Prostitute homicides: a descriptive study

J Interpers Violence. 2008 Apr;23(4):505-43. doi: 10.1177/0886260507312946.


It has been estimated that women involved in street prostitution are 60 to 100 times more likely to be murdered than are nonprostitute females. In addition, homicides of prostitutes are notoriously difficult to investigate and, as such, many cases remain unsolved. Despite this large risk factor, little literature exists on homicides of prostitutes, and there is a lack of basic statistics and knowledge regarding this very specific victim group that could possibly help investigators. The aim of the current study is to conduct an exploratory study to explore the key characteristics of this group and how they differ from other subgroups of homicide. Forty-six cases of U.K. prostitute homicides are analyzed and compared to 59 male offender-female victim nonsexual homicide cases and 17 male offender-female victim sexual homicide cases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression
  • Battered Women / statistics & numerical data
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Police*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Work / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Perception
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Women's Health