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When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 1997 Homicide Data

Females Murdered by Males in Single Victim/Single Offender Incidents


36 females were murdered by males in Colorado in 1997

The homicide rate among females murdered by males in Colorado was 1.83 per 100,000 in 1997

Ranked 14th highest in the United States


Three female homicide victims (8 percent) were less than 18 years old, and 5 victims (14 percent) were 65 years of age or older.

Race and Ethnicity

Out of 36 female murder victims, 29 were white, 6 were black, and 1 was Asian or Pacific Islander. Under ethnic classification, none of the women were categorized as being of Hispanic origin.

Most Common Weapons

In cases in which the weapon used in the homicide could be identified (31 cases), more than 4 out of 10 female homicide victims (14 victims or 45 percent) were shot and killed with guns. More than 8 out of 10 gun victims (12 victims or 86 percent) were killed with handguns. There were 6 females killed with knives or other cutting instruments, and 4 females killed by bodily force. The remainder of cases involved other non-firearm weapons.

Victim/Offender Relationship

In cases in which the relationship between the victim and the offender could be identified (35 cases), more than 9 out of 10 female victims (34 victims or 97 percent) were murdered by someone they knew. Only 1 victim was killed by a stranger. Of the victims who knew their offenders, more than half (18 victims or 53 percent) were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the offenders. Among the 18 female intimates murdered, nearly half (8 victims or 44 percent) were killed with guns; all of these gun victims (8 victims) were shot and killed with handguns.


In cases in which the circumstance of the homicide could be identified (23 cases), 91 percent (21 cases) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these cases, 62 percent (13 cases) involved arguments between the victim and offender.

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All contents � 1999 Violence Policy Center