Homicide Midterm 2 notes
The Montreal Massacre; Links
-Marc Lepine aged 25 on Dec 6 1989 roamed the 3 floors of Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique
for 45mins shouting “I want women”. He separated the men and women and before opening fire
on the room full of engineer students he shouted “I hate feminists.” Before he killed the 14
women they plead saying they weren’t feminists just students.
Chapter 13; Murder as a hate crime
-Familiarity breeds hate but hate also breeds brutality.
-7 June 1998 James Byrd Jr a 49 African American was brutally murdered by a self-proclaimed
KKK member in Jasper Texas. Shawn Berry, James Kind and Lawrence Brewer, 3 white
supremists offered Bryd a ride home and subsequently beaten and dragged him behind the truck
until dead and dismembered.
-Hate crime-hatred, bias, prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, colour, religion,
national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation of another individual. Not the act if hating
the person but that the crime is committed because of prejudice towards a group they represent.
-George Bush signed the Hate Crimes Statistics Act which was to collect data on crimes
motivated by race, religion, ethnicity, national origin and sexual orientation in 1992. 1994
disability was added by the FBI.
-In 2003 8715 hate crimes were reported. Over a third were African American because of race,
10% were Jews because of religion and many were homosexual men for sexual orientation.
-Hate crimes are most likely to occur in the home or a public place, personal weapons are most
often used. Many hate crimes are violent offences but most religion are vandalism or property
crimes. Religious/disability are 40+, race bias are under 18, sexual orientation bias are 18+.
-Approximately 1% of hate crimes are murders.
-Baumhmmer went on a killing rampage in 2000 and killed many nonwhites before caught and
sentenced to death.
-Hate crime legislation counts hate crimes and allows for additional punishments for the crime
because it affects the entire group not just the individual. However some argue against it that 1)
hate crimes aren’t more harmful, 2) difficult to prove hate as motive, 3) first step to punishing
-Wisconsin v. Mitchell. Black gang of 20yr olds beat a white person almost to death. Leader was
sentenced to 2yrs doubled. Appealed saying it was against his free speech and it was passed that
his sentence was increased as what he said helped prove his act was a hate crime.
-1955 Emmett Till whistled at a white women, later that day he was then beaten, shot and
disposed of. 2 people were charged but were acquitted in a bogus trial.
-2007 a 71yr old man charged with kidnap and murders of 2 black boys in 1964. He was arrested
at the time but no charges were placed on him.
-Hate crimes are still common today. Most targeted are black people, whites, Asian pacific,
multiracial groups and native/Alaskan natives.
-Hate crimes do not just happen to minorities.
-Nativists are those who victimize immigrants or a specific ethnic group.
-If a person is not charges/convicted in criminal court you can take them to civil court for hate
crimes as a violation of your civil rights.
-Religious bias hate crimes are aimed at different faiths but mostly Jewish and now Muslims. -Not every state agrees with adding sexual orientation to the legislation but many have. Sexual
orientation is believed to be the 3 rd most common hate crimes but could be higher. Sexual
orientation hate crimes are more likely violent and often overkill.
-Mary Warren coined the term “gendercide” which is the deliberate extermination of persons of a
particular sex (or gender).
-States don’t include gender in legislation; believe violence against women (assume
gender=women) is different to hate crimes on minority groups. 1)crimes against women are often
by people they know 2)violence against women is commonplace, hate crimes are rare 3)already
laws in place to protect women 4) motivation is often not hate but power, control or fantasy.
-Disability hate crimes are seemingly rare but may just be that they are underreported
-Less than 5% of offenders were part of a hate crime organization. They attacked for the fun of
it, to get them off their turf or to show the world their biased ideology.
Chapter 9; Children who Kill
-16yr old Jess Weise killed his grandfather, gf, a guard, 5 students, a teacher and then himself.
-In 1980’s there was an increase in killings by 14-17yr olds which decreased in 1990’s and is
unfortunately now on the rise again.
-Parricide is the killing of parents
-Youth, juvenile and children refers to under 18. Teen, teenager or adolescent refers to those
under 18 but at least 13. Preteens and preadolescents is those under 13.
