Murder victims often buried near scene of crime

Netherlands Forensic Institute employees at a crime scene. (Netherlands Forensic Institute employees at a crime scene)

Murderers who bury their victims, often do so near the scene of the crime. This is according to the Netherlands Forensic Institute based on an investigation into clandestine graves. The NFI has to unearth a victim from a clandestine grave an average of three times a year, broadcaster NOS reports. 

When it involves murder or manslaughter committed by a spouse, former spouse or other family member, nearly 60 percent of victims are buried within a radius of 10 kilometers of where they were last seen. 47 percent are buried within 5 kilometers of the crime scene. One in five victims are buried within a 20 meter radius, often in the killer or victim's garden.

In the criminal environment, victims are slightly more often taken to and buried in a further away spot. Most murderers in these circles opt for sheltered areas, such as greenbelt, forests or dunes. According to the NFI, the perpetrators often choose a place they are familiar with and usually bury their victims in shallow graves - about 70 centimeters below ground.