When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 1996 Homicide Data

Understanding the Statistics

This analysis of female homicide victims in America is limited to cases involving one female victim and one male offender. Supplemental data on age and race of victim, the type of weapon used, the relationship of victim to offender, and the circumstances of the murder are provided for each state as follows:

Rates of females killed by males in single victim/single offender incidents by state were computed using reported incidents by state and female population estimates for 1996 from the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

States were ranked by their female homicide rates. Rates were rounded to the second decimal place.

This section notes how many female homicide victims were less than 18 years old and how many were 65 years of age or older. If there were no female victims in these age ranges, this section is omitted.

This section identifies the race of female victims. Unless noted, race was reported in every case.

Most Common Weapons
This section records the number of females killed by firearms, and specifically handguns. It also lists the most common weapons – other than firearms – used by males to kill females. Unless noted, a weapon was identified in every case.

Victim/Offender Relationship
This section lists the number of females killed by known offenders and the number killed by strangers. This section also enumerates the number of victims identified as wives or intimate acquaintances (common law wives, ex-wives, and girlfriends) of the offenders, as well as the number of these intimates shot and killed with firearms in general and handguns in particular. Unless noted, a relationship was identified in every case.

This section indicates the number of cases in which the homicide was related to the commission of another felony. This section also provides the number of cases that involved arguments between the victim and offender. Unless noted, the circumstance was identified in every case.

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