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What is Parricide? FAQ Cheat Sheet

What is Parricide? Parricide is a form of domestic violence wherein a child intentionally kills his or her parent/s. Accidental deaths do not count. Parricide is classified as homicide (i.e., murder) - which is a felony offense. But parricide can also be classified as a misdemeanor offense. Every case is different.

How does parricide differ from patricide or matricide? Parricide the umbrella event for both of these crimes. A child can murder a mother (matricide), a father (patricide), or both. All three are considered to be parricide events.

Is it true that kids who kill their parents were abused? In most cases, no. A study of more than 750 Youthful Parricide Offenders indicates that 15% of all parricides were committed by abused children. In 6% of the study cases, the child was abusing the parent/s prior to murdering them. Most of these murders are motivated by issues of control and money.

Are all offenders alike? No. There are 5 Fatal Personality Types for Youthful Offenders. They are 1) Erratics, 2) Anarchists, 3) Mission Oriented, 4) Tightly Wound, and 5) AlphaBrats. These types were identified through statistical analysis. Research regarding types of Adult Offenders is ongoing.

How often does parricide happen? More often than you'd think! You can see the statistics for each year at our website - In 2018 there were an average of 6 parricide events each week.

Who is typically murdered? Well, that depends. The primary caretaker is most usually the parent who is murdered. Parricide statistics including a chart showing whether the murdered parent was the primary caretaker are here.

How many years in prison will a parricide offender get? The punishment for parricide depends on the details of the murder, the age of the murderer, the planning that went into the murder, and the laws of the State in which the murder took place. Some parricide offenders are sentenced to life without parole - because parricide is murder. Kids who are dealt with in the Juvenile Justice system are released when they reach the age of majority (but this is rapidly changing as blended sentences are being adopted by more and more States).

Why did you start the Parricide Prevention Institute? Parricide is a very misunderstood crime. It's not a bunch of abused kids who are trying to escape abusive situations - it can darker and much more complicated that. By understanding the types of kids who commit these murders, we can determine the best way to handle them. Parenting is difficult - but you should be able to get out of it alive! Once a parricide occurs, any remaining family members need support in legally and emotionally navigating the situation.

Is there anywhere the general public can learn more about parricide offenders? Yes! Check out the Parricide Podcast on your favorite podcast platform - or on YouTube.

More Questions? Feel free to reach out to us at

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