skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 143498     Find in a Library
Title: Murder in Families
  Document URL: Text PDF 
  Agency Summary: Agency Summary 
Author(s): J M Dawson ; P A Langan
Corporate Author: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 14
  Series: BJS Special Reports
  Annotation: A survey of homicide cases disposed in 1988 by courts in large urban counties indicated that 16 percent of murder victims were members of the defendant's family; 64 percent were murdered by friends or acquaintances and 20 percent were murdered by strangers.
Abstract: Survey data compiled from State prosecutor files in 33 large urban counties yielded 2,539 murder cases involving 3,119 defendants and 2,655 victims. Data revealed that 6.5 percent of murder victims were killed by spouses, 3.5 percent by parents, 1.9 percent by children, 1.5 by siblings, and 2.6 percent by other family members. Females committed murder in one-third of the cases. Among black marital partners, wives were just about as likely to kill their husbands as husbands were to kill their wives. Among white victims murdered by spouses, wives were much less likely to be the killers. About 45 percent of family murder victims were female, compared to 18 percent of nonfamily murder victims. When a mother killed her own child, the child was more likely to be a son than a daughter. When a son killed a parent, the victim was about as likely to be the mother as the father. In murders of persons under 12 years of age, parents accounted for 57 percent of murderers. Eleven percent of all victims aged 60 or older were killed by a son or a daughter. No significant conviction rate differences separated family murder defendants from nonfamily murder defendants. Convicted family murder defendants were just as likely to receive a prison sentence as convicted nonfamily murder defendants. Firearms were used to kill 42 percent of family murder victims, compared to 63 percent of nonfamily murder victims. Approximately 74 percent of murder defendants had prior criminal records. The survey methodology is detailed with respect to sample selection, case availability, estimation procedures, coding of circumstances and victim-killer relationships, response rates, conviction rates, and sentencing. 32 tables
Main Term(s): Violent crime statistics
Index Term(s): Homicide ; Male offenders ; Violent offenders ; Urban area studies ; Murder ; Domestic assault ; Violent women ; Urban criminality ; Female victims ; Black/White Crime Comparisons ; Victims of violence ; Violent men ; Male victims ; Female murderers
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
Type: Survey
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Bureau of Justice Statistics Special 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 web site is provided.