Suicide following homicide in the family

Violence Vict. 1996 Summer;11(2):99-112.


Previous research has established that perpetrators of homicide-suicide share more characteristics with those who commit suicide than they do with those who commit homicide without suicide. This article examines the characteristics of victims, perpetrators and the circumstances leading to the homicide of a sample of familial homicide-suicides and familial homicides in southwest British Columbia. A familial homicide was defined as one in which the victim and perpetrator were related directly or indirectly through blood or an intimate relationship. Suicide only occurred following the killing of an intimate partner and/or offspring. Consistent with an evolutionary perspective, homicides followed by suicide were most often attributable to male proprietariness (manifested by killing former intimate partners or offspring following an intimate separation) or mental illness. By contrast, none of the murders which occurred as a result of violence by the victim, child abuse, family conflict, or financial/criminal motives was followed by suicide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • British Columbia
  • Child
  • Family Characteristics
  • Family* / psychology
  • Female
  • Homicide / psychology
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders
  • Motivation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Partners
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence