Forensic analysis and psycholegal implications of parricide and attempted parricide

J Forensic Sci. 1997 Nov;42(6):1107-13.


In a retrospective archive study, 64 adjudicated adult cases involving the murder or attempted murder of at least one parent, referred for forensic evaluations are described. Biographic, demographic, diagnostic, crime scene, psycholoegal opinion, and disposition data are presented. Results indicated a 40% rate of insanity acquitees. Attempted parricide subjects were more likely to have inpatient psychiatric histories, witnesses present during the criminal act, nonresponsiveness towards their actions, competency raised, and a hospital disposition. Gender and ethnicity were found to have a significant effect on ultimate disposition. Fifty-four percent of the sample opined psychotic were sentenced to prison, suggesting other factors considered by judge and jury. Profile characteristics and typologies are presented. The findings are compared to studies involving parricide and legal strategies involving similar cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Domestic Violence / psychology*
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Forensic Psychiatry*
  • Homicide / psychology*
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Retrospective Studies