skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 148615 Find in a Library
Title: Exploring Victim-Offender Relationships in Homicide: The Role of Individual and Event Characteristics
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:10  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1993)  Pages:585-612
Author(s): S H Decker
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 18
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The relationships between homicide victims and offenders and the role of individual and event characteristics were studied using five categories of relationships rather than the usual stranger-nonstranger dichotomy.
Abstract: The five categories included strangers, acquaintances, friends, relatives, and those romantically linked. The research explored the relationship between this expanded typology and individual attributes, motives, and event characteristics. Study data came from the records of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and included all 792 homicides reported for 1985-89. Results revealed that motives and victim-offender relationships are related less strongly than previous research would suggest. Offenders were strangers in 18 percent of the cases, acquaintances in 46 percent, friends in 12 percent, relatives in 8 percent, a person romantically linked in 12 percent, and unknown in 4 percent. This finding indicated that categorizing victim- offender relationships merely as stranger or nonstranger events masks important variation in the latter category. Despite this finding, other correlates generally confirm the findings of earlier research. Tables, footnotes, and 47 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Victim-offender relationships
Index Term(s): Criminology; Homicide investigations; Homicide victims
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.