Youthful Familicidal Offenders: Targeted Victims, Planned Attacks

Rosa Viñas-Racionero, Louis B. Schlesinger, Mario J. Scalora, John P. Jarvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A nonrandom national sample of 16 familicides, which involved 19 offenders (ages 14 to 21 years) who either killed or made a serious attempt to kill their families, was studied. The majority of offenders were Caucasian (78.91 %) males (84.21 %) with interpersonal family conflicts due to parental control, substance use, or physical violence. Prior to the murders, 50 % of the offenders reported to others their intent to kill their families. All of the 42 reported victims were specifically targeted and most of the homicides were planned shooting attacks (75 %) rather than spontaneous eruptions. Immediately following the homicides, 75 % of the offenders stole money from their families, and in 50 % of the cases they either called their friends to report the murders or to plan leisure activities. All offenders were immediate suspects and 81.25 % confessed to the homicides. Implications for furthering our understanding of this group of young offenders are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-542
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Family violence
  • Mass murder
  • Offenders
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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