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Family, Acquaintance and Stranger Homicide in New South Wales

NCJ Number
M T Nguyen da Huong; P Salmelainen
Date Published
28 pages
A statistical analysis of 1,667 cases of homicide in New South Wales between 1968 and 1986 identifies similarities and differences across victim, offender, and incident characteristics involving family, acquaintance, and stranger homicide.
Victim and offender characteristics evaluated in the study included gender, age, and marital status. Incident characteristics related to location, time of day, day of week, week of year, and month of year. Over the 1966-1986 period, most victims of acquaintance and stranger homicide were male, while females represented more than half of the family homicide victims. Victims of stranger and acquaintance homicide were generally between 20 and 29 years of age; children up to 9 years of age were the most likely family homicide victims. Relative to population figures, the proportion of family homicide victims who were married was low, while the proportion who were separated or in de facto relationships was very high. Most homicide offrenders were male and between 20 and 29 years of age. For stranger homicides, however, the proportion of offenders between 10 and 19 years of age was higher than the proportion of offenders in family and acquaintance homicides of that age. The most likely time of day for any homicide to occur was between 8 p.m. and 12 midnight. Family homicides were equally likely to occur on any day of the week, acquaintance homicides were most likely to occur on Thursdays or Saturdays, and stranger homicides were most frequent on the weekend. Family homicides appeared to peak around the end of the month and at Easter and Christmas, while acquaintance and stranger homicides were randomly distributed throughout the year. 9 references, 10 notes, 9 tables, 3 figures, and 3 maps