•White males, most commonly 15 to 16 years old•Middle to upper middle class•Family isolated either by geography or behavior and life style from surrounding community.•One or both parents substance abusers, particularly alcohol.•Child has not been in trouble with authorities.•Guns are the most common form of weapon. Most commonly found in the home.•Child has told teachers, friends or someone about abuse.•Warnings have been ignored, or law enforcement, social services and other agencies repeatedly return child to abusers. •Precipitating “triggering” event, such as sibling leaving, divorce, loss of job, change in surroundings, leads to killings. •Crimes are ALWAYS premeditated, in the sense that abused children have thought about killing the abuser (or committing suicide) for many years. •Crimes are always unusually violent. “Overkill” is a hallmark of parricide.•Parent is often sleeping or in a defenseless position when crime occurs, which doesn’t fit legal definition of “self-defense.” •Kids historically get tougher sentences for killing a parent than a parent gets for killing a child – though most do NOT receive life without parole. *Compiled from When A Child Kills (Paul Mones), Kids Who Kill Their Parents( Kathleen Heide)
Some Common Characteristics: *
A child who kills his parents fits into three categories: severely abused, mentally ill or anti-social. More than 90% have been severely physically, emotionally and often sexually abused.