible theory.
To study murder as a category of crime, the researchers will need a large sample of murder cases that represent the characteristics of the real population. Thus, the cases chosen need to be representative of the murders that occur in the real world. Furthermore, the researchers will need to investigate different variables relevant to every case to determine their effect on the prevalence and degree of murder (Rasche, 1996). The variables to be considered will include mental and criminal history of the murderer, the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, he motive of the murder, method used in the killing, as well as whether the perpetrator feels any remorse towards the family of the deceased for his actions.
Rasche, C.E. (1996). Theorizing about homicide: A presentation on theories explaining homicide and other crimes.
Zima, P.V. (2007). What is theory? Cultural theory as discourse and dialogue. London: Continuum.