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American Women Who Kill: Self-reports of Their Homicides

NCJ Number
International Journal of Risk, Security and Crime Prevention Volume: 1 Issue: 4 Dated: October 1996 Pages: 293-303
Barry Spunt; Henry Brownstein; Susan Crimmins; Sandra Langley
Date Published
October 1996
11 pages
This article examines the circumstances of homicides committed by women, the women's motives and drug-relatedness of the homicides.
The article presents data from interviews with 215 women incarcerated in New York State correctional facilities and on parole supervision in the New York City area for homicide, i.e., murder and non-negligent manslaughter. It examines the victim offender relationship, circumstances of the homicides, offenders’ motives and the drug-relatedness of the homicides, and discusses implications of the findings for criminal justice research and policy. The typical offender was between ages 20 and 29, black, single, had completed grades 9-12, and resided in New York City. Most of the victims were described as acquaintances, followed by strangers, intimates, children, and other relatives. Motives included self-defense, harassment by victim, psychiatric condition, to get drugs or money for drugs, and to get money for things other than drugs. Fifty-five percent of the homicides were classified as psychopharmacologically drug-related. Tables, notes


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