Skip to main content

Table 4 Examples of contexts of older adult homicides

From: Characteristics and patterns of older adult homicides in the United States

Context Definition Example 1 Example 2
Familial or intimate partner-related The homicide occurred in the context of intimate partner relationship issues or familial conflicts such as heated arguments, abuse, money, jealousy, cheating, divorce, and separation. The perpetrator forcefully invaded the house and killed his wife and mother-in-law. The couple were separated. Victims’ relatives reported that he had threatened to kill the victim and her family previously. A couple were arguing over financial expenses in the house. The argument escalated into a fight when the girlfriend shot her boyfriend with a firearm. The perpetrator fled and was arrested later from another area
Robbery or burglary The homicide occurred in the context of a robbery or burglary by the perpetrator. A group of three stopped a car on the highway. They robbed the victim and fled with the car after shooting the victim dead. The victim was on the phone talking to his daughter. The perpetrator suddenly broke into the victim’s residence where he was living alone and asked for money. The daughter quickly reported to the police when she heard that an altercation started between the two followed by a gunshot sound. The police found the dead body of the victim on the floor.
Altercation/dispute with non-family members The homicide was precipitated by an altercation or argument preceding the homicide. This excludes arguments with underlying relationship problems between intimate partners or other family members. A man was shot and killed by his neighbor. On the day of the event, the victim and perpetrator reportedly had a verbal altercation. The two did not get along well according to their family members. The victim died of remote complications from a gunshot wound that he sustained 10 years ago. Friends of the deceased informed that the victim was shot at a bar where he had a fight with some other guys trying to tease his girlfriend.
Illness related The homicide was perpetrated to end the suffering of an ill victim or when the perpetrator was exhausted from taking care of the sick victim. Sometimes, both perpetrators and victims were sick, and, in some cases, only the perpetrator had an illness that precipitated the event. A husband killed his wife who was suffering from terminal stage stomach cancer and then himself. He left a note that he was tired of looking after her for a long time and that he could no longer bear the sufferings of his partner. The daughter was killed by her father using a firearm that the daughter owned. The old man was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The housemaid testified that the perpetrator was shouting at his daughter just before the incident for taking away the TV remote
  1. Each example is a fictional scenario composed of multiple narratives and with intentional alterations