Author(s) Messing, Jill Theresa
Heeren, John W.
Year 2004
Title Another Side of Multiple Murder: Women Killers in the Domestic Context
Published in Homicide Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2
Pages 123–158
DOI 10.1177/1088767903262446
Link [1]
Abstract Although both female and male multiple murderers have been studied, little attention has been paid to women who commit multiple murder. Using a national database of newspaper accounts from two archives, Lexis-Nexis and ProQuest, this article isolates an exploratory sample of U.S. women who, between 1993 and 2001, killed two or more victims during a single episode of domestic violence. These 32 cases are, in some respects, similar to cases of male mass murder but are distinct in other ways. Most significantly, these murders are well planned and the victims are largely, although not entirely, the woman’s own children. These cases are examined in terms of the social characteristics of the offenders as well as their relationship to the victims and the way in which these murders appear to develop. The article concludes that especially with the child killings, there are certain common predisposing factors and precipitating events that play key roles.
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