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Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2014 Nov;58(11):1261-78. doi: 10.1177/0306624X13495168. Epub 2013 Jul 2.

Patricide and steppatricide victims and offenders: an empirical analysis of U.S. arrest data.

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University of South Florida, Tampa, USA


Almost all of the literature on male parricide victims focuses on fathers killed with only little information available on stepparents killed. This study is the first to compare the victim, offender, and case correlates in incidents when fathers and stepfathers were killed. Supplementary Homicide Report data were used for the period 1976 to 2007 to investigate similarities and differences between the two male victim parricide types in the United States. Similarities between fathers and stepfathers included more than 80% of fathers and stepfathers were killed in single victim, single offender homicides. Their killers were adult sons and stepsons in more than 70% of the cases. Juvenile offenders were significantly less likely to be involved in the killings of fathers and stepfathers in more recent years. Significant differences emerged with respect to age and weapon use in the killings of fathers and stepfathers. Stepfathers and stepchildren, relative to fathers and their offspring, were significantly younger. Juvenile offenders were significantly more likely than their adult counterparts to use firearms to kill fathers (79% vs. 54%) and stepfathers (72% vs. 58%). Significant gender differences in weapons used to kill fathers were found among juvenile and adult offenders, with males more likely to use firearms than females. Reasons for the possible differences are discussed in the conclusion.


fathers; juvenile homicide; murder; parricide; patricide; stepfathers

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