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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200182 Find in a Library
Title: Homicides Among Chicago Families: 1870-1930
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:92  Issue:3/4  Dated:Spring/Summer 2002  Pages:899-916
Author(s): Roland Chilton
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 18
Type: Historical Overview; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the characteristics of all homicides recorded by the Chicago police between 1870 and 1930 that involved victims who were family members of the perpetrators.
Abstract: The study determined that there were three broad categories of family violence during this period. The largest category involved the killing of spouses and lovers. When the information for spouses and lovers was combined, husbands and male lovers were indicated to be responsible for approximately 72 percent of the homicides in this category. Wives and female lovers were responsible for the other 28 percent. Black wives were more likely to kill their husbands than White wives. A second category of family homicides involved parents and children. In approximately two-thirds of parent-child family homicides, the suspect was a parent; in the other one-third, the suspect was a child of the victim. When a parent was the victim, the child was almost always an adult. Black children were rarely reported as the victims of their mothers. The third category of family homicide involved "other family members." In such homicides, men were likely to be the perpetrators about 94 percent of the time. Deaths were described to be the result of a family quarrel for 41 percent of these homicides. Approximately 12 percent of the time, the quarrel was over money or property, and another 12 percent of the time the circumstances of the death were described as domestic violence. The author advises that to the extent that similar pressures and circumstances exist today, the prospects for significant reductions in family violence are not good; however, some of the pressures that existed prior to 1930 may have been relieved by the creation of economic safety nets in the 1930's. In recent years, some of these protections have been removed. Programs to prevent and mitigate child abuse and spousal abuse have been created and increased. The author predicts, however, that many family homicides will continue to occur in the future at rates not much different from those of the early part of the 20th century. 6 tables and 7 footnotes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Family homicide; Homicide causes; Homicide trends; Homicide victims; Illinois
Note: For other documents related to this study, see NCJ-200171-81.
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