Year: 2023 Source: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research. (2023). SIEC No: 20231449
While much of work on homicide-suicide (HS) arises out of the USA and the UK, there is a paucity of research on HS outside of the Anglo-American sphere. This paper investigates HS in Hong Kong (HK), comparing the subtypes of filicide-suicide (FS) and mariticide/uxoricide-suicide (MUS) in that context as a means of testing the generalizability of past studies. Data from the HK Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government and the HK Police Force reports retrieved 156 cases from 2000 to 2019. In that timeframe, HS resulted in 261 deaths, with MUS being the most prevalent type of HS. Male offenders and female victims are more commonly seen. Offenders are generally older than their victims, and over half of offenders are married. FS and MUS display distinct characteristics in terms of offender and victim demographics, relationship dynamics, motives, and mode of killing. Depressed mothers tend to victimize their sons in FS as a means of saving their sons from a perceived miserable future, whereas male offenders aggress upon their female partners in MUS to alleviate their own frustrations, subsequently dying by suicide out of sorrow or a fear of consequence. MUS offenders are more hostile towards their victims and tend to kill with aggressive means, whereas FS offenders are more likely to kill with altruistic motives and with minimal force. These results match patterns of MUS and FS in the Anglo-American sphere, but with some important differences in terms of the use of guns and the presence of altruistic killing.