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Pub. Type:
The Nature and Patterns of American Homicide
Subtitle/Series Name:
NIJ Research Report
Pub. Date:
May 1985
In contrast to national trends, the Western States showed a linear increase in homicides, while the Southern States had significantly higher rates throughout the period. When national data for 1976-78 were classified into types of homicide by victim-offender relationship, the most prevalent type was acquaintance homicide, followed by family homicide and then stranger homicide. Men were dominant as victims and offenders in these three categories, but women were relatively more prevalent in family homicides. The 20-29 age group contained the highest rates for both victims and offenders, although offenders overall were slightly younger than their victims. Both nationally and in the cities, homicide offenders were disproportionately black. However, national trends over the 1968-78 period showed that, while arrests had increased for both blacks and whites, the proportion of black to white offenders had decreased by 12 percent. White offenders predominated in cases of family homicide, while black offenders predominated in acquaintance and stranger homicide. Handguns were the most prevalent weapons used in homicides. Felonies were much more strongly used in homicides. Felonies were much more strongly associated with stranger homicides than with acquaintance or family homicides. The report provides detailed information on the characteristics of homicide victims and offenders, homicide weapons, felony circumstances associated with homicide, and homicide locations. Implications of the findings for police, practice, and research are discussed. source
NCJ 97964
United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice
Place of Production:
Washington, DC

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