Onderzoeken van een moordzaak: hoe werkt dat?

When a murder occurs, the police initiate various investigations: a criminal investigation and a forensic examination. 'Forensic' means 'judicial,' so this examination serves as preparation for a trial.

But how does such a murder investigation work? Below, you can read about the key steps.

Forensic Examination

Naturally, the police want to determine precisely what happened and how the events unfolded. A forensic or technical investigator searches for evidence at the crime scene, collecting more information. The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) subsequently examines this evidence in the laboratory. This includes items such as cigarette butts, hair, saliva, semen, blood, shoeprints, and fingerprints. They investigate whether the evidence is related to a potential suspect. Based on the forensic examination, the police establish certain possible scenarios on which they then build their investigation.

Forensic Pathology

The victim is also extensively examined. Investigators check if the victim died naturally or as a result of a crime. A forensic pathologist can determine the cause of death based on certain characteristics of the body, revealing if the victim was murdered and in what manner.

Official Report

Using the information from the forensic examination, the police continue the search for other clues. They apprehend potential suspects, interview witnesses, and analyze the crime with other experts. This responsibility falls to the tactical investigation team. All this information is compiled by the police into an official report.

The Public Prosecutor's Office

The investigation falls under the jurisdiction of the Public Prosecutor's Office. A public prosecutor oversees the police investigation. This officer ensures that the investigation is fair, thorough, and correct. In certain cases, the public prosecutor also directly manages the investigation, primarily in serious crimes like murder.

The Criminal Procedure

When there is suspicion that someone has committed a criminal offense, the criminal procedure begins, including the criminal investigation. You can read about how this process unfolds here.

Solve a Murder Yourself?

Think you have what it takes to solve a murder? Check out our open murder cases to solve independently or as a team.

Department of National Criminal Investigative Services

At the Department of National Criminal Investigative Services (DNCIS), you can solve a realistic murder case as a civilian. You will receive access to the online crime database with the online case file, photos, autopsy reports, and videos of interrogations and security camera footage. You can start a murder case 7 days a week, 24 hours a day by signing up for one.


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