Violent Death Among Intimate Partners: A Comparison of Homicide and Homicide Followed by Suicide in California


Address correspondence to Laura E. Lund, California Department of Health Services, Epidemiology and Prevention for Injury Control Branch, MS 39A, P.O. Box 942732, Sacramento, CA 94234. E-mail:


This study examines all intimate partner homicides in California during 1996 (N = 186), and differences between intimate partner homicides with and without perpetrator suicide are compared. The study found that 40 percent of perpetrators committed suicide subsequent to the homicide. Variables examined in the analysis include type of weapon used, race, age, sex of perpetrators and victims, and location of the homicide. Significant differences were found between homicides with perpetrator suicide and those without. The results lend support to previous research suggesting that intimate partner homicide and homicide followed by suicide have different characteristics and possibly distinct etiologies.