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: 97964 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Nature and Patterns of American Homicide
Author(s): M Riedel; M A Zahn; L F Mock
Corporate Author: Southern Illinois University Ctr for the Study of Crime, Delinquency, and Corrections
United States of America
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 78
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Southern Illinois University Ctr for the Study of Crime, Delinquency, and Corrections
Carbondale, IL 62901
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 79-NI-AX-0092
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Analysis of national FBI data for 1968-78, as well as data from eight selected cities for 1978, revealed that homicides increased from 1968 to the early 1970's, then decreased, and finally increased again with the homicide rate for 1978 the second highest in the 11-year period.
Abstract: In contrast to national trends, the Western States showed a linear increase in homicides, while the Southern States had significantly higher rates throughout the period. When national data for 1976-78 were classified into types of homicide by victim-offender relationship, the most prevalent type was acquaintance homicide, followed by family homicide and then stranger homicide. Men were dominant as victims and offenders in these three categories, but women were relatively more prevalent in family homicides. The 20-29 age group contained the highest rates for both victims and offenders, although offenders overall were slightly younger than their victims. Both nationally and in the cities, homicide offenders were disproportionately black. However, national trends over the 1968-78 period showed that, while arrests had increased for both blacks and whites, the proportion of black to white offenders had decreased by 12 percent. White offenders predominated in cases of family homicide, while black offenders predominated in acquaintance and stranger homicide. Handguns were the most prevalent weapons used in homicides. Felonies were much more strongly used in homicides. Felonies were much more strongly associated with stranger homicides than with acquaintance or family homicides. The report provides detailed information on the characteristics of homicide victims and offenders, homicide weapons, felony circumstances associated with homicide, and homicide locations. Implications of the findings for police, practice, and research are discussed. Tables are supplied.
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Crime rate studies; FBI Uniform Crime Reports; Homicide; Urban criminality
Note: National Institute of Justice Research Report.
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.