Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 351–358 | Cite as

The Nature and Prevalence of Familicide in the United States, 2000–2009

  • Marieke Liem
  • Jack Levin
  • Curtis Holland
  • James A. Fox
RESEARCH ON CHILD ABUSE, VICTIMIZATION AND FAMILIAL HOMICIDE

Abstract

Familicide refers to the killing of multiple family members, most commonly the homicide of an intimate partner and at least one child. This study examines the prevalence of familicide in the United States. Second, it explores the relationship between the prevalence of familicide and the prevalence of financial problems in the United States by making use of Supplementary Homicide Reports data and newspaper reports. In the period of 2000–2009, familicide involving an intimate partner and child(ren) occurred approximately 23 times per year. The majority of the perpetrators were male, who committed the offense with a firearm. Familicides involving an intimate partner and child(ren) with financial motives alone occurred 4 to 5 times per year. The results showed that the association between familicide and financial problems is not a straightforward one. Even though correlational analyses suggest a relationship between the two, the prevalence of familicide motivated by financial problems was unrelated to periods of financial downfall. Directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords

Familicide Family homicide Multiple homicide Intimate partner homicide Child homicide United States Financial crisis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marieke Liem
    • 1
  • Jack Levin
    • 2
  • Curtis Holland
    • 1
  • James A. Fox
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Criminology and Criminal JusticeNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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