The murder count for 1994 totaled 23,305, the lowest rate since 1989. The murder rate in the United States was nine per 100,000 inhabitants. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1995, "Crime in the United States, 1994," U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

Based on supplemental data received, 79 percent of murder victims in 1994 were males, and 88 percent were persons 18 years of age or older. By race, 51 percent were black, and 47 percent were white. (Ibid.)

Data based on a total of 25,052 murder offenders showed 91 percent of the assailants were males, and 84 percent were 18 years of age or older. Fifty-six percent of the offenders were black, and 42 percent were white. (Ibid.)

Forty-seven percent of murder victims were related to (12 percent) or acquainted with (35 percent) their assailants. Among all female murder victims in 1994, 28 percent were slain by husbands or boyfriends. (Ibid.)

By circumstances, 28 percent of murders in 1994 resulted from arguments, and 18 percent from felonious activities such as robbery, arson, etc. (Ibid.)

Firearms were the weapons used in approximately seven out of every ten murders reported in 1994. (Ibid.)

Of the 23,271 homicides in which circumstances were known in 1993, 5.5 percent were narcotics-related. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1994, "Uniform Crime Reporting Program," U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

A 1987 study found that an estimated 6.7 million adult Americans had lost an immediate family member, other relative or close friend to criminal homicide. Of this number, 2.8 million had lost an immediate family member to homicide. (Amick-McMullen, A. Kilpatrick, D.G. & Resnick, H.S., 1991, "Homicide as a Risk Factor for PTSD Among Surviving Family Members," Behavioral Modification 15(4), 545-559.)

A survey of murder cases disposed in 1988 in the courts of large urban counties indicated that 16 percent of murder victims were members of the defendant's family. (Dawson John M. And Patrick A. Langan, Ph.D., 1994, "Murder in Families," U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Washington, D.C.)

Among murder victims, 6.5 percent were killed by their spouses, and 3.5 percent by their parents, 1.9 percent by their own children, 1.5 percent by their siblings, and 2.6 percent by some other family member. (Ibid.)

One-third of family murders involved a female as a killer. In sibling murders, females were 15 percent of killers, and in murders of parents, 18 percent. But in spouse murders, women represented 41 percent of killers. In murders of their offspring, women accounted for 55 percent of killers. (Ibid.)

Forty-five percent of family murder victims were female, compared to 18 percent of non-family murder victims. (Ibid.)

In murders of persons under age 12, the victims' parents accounted for 57 percent of the murderers. (Ibid.)

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