Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder and a Movie: The Jeffrey Lamb Case

What a Dog Will Do

Animal Behavior consultants analyze the problems, needs, and patterns of animal-owner relationships. They educate owners about what they might be doing to elicit bad behavior in their dogs, show them how to enhance the relationship, provide behavior modification based in behavioral science methods, and make referrals. Their aim is to study the cycle of inappropriate behavior and institute state-of-the-art training to assist owners in better understanding the nature and temperament of their dogs. Some specialize in different breeds and can predict the risk of aggressive behavior, as well as determine when a dog's problems are beyond salvaging. In this case, investigators wanted the behaviorist to tell them the most likely scenario should an intruder enter the Lamb residence.

When the expert looked at the dogs, which were typical for their breed, it was clear that Cathy's dogs would not have cowered away from an intruder, but instead would have attacked without hesitation. A stranger wielding a weapon that made the blows to their heads might have gotten to one but not both. It therefore appeared that the dogs were familiar with whoever attacked them and had been in a non-defensive position, unprepared to be assaulted. Only the owner or someone living in the house — Cathy and Jeffrey — could probably get that close without sustaining severe biting.

Now the police turned their attention back to Jeffrey Lamb. He'd said that the dogs had seemed spooked and would not come near him. In addition, only Cathy's dogs had been attacked; his had been safely in another room. Police had confiscated the clothing Lamb had worn that night, so they asked crime lab analysts to go over them — especially where blood had gotten on the jeans. Thus, the next special area of forensics was blood spatter pattern analysis.

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