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Felony murder
Consensual homicide
Negligent homicide
Vehicular homicide
Honour killing
Ritual murder
Proxy murder
Torture murder
Spree killer
Child murder
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Serial killer
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In English law
Non-criminal homicide
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Capital punishment
Other types of homicide

Parricide (Latin "parricida", killer of a close relative) stemming from (Latin "parri", alike or equal, and "-cida", -cide, or killer) is defined as:

  1. the act of murdering one's father (patricide), mother (matricide), or other close relative
  2. the act of murdering a person (such as the ruler of one's country) who stands in a relationship resembling that of a father
  3. a person who commits such an act

Various definitions exist for the term parricide, with the biggest discrepancy being whether or not the killing has to be defined as a murder (usually killing with malice aforethought) to qualify as a parricide.

Parricide is most often committed by a son against his mother, and is associated with delusional thinking.[1]

In pre-revolutionary France, cases of notoriously accidental killings were still treated as parricides[clarify]

, with the offenders facing the extra harsh penalties destined for authors of such heinous crimes.

Ancient Rome had a unique punishment for parricide, which is described at length in Steven Saylor's novel Roman Blood, based on one of Cicero's actual murder trials. The felon was severely scourged then sewn into a stout leather bag with a dog, a snake, a rooster, and a monkey, and the bag was thrown into the river Tiber. Tacitus called it the "parricide's doom".[2] Plutarch records that the old laws of Romulus had no penalty for parricide because it was considered a crime too evil ever to be committed. Lucius Hostius reportedly was the first parricide in Rome, sometime after the Second Punic War.

In Japan, parricide once brought heavy punishment. Because of the Chiyo Aizawa case, however, the law was abolished.


  1. Bourget, Dominique, Gagné, Pierre, and Labelle , Mary-Eve (2007). "Parricide: A Comparative Study of Matricide Versus Patricide," The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 35:3:306-312.
  2. Tacitus; Hadas, Moses (2003). The Annals & The Histories, 137, 590, New York: Modern Library Classics.

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