Homicide-Suicide in Hong Kong, 1989-98

Chan, A.Y., Beh, S.L. and R.G. Broadhurst 2003, “Homicide-suicide in Hong Kong 1989-1998”, Forensic Science International, Vol. 137: 165-171

17 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2012 Last revised: 25 Apr 2013

See all articles by Roderic Broadhurst

Roderic Broadhurst

Australian National University (ANU); ANU Cybercrime Observatory

S. Beh

The University of Hong Kong

C. Chan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 18, 2006

Abstract

This study provides the first systematic research of homicide-suicide (HS) in a Chinese society. Data were drawn from the HK Homicide Monitoring Data-base computer file derived from investigation and death reports held by the HK Police Force and the Coroner's Court. During the 10-year study period, 56 events involving 133 deaths were identified. The majority of offenders were males (75%) and most victims were female (64%). The mean age of offenders and victims were 41.9 and 32.3 years respectively. Spouses and lovers comprised the majority of victims (48.2%) followed by child victims (36%). Most HS events were motivated by separation or termination of marital or sexual relations (39%), economic reasons (25%) and other domestic disputes (20%). The most frequent modes of killing were strangulation/suffocation (26%), stabbing/chopping (24%), followed by gassing/poisoning (14%) and falling from a height (14%). The commonest method of suicide was falling from a height (48%). It was followed by gassing/poisoning (22%) and strangulation/suffocation (13%). Depression (18.3%) was found to be the commonest mental disorder. Most offenders were from low-socio economic background. Two-thirds were unemployed and 76.6% had 9 or less years of education. HS in HK were distinguished from those reported in the western literature in respect to the high relevance of economic factors, the absence of mercy killing between old couples, a higher percentage of pedicide-suicides and the infrequent use of firearms.

Keywords: homicide-suicide, intimate killings, Hong Kong, Chinese

Suggested Citation

Broadhurst, Roderic and Beh, S. and Chan, C., Homicide-Suicide in Hong Kong, 1989-98 (August 18, 2006). Chan, A.Y., Beh, S.L. and R.G. Broadhurst 2003, “Homicide-suicide in Hong Kong 1989-1998”, Forensic Science International, Vol. 137: 165-171. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2133051

Roderic Broadhurst (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

ANU Cybercrime Observatory ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

S. Beh

The University of Hong Kong

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Pokfulam HK
China

C. Chan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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