Homicide event motive: A situational perspective

Belinda L. Parker, Amber C. McKinley

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The motive for a homicide can be conceptualised from different perspectives, for instance, psychological, legal, investigative, and is often focused on the offender’s reasons for committing the homicide. As
criminology often draws on theories from various disciplines, motive’s conceptualisation from study to study and comparison is difficult. This manuscript introduces a new perspective for conceptualising motive, based on the situational approach termed “homicide event motive”. Defined as the fundamental reason for the homicide and drawing on theories such as the Routine Activities Theory, Crime Pattern Theory, and Theory of Closure on Deviant Acts, this conceptualisation shifts the focus from the offender’s personal reasoning to the homicide situation itself and the elements that brought about the event. This manuscript will outline the theoretical foundations of homicide event motive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-95
Number of pages18
JournalSalus Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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