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Sexual Homicide by Older Male Offenders

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Recent research has expanded our understanding of sexual homicide offenders (SHOs). However, little exists beyond case reports for older SHOs. We characterized male SHOs ≥ 55 years, comparing them to typical adult male SHOs who are in their 20s. Analysis of 37 years (1976–2012) of US Supplementary Homicide Reports data provided a large SHO sample (N = 3453). Three case reports provide clinical context for the diverse nature and patterns of older SHOs. Only 32 older male SHOs and no older female SHOs were identified. Murders by older SHOs accounted for only 0.5% of US sexual homicides. Unlike typical SHOs that generally target young adult females, over two‐thirds of older SHO victims were ≥40 years, and one‐third were ≥55 years. Sexual homicides by older SHOs, like sexual homicide in general, decreased over the study period. These crimes, while exceedingly rare, do occur, warranting special consideration.
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Keywords: crime; forensic science; geriatric; murder; older offender; sexual homicide

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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