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Murder in the Office: Possible?

The Third leading cause of workplace death is homicide; after ‘falls to lower level’ and ‘roadway collisions with other vehicles’.

This ominous statistic shows workplace shootings, followed by stabbing, cutting, slashing and piercings, as the most prevalent fatal occupational injuries. What incites one colleague to kill another? One reason, after doomed love-triangles and disgruntled co-workers, is fraud. The kind of fraud in the workplace where a crooked accountant poisons an especially thorough auditor. The Certified Fraud Examiners regard these offences as: red-collar crime.

The term red-collar crime stemmed from a murder case worked by Frank S. Perri in 2005. Perri’s client was convicted of smashing his partner’s skull with a claw hammer. The client was given ‘implied credibility’ judging by his well spoken accent and absence of a violent history.

Perri further researched similar fraud-related homicides and attempted homicides and delved into two traits which correlated most strongly with white-collar violence: narcissism and psychopathy. In 2010 a study was carried out to gauge psychopathy amongst 203 managers and executives at seven companies. According to ‘The Atlantic’: ‘on a 40-point scale, the average person scores 3 below.’ In this particular study, researchers found that 8 of the subjects scored 30 or higher; this is regarded as serial-killer territory.

Unfortunately red-collar crime is not tracked by the FBI. What does this mean for recorded crime? According to Frank Perri it means lots of people are getting away with murder!

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