Homicide-suicides are a rare yet very serious form of interpersonal violence that occur mainly in partnerships and families. As both perpetrator and victim die in a homicideĝ€" suicide, data sources in previous studies typically lack detailed information. This study overcomes this limitation by making use of homicides followed by a suicide attempt of the perpetrator (homicide-parasuicides). The authors examine to what extent these homicide-parasuicides can be understood as being primarily an expression of homicidal or of suicidal behavior. In total, 77 homicide-parasuicides are compared to 430 homicides and 161 parasuicides. The results show that homicide-parasuicides constitute a different category of lethal violence with regard to demographic, individual, and event-related characteristics. Subanalyses of homicide-parasuicides involving women and children reveal similar differences. The finding that a large majority of the perpetrators were mentally ill, dependent on the victim, and killed when faced with separation from the victim may suggest that increased monitoring of this group might have preventive value.

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doi.org/10.1177/0306624X09334646, hdl.handle.net/1765/17318
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Liem, M., Hengeveld, M., & Koenraadt, F. (2009). Domestic homicide followed by parasuicide: A comparison with homicide and parasuicide. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 53(5), 497–516. doi:10.1177/0306624X09334646