Murder-suicides are tragic and unpredictable events in which the perpetrators are usually male and murder one or more individuals within a very short time, and then commit suicide. Most of the thousands of murder-suicides that take place each year occur in families, and usually the victims are wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends, and children under 10 years of age.

Scope of the Problem

Homicide followed by the perpetrator committing suicide constitutes a relatively small percentage of the homicides in the United States and other countries. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports, the annual number of homicides in the United States ranges from 18,000 and 23,000 per year, and official estimates of murdersuicide range from 1,000 to 1,500, or 5% to 7.5% of all reported ...

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