Mentally disordered parricide and stranger killers admitted to high-security care. 1: A descriptive comparison
Larkin, Emmet P.
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Parricide is an uncommon crime, so that many of the descriptive studies suffer from methodological shortcomings of small sample sizes and a non-representative ascertainment. We describe a consecutive series of mentally disordered offenders convicted of parricide who were admitted to high-security care and we compare their index characteristics with a group convicted of killing one or more strangers. The main findings were that the parricides were more likely to suffer from schizophrenia but less likely to have had a discrupted childhood and criminal history, as compared with those who had killed a stranger. Those in the parricide group had made a previous attack on their victim in 40% of cases. Overall, the study confirmed some of the differences that one might expect between these two groups of homicides, which had entirely different relationships to their victims.