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Copycat Crime and Copycat Criminals

Ray Surette
Copycat Crime and Copycat Criminals
ISBN: 978-1-955055-24-6
ISBN: 978-1-955055-41-3
2022/241 pages/LC: 2021051856
"Surette synthesizes theory, research, and real-world examples to offer a comprehensive look at the phenomenon of copycat crime.... His new book is a must read for anyone interested in learning more about the potential connections between the media and criminal behavior."—Dawn K. Cecil, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

"Avoiding the pitfalls of linear causality, Surette shows why media attuned criminologists must treat seriously the phenomena of copycat crime." —Travis Linnemann, Kansas State University


How prevalent is copycat crime? Can we accurately identify it? What role does the media play in encouraging it? These are among the questions that Ray Surette addresses in his comprehensive study of the nature of copycat crime, both past and present, and the forces that drive it.

Surette goes beyond prevalent myths and anecdotal evidence to rigorously define copycat crime and to place it in theoretical context. He also thoroughly explores how the changing nature of the media, especially the evolution of social media, has had an impact on copycat crime and criminals. His book brings together insights from a range of disciplines and a wealth of examples, successfully countering misconceptions and making evidence-based recommendations for social policies and practices.


Ray Surette is a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida.


  • The Nature of Copycat Crime.
  • Copycat Crime in Theory.
  • Copycat Crime in Practice.
  • Measuring Copycat Crime.
  • Imitation, Contagion, Diffusion.
  • An Interdisciplinary Perspective.
  • Crimes, Criminals, and Environments.
  • Copycat Crime Across the Media.
  • What We Know—and Don’t Know—About Copycat Crime.