The Dynamics of Murder: Kill or Be Killed, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Dynamics of Murder

Kill or Be Killed, 1st Edition

By R. Barri Flowers

CRC Press

355 pages | 42 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2012-11-26
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In recent years, there has been a surge in school shootings, workplace homicides, hate violence, and deadly terrorist attacks in the United States. This has resulted in a greater focus on homicidal behavior, its antecedents, ways to recognize warning signs of at-risk victims and offenders, and preventive measures. It has also led to increased efforts by lawmakers to create and pass tough crime legislation as well as improved federal, state, and local law enforcement response to murder and other violent crimes. The Dynamics of Murder: Kill or Be Killed is a multifaceted probe of murder offenses, offenders, victims, and characteristics of homicide in American society.

This book breaks new ground in homicide studies by examining issues generally ignored or neglected among researchers. Topics include murders occurring in the workplace and in schools, those perpetrated by gangs and terrorists, those incited by bias, and intimate and intrafamilial murders. The book discusses sexual killers, serial and mass murderers, and suicide. It also examines psychological and sociological theories on murder and violence, as well as the increasing role the Internet plays in these crimes.

Case studies of actual murderers are included, including serial killers Gerald and Charlene Gallego, mass murderer Byran Koji Uyesugi, the murder/suicide case of Sahel Kazemi, and the intrafamilial murders committed by Charles Stuart and Sarah Marie Johnson. A comprehensive exploration of the crime of murder in American society, this fascinating study is an essential resource for researchers, criminologists, and other professionals in a wide range of disciplines.


"The Dynamics of Murder: Kill or Be Killed is a compelling new examination of homicide by award winning literary criminologist R. Barri Flowers. Mr. Flowers provides an academically rigorous, highly informative and very readable analysis of the complexities of murder and its causes. He offers vivid case studies of murder to complement this well researched criminology text. Mr. Flowers' clear and concise writing style make this important new book a terrific addition to the classroom and home library."

—Scott Bonn, Ph.D., Professor of Criminology at Drew University and Media Analyst

"This sweeping survey, covering every conceivable aspect of a vitally important subject, is an indispensable sourcebook for anyone interested in American homicide, from law-enforcement professionals to armchair criminologists. For a book so packed with data, it is also a consistently fascinating read, beautifully conceived and organized, and written in the lucid, vigorous style that his fans have to expect from R. Barri."

—Harold Schechter, Professor of American Literature and Culture at Queens College and Bestselling Author of The Serial Killer Files

Table of Contents


The Nature of Murder

What Is Murder?

Trends in Homicides

The Dynamics of Murder

Circumstances of Murder

Characterizing the Murder Offender–Victim Relationship

The Risk of Murder Victimization

Murder and the Law

Firearms, Substance Abuse, and Murder

Firearms and Murder

Trends in Firearm-Related Injuries and Fatalities

Gun Ownership, Availability, and Lethality

Alcohol, Drugs, and Murder

Domestic Partner Homicide and Substance Abuse

Minorities, Substance Abuse, and Homicide

Juveniles, Substance Abuse, and Murder

Murder and the Criminal Justice System

Arrests and Murder

Murder Clearances

Age of Arrestees for Murder

Sex of Arrestees for Murder

Race of Arrestees for Murder

Arrest Trends for Murder

Limitations of the Uniform Crime Reports

Law Enforcement Officers Killed

Murder and Prison Inmates

Capital Punishment

Juvenile Killers in Detention


Intimate Homicide

The Extent of Intimate Partner Homicide

Trends in Intimate Partner Homicides

The Dynamics of Domestic Violence

Intimate Violence Among Nonmarital and

Estranged Couples

Why Men Murder Intimates

Why Women Murder Intimates


Infanticide Historically

Women and Infanticide

The Extent of Infanticide

Types of Infanticidal Mothers

What Causes Mothers to Commit Infanticide?

Postpartum Depression

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy


Other Reasons


The Nature of Parricide

How Often Does Parricide Occur?

Characteristics of Parricide Offenders and Victims

Types of Adult Parricide Perpetrators

Types of Juvenile Parricide Perpetrators

What Causes a Person to Commit Parricide?

