Operationalizing mass murder consistently has yet to be achieved. Mass homicide definitions often use time and space, but other key factors (e.g., victim count) vary widely across literature and agencies. Because of this, the current study argues for a mass family homicide definition of two or more victims, not including the offender, with no method of killing requirement. The purpose of using this victim count derives from the average family size and how many victims can be killed before an entire family annihilation. Next, using the suggested definition, three exploratory logistic regression models were run to further the understanding and achieve consistency on a topic of research that is underexplored, given its relatively large occurrence. Each model uses SHR data from 2010 to 2016. The first model determined significant characteristics associated with family mass homicide. Findings lend support that two or more victim family mass homicide does have significant and important results. The second model compared two victim family mass homicide with three or more victims to try and determine if the suggested definition is significantly different than a standard definition from the FBI. Though the current study does not find support for this, future studies should continue to assess different victim counts using different data and methods. Finally, model three assessed characteristic differences between family mass murder with primary minor victims compared to family mass homicide with primary adult victims. This is important because minors are a unique subgroup in family violence that may play a significant role. Significance was found that suggests further studies continue to assess the unique role of child victims in family mass homicide. It is important to note that the current study is an initial exploration into a topic previously understudied that warrants further research to help establish proper and consistent findings for comparison.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Szalewski, Alec, "Family Mass Homicide: An Investigation" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 301.