The female family annihilator, restructuring traditional typologies: an exploratory study
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Although both female and male mass murderers have been studied, less attention has been paid to women who commit mass murder. Current literature suggests mass murders committed by women, regardless of offender choice, are well planned, predisposing factors and precipitating events prior to the offence have been noted. This study explored the patterns among the crimes of female family annihilators. This study focuses on an exploratory sample of North American cases, occurring between 1970 and 2010, where females were identified as killing four or more family members during what has been described as a single homicidal event. Using a North American database of newspaper accounts, patterns are uncovered by comparing variables including, but not limited to: motive, number of victims, method of murder, age of offender and victim age. The findings suggest that a clearer profile and set of definitions need to be adopted in discussions of female family annihilators. Practical and theoretical implications will be discussed.