Understanding parricide : when sons and daughters kill parents /

Main Author: Heide, Kathleen M.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Oxford University Press, c2013.
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Review by Choice Review

Although the methodological rigor may deter some readers, this book providing critical information and perspectives for families is a must for community members and professional social service persons. The December 2012 massacre at Newtown, Connecticut, demands attention to this material. While Heide (criminology, Univ. of South Florida) classifies parricide as a "statistical rare occurrence," prevalent data and case studies indicate immediate intervention into the detailed family issues. Part 1 presents frequency of parricide, connections of child maltreatment as causal factors, and differentiating matricide and patricide. Included is a careful review of court involvement in judging and punishing offenders, with valuable discussions on defense of parricide offenders. Part 2 gives in-depth background case studies tied to part 1. The author's extensive professional encounters with offenders bring the dynamics of each case, furthering understanding. Analysis reveals patterns of parricide (and responses from the court to prison time) demanding action from community members and families. Remaining chapters enable an understanding of treatment, especially regarding severely abused offenders, with a subsequent chapter addressing follow-up studies. A capstone discussion deals with risk assessment and prevention. The foreword and afterword need to be read. Outstanding notes, references, and index. Truly a significant contribution to responding to family crisis in the US. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. J. H. Larson emeritus, University of North Dakota

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.