Other Intrafamilial Homicide

Domestic Murder of Children

Characterizing Filicide Perpetrators

Sibling Homicide

Reasons Why Siblings Kill Siblings


Characterizing the Familicide Offender


Workplace Homicide

In the Context of Workplace Violence

Characteristics of Workplace Violence

Murder in the Workplace

The Scope and Nature of Workplace Homicide

Characteristics of Workplace Homicide Victims and


Causes of Workplace Homicide

Bias-Motivated Homicide

What Are Hate Crimes?

The Magnitude of Hate Crimes

Murder Caused by Hate

Who Are the Perpetrators of Bias Crimes?

What Causes Hate Crimes?

Hate Crime Legislation

Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Church Arson Prevention Act

Hate Crime Sentencing Enhancement Act

Terrorism and Murder

What Is Terrorism?

Deadly Terrorist Attacks Against the United States and


Terrorist Organizations

The Roots of Terrorism

Characterizing Terrorists

Murder-Suicide Terrorists

Combating Terrorism in America

Internet and Murder

Cyber Crime

The Internet and Homicide

Internet Murders


Youth Gangs and Homicide

Defining the Youth Gang

Youth Gang Violence

Youth Gang Homicides

Youth Gang versus Nongang Homicides

Youth Gangs, Guns, and Homicide

Youth Gangs and Drug-Related Homicide

The Dynamics of Youth Gangs

The Scope of Youth Gangs and Gang Membership

Race, Ethnicity, and Gang Membership

Gender and Youth Gang Involvement

Age and Membership in Youth Gangs

Theories on Youth Gang Violence

Reaction-Formation Theory

Opportunity Theory

Lower-Class Culture Theory

School Killings

Deadly School Shootings

The Extent of School Violence

School Violence against Teachers

Trends in School Violence

Factors in School Shootings and Violence

Weapons and School Violence

Youth Gangs at School

School Bullying

Alcohol and Drug Use by Students


Sexual Killers

What Is Sexual Murder?

The Extent of Sexual Murder

Characteristics of Sexual Murderers and Victims

Types of Sexual Killers

Intimate Killers

Serial Killers

Signature Killers

Sexually Sadistic Killers

Serial Killers

What Is a Serial Killer?

The Magnitude of Serial Murder

Characterizing the Serial Killer

Types of Serial Killers

The Female Serial Killer

Theories on Serial Killing

Mass Murderers

What Is Mass Murder?

The Nature of Mass Murder

Where and How Mass Murders Occur

Types of Mass Killers

The Causes of Mass Murder


What Is Suicide?

The Scope of Suicide

Suicidal Ideation

Teenagers and Suicide


Suicide Methods

Substance Abuse and Suicide

Depression and Suicide

Doctor-Assisted Suicide


Gerald and Charlene Gallego

The Bad Seed Theory

The Female Partner in Serial Murder

Cable Television and the Sex Slave Murders

Sahel Kazemi

Murder-Suicide in the United States

Byran Koji Uyesugi

Mass Murder in the Workplace

Charles Stuart

The Carol Stuart Tragedy and Television Interest

Spouse Homicide

Sarah Marie Johnson

Interest in the Sarah Marie Johnson Case

When Teens Kill


Criminal Homicide Theories

Classical Theories of Criminality

Positivistic Theories of Criminality

Biological Theories on Crime and Violence

Twin, Adoption, and Fosterling Studies

Psychological Theories on Crime and Violence

Personality-Disorder Theories

Mental Dysfunction Theories

Sociological-Cultural Theories on Crime and Violence

Social Control Theories

Strain Theories

Cultural Transmission Theories

Critical Theories of Criminality and Criminal Law





About the Author

Award-winning author R. Barri Flowers has nearly 40 published books to his credit. A literary criminologist, Barri began his writing career with criminology and criminal justice textbooks, after receiving a B.A. and M.S. in criminal justice from Michigan State University. Many of these books went on to become bestsellers, including the Prostitution of Women and Girls; Murder, at the End of the Day and Night; and The Adolescent Criminal. Barri branched out into true crime writing with The Sex Slave Murders, which became a bestseller. He also co-wrote the bestselling true crime reference work, Murders in the United States: Crimes, Killers and Victims of The Twentieth Century. In October 2006, he received the prestigious Wall of Fame Award from his alma mater Michigan State University and its renowned School of Criminal Justice.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Forensic Science
MEDICAL / Psychiatry / General