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M.O. v patterns of behavior

Posted by Karl on November 01, 2002

In Reply to: M.O. posted by R. Berg on November 01, 2002

We are basing this on the original discussion as M.O. as applied to criminals. This is a "term of art", rather like when discussing wine, "white" has nothing to do with the color of milk. You can cite any number of references that indicate white is a shade that closely resembles the color of milk, but in a discussion of wine, they are irrelevant, as are dictionary definitions of modus operandi in discussing criminals and their acts. In police investigations, M.O. is seperate from patterns of behavior.

For instance, a serial killer might pick up hitchhikers then strangle his victims manually. These are facets of his M.O. He might follow every crime with writing or calling to taunt the police. This is a pattern of behavior, not a part of his M.O.