-Lizzie Borden nursery rhyme says she killed both her parents with 40 whacks axe each. In fact
in 1892 Lizzie who was 33 killed her stepmother and dad with total of 29 hits. She was acquitted.
-U.S. common law deems those younger than 7 incapable of mens rea.
-Carl Newton Mahan 6 killed his 8yr friend with a shotgun after telling him he would shoot him.
He was charged by the jury and convicted of 15yrs in juvie. Caused uproar and he was left in
custody of his parents.
-10% of those arrested for murder and non-negligent manslaughter 2002-2004 were under 18.
-In Michigan 11yr old was charged with first degree murder because the law states anyone under
17 who commits a serious offence can be tried as an adult but because his mental age was called
into question he was not convicted.
-Males juvenile offenders significantly outnumber females ones (93%). Shown that as age
increases the number of victims increases too. Number of female offenders has remained stable.
-Black youths are more likely to kill than any other race and are more likely to use firearms.
Youths usually kill within their own race.
-Child killers are more likely in USA than other westernized countries and the more densely
populated the city the more likely there are offenders.
-Japanese school girl killer was 11 and killed a friend by slitting her throat with a box cutter in an
empty classroom because the victim posted messages about the offenders weight on the internet
-Child killers are most likely to kill acquaintances. Boys are more likely to kill strangers whereas
girls are more likely to kill family members or their own infants.
-Eric and Lyle Mendez killed their parents after supposed years of abuse (17, 21). In 1996 they
were convicted on 2 counts of 1 degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
-Patricide is killing your dad, matricide is killing your mum. Most are adult children but a small
portion are under 18.
-Heide said 3 types of children kill parents 1) severely abused 2) mentally ill 3) dangerously
antisocial children. Most children have troubled family histories. -Adolescent parricides are often 16-18yrs, white, upper middle class or middle class boys who
often kill their father. Tend to kill in a very violent attack often after years of abuse.
-Klein 1995 compared gang and non-gang homicides in LA. Gang homicides are more likely to
occur on the streets, involve guns, cars, males and for the offender to be younger.
-Goldstein predicted connections between violence and drugs. 1) effects of drugs contribute to
behaviour, 2)commit crime to buy drugs, 3) violence is used for territory.
-Male juvenile killers ¾ time used guns, girls only 41%. Boys used knives 14%, girls 32%. 27%
girls use other methods such as strangulation or beating but boys used other methods 14% time.
-As the age of offender increases they are more likely to have a co-offender.
-6yr old boy killed 6yr old Kayla with a gun he found in his home, a crack house. He was found
criminally irresponsible for the death but the owner of the gun was charged with manslaughter.
-Motives; bullied, abusive environment, aggressive/violent personality, mental disorders, gang
-Heide says it is important to distinguish between preadolescent and adolescent killers as
preadolescent are often impulsive kills and do not understand the permanence of the action.
Adolescence is often gang affiliated.
-Newman proposes sociological reasons such as family problems, peer relation etc. 5 specific
causes; 1) shooters self-perception of marginalization, 2) killers experiencing psychological
problems that make marginalization worse, 3) cultural script says gain power/respect from
killing, 4) miss warning signs in childhood, 5) easy availability/access to guns in U.S.
-Willie Bosket laws (aka The Juvenile Offenders Act 1978) allows kids as young as 13 to be
tried as adults. Named after boy who killed someone he was having a fight with as well as 2
bystanders just because he wondered what it would feel like to kill someone.
-Judge decides if a child is tried in adult court but must meet the following criteria 1) crime must
be serious 2) particular minimum age is met 3) must have previous record of offending.
-Questions of mental accountability for young offenders was questioned by a 7yr old boy in
Florida beating his 7month old baby sister to death.
Chapter 10;Child Murder and Infanticide
-Approx 2000 children are killed per yr in the U.S.
-17 and 18 C fathers could decide whether their children lived or died. Infanticide was so
common Thomas Coram established a foundling home for infants/children cast away and
abandoned by parents. Infants have also been killed as population control, religious reasons, out
of wedlock babies and babies with birth defects.
