Jurisdiction with murder victims from different States?

As I understand it, local police have jurisdiction over murders in their State. If the crimes cross State lines, the FBI may get involved (or if the victim is a federal employee, etc).

What would happen if several murders are discovered in one State, all believed to have been committed by the same person, yet the victims are from different States? Would the FBI assume jurisdiction? Or would it still depend on the LA police requesting their help?

For example, let’s say five bodies are found in LA, and the victims are discovered to be residents of other States? Let’s assume they were killed in LA (otherwise I assume that if they were killed/abducted elsewhere and then dumped in LA the crimes would cross federal lines and thus be open for FBI involvement).

In the above scenario, could the local police work alone? I realize they may actually need the extra manpower of the FBI.

Hope this is clear. Any help would be appreciated.

Jurisdiction depends on where the crime took place, not on the residency of the victim. If you’re from Idaho and get killed while visiting New York, New York will investigate the crime.

You’re correct that if different elements of the crime occur in different jurisdictions, then multiple places have jurisdiction. If a murderer is standing in New Jersey, and shoots across the border at a victim in New York, and the victim stumbles across the border to die in Conneticut, then we’ve got multiple jurisdictions involved.

For a real-life, but non-U.S., example, take the Port Arthur massacre, which took place in the state of Tasmania, with victims from other states of Australia, and from other countries (Malaysia and New Zealand). The police investigation was done by the Tasmanian police, and prosecution took place within the Tasmanian court system, because the crime took place entirely within Tasmania.

Thank you both, kindly.

That’s what I was hoping!

I used to live on State Line Road in Calumet City Illinois. It’s a red light district and you could always see the police from Hammond or Cal City “escorting” people across the road into Indiana and vice versa. Seems like they didn’t want to bother arresting the drunks and people trying to pick up the pros, or the pros trying to get clients :slight_smile:

That’s what you were hoping? This wasn’t a “need answer fast” question, was it?

Not sure what you mean by “need answer fast”?

I’m doing research for a novel (which are anything but ‘fast’ to write!)

I think the implication is that a person who has done multiple crimes like this might “need answer fast”.

It’s a board meme for implying (humorously) that the questioned situation is present; e.g., “How hard is it to reattach someone’s arm? Need answer fast.” or “How contagious is Ebola? Need answer fast.”



Let’s see… would I rather be interrogated by the FBI or the local police? Hmm…

And since nobody else has said it:
Welcome to SDMB, yelnref! :slight_smile:

The Master speaks: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/135/whos-the-boss-city-cops-state-cops-or-the-feds

Yeah, sorry to confuse you with a board meme. It’s just that having a “preferred” answer (“That’s what I was hoping”) to your question seemed a bit odd - like you wanted to make sure you only had one set of LEOs chasing you or something. Welcome aboard.