The changing face of homicide research: the shift in empirical focus and emerging research trends

Publication Date03 August 2015
Date03 August 2015
AuthorMaria Ioannou,Laura Hammond
SubjectHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Criminal psychology
Guest editorial
The changing face of homicide research:
the shift in empirical focus and emerging
research trends
Maria Ioannou and Laura Hammond
Dr Maria Ioannou and
Dr Laura Hammond are
Senior Lecturers, both at the
International Research Centre
for InvestigativePsychology
(IRCIP), Universityof
Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK.
Purpose Homicidal behaviour is influenced by a complex interaction of behavioural, situational and
environmental factors that raise many challenging psychological questions. A large and continually growing
body of research has explored the crime of homicide, its epidemiology, victims and perpetrators. The area is
developing rapidly, opening up new avenues of study. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Design/methodology/approach This special issue of the Journal of Criminal Psychologybrings together
an exciting array of papers on homicidal behaviour, examining a wide range of issues including juvenile
homicide perpetrators, school shootings, child homicide, homicide-suicide and differences in offence
behaviours and victim characteristics between hard-to-solve one-off homicides and serial homicides.
Findings The range of papers included in this special edition cover a wide range of aspects of homicidal
behaviour, reflecting the importance of and the need for applied research moving away from examining
general homicide to specialised research focusing on subtypes of homicide and subgroups of homicide
offenders. A research agenda is proposed.
Originality/value This editorial gives an introduction to the themes explored in this special issue and
provides an overview of the selected papers.
Keywords Homicide, Violence, Homicidal behaviour, Homicide research, Murder
Paper type Research paper
Homicide, considered to be the most serious of all crimes, can be lawful or unlawful and it coverst he
offences of murder, manslaughter and infanticide (Office for National Statistics, 2014). Criminal or
unlawful homicide is defined as causing dea th to an individual without legal justification, whereas
lawful homicide or state-sanctioned homicide is justified legally under particular circumstances
(e.g. capital punishment, a soldier killing the enemy in combat and so on). Murder is usually
an intentional crime while manslaughter is the killing of a human being in a manner considered by
law as less culpable than murder. This category can range from accidental death to events very
similar to murder. Manslaughter is further broken down into voluntary (intent to ki ll usually when
there is provocation or evidence of mental illness) and involuntary (no intent to kill usually involving
accidents). The focus of this special issue is on unlawful or criminal homicide.
Homicide rates vary greatly around the globe. While there have been attempts to collate
international homicide statistics there are major issues surrounding the comparability of international
homicidedata. Global homicidelevels are very difficult to estimatefor many reasons, suchas those
outlined by Brookman (2005). These include: very limited availability of reliable measures in large
Received 29 June 2015
Revised 29 June 2015
Accepted 30 June 2015
This Special Issue represents an
important collection of papers in
the area of homicidal behaviour.
The authors would like to thank
Dr Daniel Boduszek for the
opportunity to act as guest editors
and the authors of these papers
for their contributions. Thank you
also to our reviewers for their
insightful and constructive
DOI 10.1108/JCP-06-2015-0019 VOL. 5 NO. 3 2015, pp. 157-162, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 2009-3829
PAG E 157

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT