Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Criminology

Major Professor

Kathleen M. Heide

Keywords

family violence, homicide, NIBRS, offspring, parent

Abstract

The killing of parents and stepparents by biological and stepchildren is a rare event. Incidents involving multiple parricide victims and/or multiple parricide offenders are an even rarer occurrence. The majority of studies on parricide involve a single victim and single offender. Using the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), this study identified 603 single-victim, single-offender incidents, 22 single-victim, multiple-offender incidents, 60 single-offender double parricide incidents, 17 multiple-offender double parricide incidents, and 15 familicide incidents over the 20 year period 1990 to 2010. Univariate and bivariate analyses examined parricidal incidents involving single or multiple offenders and single or multiple victims with the aim of investigating juvenile and adult involvement in double parricide and familicide.

Frequencies reported include victim, offender, and incident characteristics for all types of parricide incidents. Consistent with prior research on single-victim, single-offender parricide, the results indicated that the typical parricide offender was a white male approximately 30 years of age. A firearm predominated as the weapon of choice for all parricide incidents; however, when a biological mother was one of the victims, the offender(s) used more diverse methods. When multiple offenders were involved in double parricides, however, the offenders tended to be younger and were more likely to include a female accomplice. Only one case of familicide involved a female offender, and none of the familicide incidents involved multiple offenders. Study limitations and implications for prevention are also discussed.

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