Expanded Homicide Data

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(From the Supplementary Homicide Report)

Data collection

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s supplemental homicide data provide information regarding the age, sex, and race of the murder victim and the offender; the type of weapon used in the murder; the relationship of the victim to the offender; and the circumstance surrounding the incident. Data gleaned from these supplemental data are provided in this section.

Justifiable homicide — Certain willful killings must be reported as justifiable, or excusable. In the UCR Program, justifiable homicide is defined as and limited to:

  • The killing of a felon by a peace officer in the line of duty.
  • The killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen.

Because these killings are determined through law enforcement investigation to be justifiable, they are tabulated separately from murder and nonnegligent manslaughter. Justifiable homicide information is included in this section and in Expanded Homicide Data Table 14, “Justifiable Homicide, by Weapon, Law Enforcement, 2004–2008” and Expanded Homicide Data Table 15, “Justifiable Homicide, by Weapon, Private Citizen, 2004–2008.”

Overview

  • In 2008, law enforcement agencies submitted supplemental homicide data to the FBI for 14,180 murders.
  • Of the 14,137 murder victims of 2008 for whom gender was known, 78.2 percent were male. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 1.)
  • Concerning murder victims for whom race was known, 49.0 percent were white, 48.6 percent were black, and 2.3 percent were from other races. Race was unknown for 239 victims. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 2.)
  • Single victim/single offender situations accounted for 48.9 percent of all murders for which the UCR Program received supplementary data. (See Expanded Homicide Data Table 4.)
  • Of the offenders for whom gender was known, 90.0 percent were males. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 3.)
  • Of the offenders for whom race was known, 51.5 percent were black, 46.2 percent were white, and 2.4 percent were from other races. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 3.)
  • Of the homicides for which the type of weapon was specified, 71.9 percent involved the use of firearms. Of the identified firearms used, handguns comprised 88.3 percent. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 8.)
  • Concerning the relationships (if known) of murder victims and offenders, 23.3 percent of victims were slain by family members, 22.0 percent were murdered by strangers, and 54.7 percent were killed by acquaintances (neighbor, friend, boyfriend, etc.). (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 10.)
  • Among female victims for whom relationships with their offenders were known, 34.7 percent were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Tables 2 and 10.)
  • Concerning the known circumstances surrounding murders, 42.0 percent of victims were murdered during arguments (including romantic triangles) in 2008. Felony circumstances (rape, robbery, burglary, etc.) accounted for 22.9 percent of murders. Circumstances were unknown for 35.3 percent of reported homicides. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 12.)
  • Law enforcement reported 616 justifiable homicides in 2008. Of those, law enforcement officers justifiably killed 371 individuals, and private citizens justifiably killed 245 individuals. (See Expanded Homicide Data Tables 14 and 15.)

In this figure, bar graphs and a pie chart visually represent the relationships of murder victims to their offenders.  The statistics are based on the supplemental homicide data that law enforcement agencies submitted to the FBI for 14,180 murder victims who were slain in 2008. Pie chart: Of the homicides that occurred in 2008 for which supplemental homicide data were received, the relationships of the murder victims to their offenders were as follows:  1,841 victims (13.0 percent) were slain by family members, 1,742 (12.3 percent) were murdered by strangers, and 4,329 victims (30.5 percent) were slain by “other known” offenders.  The offenders were not known for 6,268 murder victims (44.2 percent). Bar graphs: The first bar graph provides a breakdown of the 1,841 familial relationships of victims to offenders based on supplemental homicide data from 2008:  119 husbands were killed by their wives, 577 wives were slain by their husbands, 117  mothers were murdered by their children, 120 fathers were killed by their children, 270 sons were slain by their parents, 211 daughters were murdered by their parents, 98 brothers were killed by their siblings, 15 sisters were slain by their siblings, and 314 victims were murdered by family members related to them in ways other than those mentioned above. A second bar graph depicts the 4,329 “other known” (that is, nonfamilial) relationships of victims to offenders based on supplemental homicide data from 2008:  3,068 victims were killed by acquaintances, 504 were slain by friends, 145 boyfriends were murdered by their girlfriends, 492 girlfriends were killed by their boyfriends, 106 victims were slain by their neighbors, 5 employees were murdered by their employers, and 9 employers were killed by their employees.

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Expanded homicide data tables