Staging occurs when an offender tries to make the scene look like something else than what actually occurred. The most common staging scene happens when somebody tries to make a murder look like an accident or a suicide. The perpetrator may move the body to a different location or clean particular places. Supposed a boyfriend, for instance, strikes his girlfriend in the back of the head with a tire iron, killing her. Then he cleans up the living room, moves her body to the basement, leaves her body at the bottom of the stairs, and calls 911. Then he claims that she fell while walking down the stairs. This is a good example of a staged crime scene.
Other examples of staging crime scenes include the following:
- A killer stages a crime scene by breaking a window or ransacking the drawers to ensure that a purse is missing in an effort to make it look like a burglar killed the victim.
- A wife underhandedly spikes a drink with poison and serves the drink to her husband. Then she forges a suicide note to make his murder look like a suicide.
- A jewelry store owner, with the intent of defrauding an insurance company, stages a burglary in which a diamond necklace is missing, and a glass window had been broken. He is well aware that the jewelry is fully insured.
- The offender starts a fire in an effort to cover up another crime such as a murder, theft, or even a break-in. The offender mistakenly believes that the fire, which is a staged crime scene, will burn up evidence of the underlying crime.