-Approx 10-20% of all murders are of children.
-Neonaticide-Killing of a newborn baby within 24hrs of life. Often by young, single women who
conceal their pregnancy, give birth alone and kill their babies in a nonviolent way (exposure or
suffocation). There is a law in Michigan that newborns can be turned over to any emergency
services without penalty, prevents neonaticide.
-Infanticide-Killing of an infant usually less than 1yr old. On the first day of life children are 10
times more likely to be killed than any other time. In UK and Australia infanticide is only ofsthe
mother killing her child within 12 months. Child is most likely to be killed by mother un 1 week
of life then by males in their lives.
-Prolicide-Killing of ones offspring; includes infanticide and fetus in utero killings.
-Fillicide-killing of ones offspring (including stepchildren and adult children)
-Approx 60% of all child murder are by parents -Approx 30% infants killed were by fathers, 45% by mothers and 1.5% by both parents in
Chicago from 1965-1995. 20% of toddlers and preschoolers were killed by father, 21% by
mothers, 1.5% by both.
-Stepchildren are overrepresented as child victim murders.
-Oyako-Shinju means parent-child suicide and is given sympathy as the parents responsibility
was to kill the child instead of abandoning them. Mother child suicide is deemed because of
mental disorder, family conflicts but financial problems and physical illness are reasons for
father child suicide. If this happened in Japan and the parent happened to survive they would not
-Fillicide suicide is the murder of the child and suicide of the parent. They are generally older
than most filicide murders, more likely to be a biological parent and parents who kill more than 1
child are more likely to commit suicide.
-McGuffrey shot and killed his 4yr old son then himself after a recent split with his wife because
he couldn’t gain custody of his son.
-Men are most likely to commit murder suicide because of marital separation or child custody
issues but won’t do it because they worry who will care for their kids when they die. Also men
are more likely to kill a spouse during the act too.
-Daly and Wilson found familicide to be uncommon among men and unheard of among women.
Similar studies in Australia and Chicago found the same results.
-Children under 5 are more likely to be killed by personal weapons but as age increases so does
the percentage killed by firearms. Approx 70-80% of those 13-19 were killed by guns.
-A CDC study of 26 countries found the firearm related homicide rate in the U.S. was greater
than all other countries combined but was still a leading cause of child homicide in Australia,
Germany, Italy, Finland and Israel whereas 10 countries had no child firearm homicides.
-Homicides of children are higher during daytime hours during the week.
-Less than 2yrs are more likely to be killed in stressful winter months whereas 5-14 are more
likely to be killed in the summer.
-Children are most likely to be victimized less than 4yrs of age and between 17-19. Up until
13yrs old boys and girls are fairly equally likely to be victimized. 13-19 boys make up 80% of
victims. Girls are more likely to experience sexually motivated abduction homicides. Black and
Hispanic children are more likely to be victimized than white people.
-Child homicide peaked in the 1990’s and is slowly starting to decline but black children are still
more likely to be victimized.
-Approx 75% of all child homicides are committed by adults, 21% by children and 4 by 1 adult
and 1 child.
-Killing by stranger is rare but risk increases as the child ages.
-Acquaintance’s kill children; often it is a teen boy killing a teen boy. Gang violence and school
shootings also fall into this category.
-AMBER alert in 1996 in Dallas Texan and stands for American Missing: Broadcast Emergency
Response. Also refers to Amber a child who was kidnapped and killed while riding her bike.
-Up to 80% women suffer baby blues which lasts a few weeks, 15% have postpartum depression
with feelings of anxiety, depression, exhaustion etc but 1% of new mothers suffer postpartum
psychosis and 4% of these women kill their children due to a hormonal imbalance causing a
break from reality.
-Child murders occur more when there are high rates of teen Mums, no social programs, women
are responsible for child rearing, high divorce rates etc. -Munchhausen Syndrome by proxy report fictitious symptoms or cause symptoms of people in
their care to get attention.
-25 countries accept post-partum depression as a defence e.g. Canada, UK, Italy, Australia.
-Children homicide victims are 3.14 times more likely to have gained the attention of social
services for abuse victims. Many cases go unreported and it is hard to tell the difference between
SIDS and intentional homicide.
