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Mining for Murder‐Suicide: An Approach to Identifying Cases of Murder‐Suicide in the National Violent Death Reporting System Restricted Access Database

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The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) is a United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) database of violent deaths from 2003 to the present. The NVDRS collects information from 32 states on several types of violent deaths, including suicides, homicides, homicides followed by suicides, and deaths resulting from child maltreatment or intimate partner violence, as well as legal intervention and accidental firearm deaths. Despite the availability of data from police narratives, medical examiner reports, and other sources, reliably finding the cases of murder‐suicide in the NVDRS has proven problematic due to the lack of a unique code for murder‐suicide incidents and outdated descriptions of case‐finding procedures from previous researchers. By providing a description of the methods used to access to the NVDRS and coding procedures used to decipher these data, the authors seek to assist future researchers in correctly identifying cases of murder‐suicide deaths while avoiding false positives.
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Keywords: forensic science; homicide; homicide‐suicide; murder‐suicide; suicide; violence

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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