Homicide - Suicide
Pp. 254-266 (13)
Paolo Roma, Antonella Spacca and Stefano Ferracuti
Murder - suicide is an event where a person kills another and then suicide. Murder - suicide is
more rare than other forms of violent deaths, but it is certainly mostly tragic and usually more shocking than
homicide or suicide when taken individually, especially when the event involves a mass murder.
This chapter will present an overview of the main types of murder-suicide, outlining the most common
features of the crime and providing some guidelines on prevention. Thematic context of homicide
followed by suicide, including victim - perpetrator relationship, age, sex, race, ethnicity, and occupation
in addition to precipitating factors, motivation, type of fatal injury, and location of event, is discussed.
For each different category of crime the incidence of the phenomenon in the Italian context is given. The
Italian data were collected in a span of 24 years (from 1 January 1985 to December 31, 2008), using the
information disclosed by the state press agency and the four national newspapers of greater circulation.
Homicide – suicide, murder – suicide, spousal murder – suicides, filicide – suicide, extra
familial murder suicide, mass murder – suicide.
Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Organs Functions, Suicide Prevention Center, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy