Previous research has treated multiple family homicide, or familicide, as a uniform event. We sought to explore whether subtypes of familicide could be discerned, making use of a decade of Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR) coupled with newspaper articles. The resulting 238 cases were analyzed through a two-step cluster analysis, showing that the familicides can be subgrouped into four categories based on the perpetrator’s age, relationship between perpetrator and victims, and perpetrator’s suicide. The empirically grouped categories were labeled Despondent Husbands, Spousal Revenge, Extended Parricide, and Diffuse Conflict. Familicide is thus a heterogeneous phenomenon and must be viewed in unique terms to appropriately determine prevention strategies.
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