Exploring victim-offender relationships in homicide; the roles of individual event
characteristics by Decker
-Most past research characterized victim offender relationships as a dichotomy. Some define as
strangers or non-strangers and others classify them as primary and secondary. Others describe as
felony and non-felony events.
-Riedel argues the importance of separately understanding the event and the victim offender
relationship. This is because if you classify a murder as part of another crime it ignores the
connection between victim and offender. Riedel says Expressive and Instrumental distinctions
are best as instrumental describes homicides where offenders want to improve their position and
minimize risk and are often stranger crimes. Expressive crimes are irrational, impulsive, retaliate
murders committed by non-strangers.
-Everyone defines homicide differently in respect to victim offender relationships but Maxfield
and Cook report that “unknown” is a significant category for all.
-Some define relationships as dichotomies whereas others go in great detail. Silverman and
Kennedy say spouse/lover homicides represent an important and distinct part of homicides.
-Parker defined 4 category classification scheme; Robbery Homicide, other felony homicide,
primary non-intimate homicides and family intimate homicides.
-Theoretical issue is that victim offender relationships 1) offers protection from fatal interactions
2) increases the likelihood that fatal interactions occur.
-Although normally non-stranger connections protect us from stranger violence it is often the
frequency of interactions with non-strangers also puts us at risk of victimization because it leads
to disputes and potential violence.
-Decker’s analysis is on victim offender relationships, categories and motives, individual
attributes and event characteristics. He examines motive defined as instrumental and expressive.
Examines 3 characteristics of individuals; race, age and gender. Examines 3 event
characteristics; presence of weapons, location of event and number of suspects.
-Expect to find more homicides when victim and offenders know each other. The more intimate
the more homicides, blacks, males and victims of similar age to the offender were more likely to
be victimized. Primary relationship homicides are likely to take place indoors with no weapon
and 1 suspect.
-The Uniform crime report employs 15 categories plus unknown to classify victim offender
-Only 4% cases in St Louis were deemed unknown in the study compared to national UCR data
of 31%. There are main differences between these 2 in the stranger, friend and acquaintance
categories but once unknown cases were removed from UCR and the percentage adjusted they
were very similar to these of St Louis.
-The biggest difference was in the acquaintance category. It was found really important to
distinguish between friends and acquaintances and not just classify them both as non-strangers.
Intensity, direction and duration determine friendship. -It was shown that instrumental homicides occur more among strangers usually as part of a
felony murder whereas intimate relatives committed expressive motives.
-Approx 50% of all acquaintance homicides had instrumental motives and Maxfield deems them
conflict homicides. Most instrumental homicides are found in the unknown category.
-80% of intimate relative murders were expressive but only half of the stranger homicides were
-94% homicides were intraracial with black being 83% of cases, black on white was 3%. Blacks
are more likely to be killed by spouse and to kill white people than white to kill black. Whites
killing whites were more intimately related than blacks killing blacks.
-88% cases men were suspects. Women kill men with a romantic link or acquaintances as are
mens relationship to their female victims. Women are killed most often by acquaintances but
men killing men are more likely to be acquaintances half the time and strangers a quarter of the
-45% cases offenders were within 5yrs age of victims which is especially true for those
intimately related (but not family members who would usually be older). Older victims are more
likely to be killed by someone they know. Middle class families feel the strain of dependent
children and elderly.
-The more intense the victim offender relationship the more likely a homicide occurs indoors
whereas many stranger and acquaintance homicides occur outside.
-80% homicides had 1 offender, stranger followed by acquaintance were more likely to have
-in 70% cases a gun was used. The more closely related and more expressive crimes were more
likely to use personal weapons or whatever is on hand.
Relational distance and Homicide: The roles of the stranger by Silverman and Kennedy
-The first step to explaining any phenomenon is adequate classification of groups.
-The focus on the interpersonal relationship between victim and offender makes homicide a
social event. Examining social distance is best with love relationships being closest, family
somewhat close and stranger not at all.
-Gillis said that a minor thing a stranger does isn’t reacted to but if a loved one does the same
there can be uproar