(Received 4 April 1996; accepted 21 October 1996)
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This paper describes murder-suicide in the United States from 1990 through 1995, using the cases reported in six major newspapers. Spousal murder-suicide was the predominant type with a range of 42%–57%; familicide-suicide was the second predominant type with a range of 22%–47%. The perpetrators were predominantly males; the victims were female sexual partners or consanguineous relatives. Firearms (guns) were used in 90% of the cases. The author concludes that a national surveillance system that specifically identifies and codes this phenomenon, and multi disciplinary studies are necessary to hinder this phenomenon.
Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
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