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When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 1997 Homicide Data

Females Murdered by Males in Single Victim/Single Offender Incidents


53 females were murdered by males in Maryland in 1996

The homicide rate among females murdered by males in Maryland was 2.02 per 100,000 in 1996

Ranked 11th highest in the United States


Seven female homicide victims (13 percent) were less than 18 years old, and 2 victims (4 percent) were 65 years of age or older.

Race and Ethnicity

Out of 53 female murder victims, 33 were black, 17 were white, 2 were Asian or Pacific Islander, and 1 was unknown. 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 (50 cases), 6 out of 10 of the female homicide victims (30 victims or 60 percent) were shot and killed with guns. More than three fourths of these gun victims (23 victims or 77 percent) were killed with handguns. There were 8 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 (45 cases), more than 9 out of 10 female victims (42 victims or 93 percent) were murdered by someone they knew. Only 3 female victims were killed by strangers. Of the victims who knew their offenders, nearly two thirds (25 victims or 60 percent) were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the offenders. Among the 25 female intimates murdered, 68 percent (17 victims) were killed with guns; 71 percent of these (12 victims) were shot and killed with handguns.


In cases in which the circumstance of the homicide could be identified (31 cases), 90 percent (28 cases) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these cases, 61 percent (17 cases) involved arguments between the victim and offender.

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All contents � 1999 Violence Policy Center